2023 Career Transitions Workshop, Part 1: Early Career Panel

Sunday, May 21, 7:30– 8:30 pm, Horizons

Organized by: VSS Student-Postdoc Advisory Committee (SPC)

Organizers: Claudia Damiano, KU Leuven; Stephanie Shields, The University of Texas at Austin; Maruti V Mishra, University of Richmond

Moderator: Claudia Damiano, KU Leuven

Career transitions are both exciting and scary. Some of the uncertainty regarding a new role, however, can be reduced by talking to others who have made similar transitions. This year VSS-SPC and FoVea together present a two-part ‘Career Transitions Workshop’ on navigating these diverse pathways, with Part 1: Early Career Panel and Part 2: Where do I go from here? Round-Table Discussion.

Part 1 will feature a panel discussion on early career transitions, from the undergraduate level up through securing faculty positions and jobs outside of academia. A panel of vision scientists with a variety of chosen career paths will discuss their stories, the transitions they’ve gone through in their careers, and how they made the key decisions that led them to their current jobs. After each panelist gives an overview of their story, audience members will be invited to participate in a question-and-answer session with the panel. The panel will include representatives from both academia and industry, so attendees will hear firsthand perspectives both on navigating academia and on transitioning between academia and industry. Especially given the recent layoffs in industry and the pandemic’s lasting impact on hiring in higher education, we hope the panel will provide useful insights into current trends affecting early career researchers and ideas for how trainees can increase their chances of success in today’s professional landscape.

Following this panel discussion, participants will be invited to attend Part 2 of the Career Transitions Workshop, where they can take part in small group discussions and enjoy light snacks and drinks.

Note: All are welcome to attend both parts of this workshop, to only attend Part 1, or to only attend Part 2.

Call for Applications for Student-Postdoc Advisory Committee

Applications Are Now Open for the VSS Student-Postdoctoral Advisory Committee (SPC)

The Vision Sciences Society (VSS) is seeking applications for two vacancies on its Student-Postdoctoral Advisory Committee (SPC). Successful applicants will join the four continuing members of the current VSS SPC.

Members of the SPC are graduate students and postdoctoral scholars. The SPC works together and with the members of the VSS Board of Directors to make VSS as responsive as possible to the needs of our trainee members and early career researchers. SPC members work as a team, meeting about once per month.

The SPC has designed and led workshops and other conference events dealing with issues of importance to young investigators in the vision sciences. These include transitions to careers, new developments in open science, and inclusivity and accessibility. An SPC member also serves as a member of the VSS committee to promote Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.

Finally, the SPC serves as an advisory body to the VSS Board of Directors. The Board consults the SPC often, especially when developing conference events or considering new society policies that impact young investigators.  The SPC is currently sharing ideas about how to add new and useful resources to the VSS website. SPC members also meet with VSS Board members at the conference and in virtual meetings during the year.

Service on the SPC is a great way to develop a track record of community service to enhance a curriculum vitae and to develop professional skills such as team-building and project design and management. 

VSS seeks a diverse set of applicants for its two open seats on the SPC, so that this committee can continue to represent young investigators at a variety of career stages, who study a variety of topics and who reside in different regions of the globe.  Graduate students, even early in careers, are especially encouraged to apply.

See https://www.visionsciences.org/spc/ for a list of current SPC members. Open Science Workshop and Accessibility in Vision Science are two examples of recent events organized by the SPC. If you have any questions, please send an email to the current SPC at .

Application Procedure

To apply, email the following materials to by March 27, 2023:

In a single PDF file, labeled YOURLASTNAME_SPC2023, include the following:

  1. A one-page personal statement. This statement should summarize your reasons for wanting to serve on the SPC, any prior experience, or any aspects of your background that you feel is relevant to serving on the SPC
  2. List of previous VSS conferences attended
  3. Statement of intention to attend the VSS conference in 2023 and 2024 as a student/postdoc VSS member
  4. Names and contact information of two individuals who could provide letters of support for the nomination
  5. Current CV, including current affiliation and contact information.

Those who applied for an SPC slot last year are encouraged to resubmit this year if you are still a student or postdoctoral VSS member.

