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Affiliated Regional Groups & Collaborations

The student council seeks ties with local organisations related to Computational Biology, in order to exchange information about events and opportunities for students.

Call for Collaboration

It is being recognised that to become a world leading scientist, having a good record of publications is just not enough. Increasingly, having a network of contacts is playing a major role in the process of developing a successful scientific career. One consequence of this is the proliferation of scientific societies, representing a meeting point for ambitious young scientists, looking for a broader network of contacts and opportunities.

The ISCB Student Council is the student organisation of the International Society for Computational Biology. ISCB is the major global organisation for computational biologists which for example organises the largest conference in computational biology, ISMB, on a yearly basis.

The Student Council has been created in 2004, to organise events for students and young researchers. It also represents the students voice on the board of directors for ISCB. Some highlights of previous events include talks on "How to write a paper", "A career in Bioinformatics" and discussion sessions with senior scientists on ISMB 2005. The Student Council organised the first International Student Symposium in Computational Biology, on ECCB 2005. We also organise events which encourages interactions between students and future employers (see

We have noticed that students are especially keen to organise events at a local level. In order to create more such opportunities the Student Council is currently setting up a framework to encourage interactions between students, companies and academia. We can aid the organisation of regional events by providing information, advertisement, reviewers, and contacts with senior academics and businesses.

The student council also seeks ties with related organisations, in order to exchange information about events and opportunities for students. We have a regular newsletter to inform our members of current events, representation on the major conferences in Computational biology (ISMB, ECCB,RECOMB) and a website ( to inform students.

In the longer run we also seek to combine efforts on matching students with employers and organisation of conferences. Sharing expertise on web technology, teleconferencing and business relations could also prove to be a valuable for both parties. To start, we would like to increase awareness of each others organisations, events and opportunities for students through means of representation on conferences, advertisement in new letters and links on websites.

Constitution of Regional Student Group (RSG)

Regional Student Groups will have several positions of leadership. Initially we propose to have a President and a Secretary:

  • The President is expected to provide the vision, execute plans and supervise the outcome of the activities of the RSG, through a variety of roles:
    • Act as executive head of the RSG and preside over its meetings.
    • Supervise the accountability of the RSG for achievable goals, results and finances, which will be reported quarterly to the Student Council (SC) and the SC will provide a comprehensive RSG report annually to the ISCB Board of Directors.
    • Promote the scientific development of the young researchers belonging to RSG, in the field of computational biology.
    • Facilitate training opportunities for young scientists in the area.
    • Help disseminate resources and information related to the region.
    • Nurture a network of local contacts with businesses, academics and local government that have an active interest in computational biology research.
  • The Secretary will complement the leadership role of the President. His/her duties will include (but not limited to) the following:
    • Accountable for maintaining all records of minutes of meetings and all other activities of the RSG.
    • Accountable for RSG finances and reports that are submitted to SC and ISCB-BOD.
    • Prepare Annual Report of Activities and Finances to the SC to satisfy SC reporting requirements to the ISCB-BOD.
    • Keep track of contacts (addresses, phone and emails) within the local network.
    • Keep track of web resources and maintain up-to-date information on their web pages.
    • Ensure prompt communication between the RSG, SC (and ISCB when necessary).
  • Tasks can be delegated to members and additional leadership positions may be created for the RSG, when the need arises.
  • The leadership of RSG will be expected to become members of an ISCB-SC ( Still under consideration). A minimum of 2 ISCB members in good standing are required to create a Regional Student Group. The RSG needs to pay an initial non-refundable amount of US $25 to ISCB-SC. This amount is non-refundable and can be waived if:
  • The RSG has over 5 ISCB members, who are in good standing.
  • The RSG is located in a medium or low income country (
  • Each RSG will have at least one Faculty Sponsor, which has to be an ISCB member in good standing.

There will be an initial trial period of 1 year for new groups. The trial period is suggested as a way to ensure that the group continues to be viable. This period would be judged with respect to a minimum performance standard, operating within the set terms and regulations. Money paid however, is not refundable, as stated in point 5. The SC Regional Student Group Subcommittee (see Student Council Terms) would make recommendations to the Faculty Sponsor on whether the RSG should be allowed to continue to operate. The RSG would be able to operate only with the continued support of the Faculty Sponsor.

  • The members of the proposed RSG should submit a one-page proposal describing the benefits that the new RSG will bring its regional students. This proposal should include an action plan for one year, for a period starting from the date of the current ISMB. This proposal will be assessed by the SC Regional Student Group Subcommittee (SC-RGS).

Expectations of support from ISCB-SC to the newly setup RSG:

  • A representative position in the SC leadership board.
  • Access to SC web space within the SC infrastructure.
  • A platform to facilitate practicing newly acquired organizational and soft skills in an environment that motivates and challenges people to get to their next desired level of scientific accomplishment. This includes:
    • A start-up kit which contains guidelines for formation and conductance of RSG. This package shall include application procedures, budgeting guidelines and other rules of conduct.
    • Sharing of protocols and expertise for hosting events ("ISCB Student Council Regional Meeting", etc.).
    • Access to the existing database containing contact information for companies of interest.
    • Support for holding local events, through marketing and “know how”.
    • Acknowledgement of the RSG on ISCB and ISCB-SC web sites.

Interested Groups who are racing to be first to set up an RSG in their area of interest are:

  • Rocky Mountain area – USA
  • Singapore
  • Research Triangle, NC
  • Fortaleza, Brazil
  • London, Oxford, Cambridge
  • Montgomery County Area, Washington DC (BioMeet)
  • Canadian Bioinformatics Group
  • JSBi (The Japanese Society for Bioinformatics )

Appendix A

Some of the relevant resources developed by the Student Council in recent times are as follows:

ISCB Student Council recent Activities

  • 2nd ISCB Student Council Symposium (SCS2) at ISMB 2006, Fortaleza, Brazil. featuring keynote lectures, oral presentations and a poster session, awards, Surveys, Social Events for under-graduate, graduate students and Post- docs. It provided a unique opportunity to meet fellow students and researchers for networking and exchange of ideas. PLoS has agreed to post two of the best presentations to submit for their PLoS track of ISMB. SCS3 is being planned for next year in Vienna. BMC Bioinformatics was very pleased with the response in SCS2 and has doubled its sponsorship award for next year.
  • BioSysBio 2007, Manchester, UK is the next major event and will gather some of the world leading authorities in Systems Biology and the nascent field of Synthetic Biology.
  • Biomeet initiative
    • As part of the biomeet initiative, BioMeet, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, USA was successfully carried out to bring the members of both universities and industry together for network and scientific discovery.
    • Biomeets are optimal for conveying Bioinformatic aims to business, academic, and governmental institutions and having collaboration between academia and industry. The aim is to "think globally, acting locally".
  • After the success of SCS2, ISCB-SC had been invited to conduct a Poster session in InCoB, India, Dec. 2006
  • For more information on our activities present and future please refer to ,