The "CBER Fellows Association" (*to be officially named later) will serve as a community to represent the interests of CBER ORISE postdoctoral and postbaccalaureate fellows, Service Fellows, and Commissioner's Fellows. Members of CFA will provide fellow representation on relevant CBER committees, agreed to by the CFA and CBER leadership. Prior to the organization of this Association, fellows at CBER have solely had representation in the NIH Fellows Committee (FelCom). The NIH FelCom is a committee consisting of representatives from each institute of NIH and from FDA/CBER. The committee discusses issues of concern that have an impact on the research training of fellows and FelCom facilitates conversation between fellows and the administration of member institutes. To circumvent the loss of FDA participation in a fellow organization upon the move to the White Oak Campus, the CBER Fellows Association (CFA) will be introduced to the FDA training infrastructure. The CBER Fellows Association will work to foster cooperation and collaboration among CBER fellows, assist in promoting scientific communication between fellows and with the CBER scientific community at-large, and provide information (in coordination with the NIH Office of Intramural Training and Education) on career and professional development for fellows. Moreover, the long term goal of the CFA is to serve as a model for the development of an all- inclusive FDA-wide fellows organization.
Voting members will consist of the following: 1) each research-based Division will be represented by one ORISE fellow and one staff fellow appointed by self-nomination (with approval by the fellow's PI) and final approval by the relevant Division Director and Office-specific Associate Director for Research; 2) Commissioner's Fellows program will appoint one representative from each class as voting representatives with approval by their PI and Associate Director for Research (Office and Center). The main cabinet (Chair, Co-Chair, Secretary, Social Liaison, Treasurer and FelCom representatives) will serve 2-year terms and remaining voting members will serve 1.5-year terms. Fellows Association meetings will be open to all CBER fellows that wish to participate as Ad-Hoc members. These members will not have voting rights. Meetings will be held monthly on the last Thursday of each month.
The fellows association will elect representatives to attend meetings of FDA or CBER organizations which have been agreed upon as relevant and appropriate for fellow representation. These representatives will be elected from the CBER fellows community at-large, and will report back on committee activities at fellows association meetings.
Career development activities planned by the fellows association will include seminars of general interest to early career scientists, presented in collaboration with NIH OITE, as well as information on FDA career pathways. The association will also participate in any FDA- and CBER- wide scientific forums and poster sessions, and will also plan social activities to help strengthen communication in the postdoctoral community. Finally, an informal seminar series conducted by fellows will be held.