Selection Committee, Markey Trustees, and invited guests. Initially, all Scholars and Visiting Fellows presented posters, but as the number attending the conference increased, posters were presented by a sample of Scholars and Fellows with the rest submitting abstracts. Conferences featured keynote presentations by established biomedical researchers. Some conferences were themed: the 1995 Scholar’s Conference, for example, presented a symposium on clinical research in molecular medicine.
Scholars reported that the conference was an important opportunity to network, not only with other Scholars, but also with the members of the Scholar Selection Committee and with the invited guests. In addition, the Selection Committee members used the conference as an opportunity to meet with Scholars and mentor them. The Scholars volunteered that they welcomed and valued guidance from the Selection Committee members. Scholars, who had relinquished their Scholar award, either because they left academic research for the biotechnology industry or accepted a HHMI investigatorship, were not invited to attend the subsequent Scholars’ Conferences. When interviewed, these Scholars stated that the thing that they regretted most was not being able to attend the Scholars’ Conference.