STPP students participate in a range of training and networking opportunities. Read a first-hand account by Ivy Tran:
Innovation in Society at Arizona State University hosts the Winter School, a week-long retreat that gives participants hands-on practice with methods and theories in the field of science, technology and society. These workshops are hosted by renowned SFIS faculty and associates, such as Dave Guston on the topic of Anticipatory Governance and Jan Youtie on the topic of Bibliometric Analysis. For me, the Winter School was a great opportunity to ask questions to top experts and my fellow peers on my topic of interest: the role of regulation for emerging science and technology such as nanotechnology.
At the end of the Winter School, I gave a short presentation on the outline of my research interest. My peers then suggested specific questions and resources such as different articles and frameworks I should consider when moving forward with my research. I truly enjoyed the intellectual diversity during the week-long retreat as many of my peers came from different disciplines across the natural sciences & social sciences and provided different perspectives as a result. Moreover, the faculty and participants were at different stages in their careers, ranging from graduate students and junior faculty to experts in the field. Given this wide range, I was able to learn more about different career options including pursuing a PhD to going straight into work for the federal government on science policy. These conversations have helped determine my next best steps for my career.
I also appreciated the laid-back structure of the Winter School because it focused on fostering camaraderie among my peers and top experts through informal, social interactions. These interactions were important for creating connections that could potentially lead to further collaboration. In fact, during the course of the retreat, I met students who attended the Winter School the previous year and came back to the ranch to collaborate with former faculty. Beyond the workshops and studying, the program provides time to relax and enjoy the wonderful weather and beautiful mountains. Participants have the option to go swimming, hiking, and horseback riding around the mountains in the afternoon. Evenings are filled with time to relax and games with other classmates and faculty. I walked away from this school with lifelong friendships, a new network for collaboration and further knowledge about science, technology and society and how to develop a career in science policy.