Talk to your colleagues interested in the subject area to assess
enthusiasm for starting a new group. Be sure to identify people
from other institutes (and possibly other area institutions, such
as USUHS, FDA, EPA, Georgetown, Howard) and talk to them, too.
Get e-mail and surface mail addresses and phone numbers for people
interested in forming a group.
Check the list of existing interest groups to make sure there
isn't one already in your area. Talk to the heads of related groups
to see if a subset of their members have any interest in collaborating
with you on the formation of the new group.
If there seems to be sufficient interest and energy to make a
stab at it, call an organizational meeting. Notify the csarina
of the interest groups (that's me) two or three weeks in advance,
and I will publicize the meeting on the DDIR's Bulletin Board.
You should also contact the Yellow Sheet and maybe the
NIH Record to get the word out.
If energy and participation at the organizational meeting are
high, set a course for your group. Decide who will be the head
or contact point. Decide when and where you will meet and how
you will communicate with group members. Consider establishing
a listserv list. Make arrangements for teleconferencing if there
are folks at NIH facilities in North Carolina, Frederick, or Baltimore
who are interested in participating. Decide what your group will
do at its meetings (journal club? intramural speakers? outside
speakers? networking? postdoc posters?) and whether or not you
will be affiliated with one of the major faculties (Genetics,
Neurobiology, Clinical Research, Molecular Biology, Structural
Biology, Cell Biology, or Immunology). Send all this information
to the csarina, and I will publish it on the DDIR's BB and in
The NIH Catalyst. I'll also add the name of your group's
contact person to my listserv of interest group heads and send
you my boilerplate letter on interest groups. You may want to
discuss creating a web page for your group, proposing a speaker
for the Wednesday Afternoon Lectures, or applying for support
for an outside speaker at an interest group symposium.
luck with your group, and keep in touch.