iBioSeminars: A Web-Based Educational Resource for Biologists

Investigator: Ronald D. Vale, PhD
Sponsor: Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI)

Location(s): United States


The goal of this grant is to film lectures from leading biologists and make them available to students and researchers free-of-charge though a web site called "iBioSeminars.org." Lectures provide a critical supplement to research papers and textbooks, since they better convey how scientists approach problems and illustrate the scientific method for making discoveries. Listening to a famous scientist talk in person is a great learning opportunity, but such opportunities are often restricted to the elite US universities and institutes. Many universities and small colleges have limited access to top scientists, either due to lack of travel funds for inviting speakers or the limited time of "high profile" speakers. The goal of this endeavor is to make the research, opinions, and teachings of great biologists more widely accessible to any student or researcher who has access to the web. Through NSF support, the project will produce >20 iBioSeminars (each ~90 min) per year and >40 shorter iBioMagazine videos (<15 min) that reach out to students and young scientists (college to postdoc level), providing them with insight into how important scientific discoveries are made, career advice, and discussions of science policy. The project also will provide additional teaching materials that allow educators to incorporate the video seminars into the classroom.