Poster session with a twist invites loved ones to take the lead

CTSI scholar Eva Furrow and family
CTSI scholar Eva Furrow had a team helping her with her poster presentation this year.

The latest poster session at the University of Minnesota CTSA had a twist. Called the Un-Poster Session, it allowed researchers’ family and friends to get in on the event by taking over the presentation.

Unlike traditional poster sessions, children or partners of current and former scholars in the UMN Clinical and Translational Science Institute's professional development programs got to present and interpret their parent’s or partner’s research poster.

Building community

“By inviting families in on the fun, scholars got to know one another on a deeper level and connect in an authentic way. It also helped kids and families get closer to their parents’ work and feel part of it,” said Michelle Lamere, MPA, ACC, assistant director of CTSI’s education and training programs. “Meaningful connections and strong, supportive families and communities are so important to wellbeing. This is true work-life integration.”

The event is one way CTSI-Ed emphasizes taking a whole-person approach through its career development programs. 

Retaining researchers

A holistic focus on wellbeing is beneficial not just to the early-career researchers CTSI-Ed primarily supports, but to the institution as well, Lamere explains:

“Universities work so hard to recruit strong faculty researchers, and it’s critical to work just as hard to keep them. Creating opportunities for research faculty to bring their families into their work lives, form connections and build their support network, both personally and professionally, has the potential to do just that.”

CTSA Program In Action Goals
Goal 1: Train and Cultivate the Translational Science Workforce