Farewell to IOS Program Director and IOS Blog Member Paulyn Cartwright

IOS is sad to announce the farewell of Paulyn Cartwright, a Program Director for the Developmental Systems Program. Paulyn has left a strong mark on the IOS community through her enthusiastic, go-getter attitude. She has worked with other Program Directors to navigate and manage multiple Developmental Systems panels. As a faculty member of the University of Kansas, Paulyn will return to help encourage and brighten young minds in the name of science. The IOS Blog Group will not be the same without Paulyn’s assistance. Below are some final thoughts Paulyn had to say about her time here at the National Science Foundation.

  • What was your favorite thing about working with the IOS blog group?

The best part was to be able to work with a great group of colleagues at IOS. It provided me the opportunity to get to know members of the IOS staff a bit better. It was a lot of fun to brainstorm about blog topics. I also enjoyed the opportunity to write collaboratively with my IOS colleagues. As a rotator it was a great experience because it motivated me to pay attention to what is new at NSF and think about what would be important to highlight for our IOS community of researchers.

  • What experience did you love the most as a rotating Program Director?

I loved getting the opportunity to interact with PIs in my community of developmental biologists. I especially enjoyed talking with young investigators and answering their questions about the proposal submission process, which can seem daunting for those just starting out. Panels were also a great way to get to know researchers in my community. I am looking forward to the time when scientific conferences can resume in-person and I can reconnect with these scientists as a fellow researcher.

  • Any advice for those that would like to be a future rotating Program Director?

Just do it! Before I started, I was concerned about leaving my lab and worried my research would suffer. However, because NSF allows time for research, I was able to maintain a close connection with my graduate students and collaborators while serving as a rotator. In addition, one silver lining of the pandemic is that we all learned that remote work can be highly effective and thus balancing NSF responsibilities with your research can and does work! Being a rotator was an invaluable experience for me to learn more about NSF and be able to work as a team with a wonderful group of people all dedicated to a common goal of advancing science.

Photo Reference: https://eeb.ku.edu/paulyn-cartwright