UC MEXUS-CONACYT Doctoral Fellows Symposium 2018

Three generations of Mexican fellows pursuing their doctoral degrees at UC campuses gathered at UC Riverside on February 23, 2018 for the 5th UC Mexus-Conacyt Doctoral Fellows Symposium. Fifty-four students from academic areas as diverse as biomathematics, cell and molecular biology, chemistry, ecology and evolutionary behavior, economics, law, oceanography, mechanical engineering and public health were in attendance, representing 9 of the UC campuses.

Held every three years for students in the latter years of the fellowship program, this symposium provides Mexican doctoral students with a unique opportunity to meet program alumni, peers from other UC campuses as well as accomplished Mexican researchers and distinguished representatives from governmental agencies. This year, the UC Mexus Symposium was particularly important for UC’s collaboration with Conacyt as it played a seminal role in preparation of a larger meeting of Mexican graduate students in the US, to be held in the Mexican Cultural Institute at Washington, DC, on March 14–16 of this year under the auspices of Conacyt and with the collaborative support of UC Mexus.

María Dolores Sánchez, Director of Graduate Programs at Mexico's National Research Council (Conacyt), opened the symposium by reflecting on the current administration’s achievements over the last 5 years. Noting that significant investment has been made in Mexico’s scientific infrastructure and building its human capital, she encouraged students nearing completion of their degrees to register in the Padrón de Jóvenes Investigadores and consider applying for opportunities in Mexico.

In her keynote address, Alicia Castillo, Professor at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, spoke about the linkages between science and society. Through her work along the southern coast of Jalisco, she noted the critical role played by local communities in informing conservation efforts and research. She also underscored the importance of sharing research results with relevant communities to foster continued engagement and environmental stewardship.

Following a networking lunch, program alumni who participated on the "Alumni Panel on Post-Graduate Employment" spoke about their experiences securing employment after completion of the doctoral degree. A panel of 9 former fellows offered very diverse perspectives on working in Europe, Mexico and the United States, both in academia and the private sector. The last panel of the day, "International Research and Scholarship," featured a group of prominent Mexican researchers with strong binational and international ties. They provided valuable advice to young scholars and shared their own personal and academic trajectories. These conversations continued through the reception to the conclusion of the day.

return to Symposium Home