Nominations Accepted Starting: February 14, 2023
Nominations Close: March 27, 2023 Extended
NEW SPC members Announced: April 17, 2023

Student-Postdoc Advisory Committee

The Student-Postdoc Advisory Committee (SPC) advises the VSS  board and membership about how events, workshops, meeting structure, and activities can best target the needs of trainee members and attendees. The SPC reaches out to trainees to solicit opinions and ideas. Based upon feedback, the Committee organizes special events.

Each year VSS will solicit nominations for new members of the Student-Postdoc Advisory Committee to replace three members who will be rolling off the Committee. Terms end in May of the year shown.

Doug Addleman (2023) Chair

Dartmouth College

Doug Addleman is a postdoctoral researcher at Dartmouth College, before which he earned his Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of Minnesota. He studies selective attention, focusing on experience-driven attention, attention in multiple modalities, and the effects of vision loss on spatial attention. On the Student-Postdoc Advisory Committee, Doug is committed to advocating for the diverse interests and identities of vision scientists in training.

Claudia Damiano (2024)

KU Leuven

Claudia Damiano is a postdoctoral researcher at KU Leuven in Belgium, working with Johan Wagemans. She completed her PhD in 2019 at the University of Toronto under the supervision of Dirk B. Walther. Broadly, her research investigates how mid-level visual features influence aesthetic preferences and guide visual attention. As a Marie Skłodowska-Curie fellow, her current project investigates the cognitive and emotional benefits of interacting with nature, using virtual reality and eye tracking. As a member of the SPC, Claudia hopes to be an advocate for early career researchers and members of underrepresented groups, and she is committed to making VSS even more open and inclusive than it already is.

Rebecca Hornsey (2024)

York University

After completing her PhD in Psychology at the University of Essex, Rebecca is now a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at York University, in the Centre for Vision Research. Her research interests surround the investigation of visual perception in virtual reality and she is currently researching distance perception within consumer headsets. As part of the committee, and as an early career researcher herself, Rebecca is keen to liaise with other early career researchers and help improve the experience of those in the VSS community. Rebecca is also looking forward to sharing her passion of vision research with a wider network of individuals, and organising exciting, new events.

Maruti Mishra (2024)

University of Richmond

Maruti is currently a Trawick Postdoctoral fellow at the Department of Psychology, University of Richmond, VA, where she investigates neural correlates of face processing mechanisms, and teaches a semester course on ‘Animal Minds’ to undergraduate students. She obtained her PhD in Cognitive Science (2018) from the Centre of Behavioral and Cognitive Sciences, University of Allahabad, India, with a focus on how visual attention influences face perception. She travelled to the USA to pursue her postdoctoral research in developmental prosopagnosia at Harvard Medical School, Boston, and then investigated the role of micro saccades in visual perception at the University of Rochester, NY. In pursuing these interests, she has used a range of methods, including psychophysics, electroencephalography, eye tracking, and diffusion tensor imaging. As a member of the VSS-SPC she is interested in a) enhancing the representation of international women scientists in vision science, b) advocate for mental health issues in academia, and c) find strategies to support scientists during unprecedented situations, especially what we have seen during COVID and now the outcomes of the war.

Takuma Morimoto (2023) Board Liaison

University of Oxford

Takuma Morimoto is currently a postdoctoral fellow at University of Giessen. His research aims to understand mechanisms underpinning stable visual percepts of material properties, such as color and gloss, across vastly different lighting environments. Takuma joined the Student-Postdoc Advisory Committee to help make VSS an even more diverse and inclusive community. He is especially keen to support students and early career researchers with non-traditional pathways to research using his experiences as a first-generation student.

Stephanie Shields (2024) Record Keeper

University of Texas at Austin

Stephanie Shields is a graduate student pursuing a PhD in Neuroscience at The University of Texas at Austin. She is interested in studying how sensory information is processed in neural circuits to support perception, particularly stereoscopic perception. Her dissertation research focuses on the impact of environment-to-retinae geometry on the encoding and perception of 3D orientation. Stephanie is committed to helping support the needs and success of her fellow early career researchers, and she looks forward to doing so as a member of VSS’s SPC.

Vision Sciences Society