Hear from Arvin Tahami, the newest member of the MCB Division.
What is your educational background?
I have a masters degree in Biotechnology from California State University, San Marcos.
What is your position? When did you start working in MCB?
I started two weeks ago as a Presidential Management Fellow. I work as a Biologist in MCB.
The Presidential Management Fellowship program is led by the Office of Personnel Management to recruit recent graduates from graduate programs into federal service. Recently OPM has added an additional STEM track designed specifically for recent graduates with a background in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. My appointment is in the PMF STEM track.
What attracted you to work for NSF?
Scientists working on important projects to advance our basic understanding of science rely on funding from organizations like the NSF to carry out their work. My role at the NSF allows me the unique privilege to play a part in making sure that our nation’s top scientists, working on worthy projects with the potential to have the highest impact, can apply to the NSF for the funding they need.
What have you learned in the first two weeks of your position?
I am very excited to be a part of MCB. Everybody here is very passionate about our mission. So far I’ve enjoyed the opportunity to observe a couple proposal panel reviews. It has been very fascinating watching scientists debate the merits of each proposal being reviewed. Peer review is central to the advancement of science. Using this process to evaluate funding proposals is very fitting with the foundation’s mission. I’ve learned a great deal about how review panels evaluate proposals by watching them in action.