ISGlobal’s seventh PhD symposium was held on September 30 at the PRBB auditorium. Around 70 PhD students from both campuses participated (55 of them were physically present). “Two years have passed since we started organising this event, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but the wait has been worthwhile -we managed to have on-site attendance in addition to online participation,” says the organising committee (Inés Bouzón, Paula de Prado, Lucía Román and Júlia Sangüessa).
One of the novelties of this edition was a round table on the role of women in science communication. “Another innovative feature was that those who did not do oral presentations had the opportunity to explain their research in a creative way: we heard poems, monologues, songs and stories, among other things,” add the organisers.
The welcome words by Denise Naniche, scientific director at ISGlobal, were followed by a keynote lecture on machine learning and its application in the clinics, given by Julia Vogt, assistant professor at ETH Zurich. The rest of the morning was dedicated to oral sessions and videos, while the afternoon was dedicated to “GOTalent” sessions and the round table on gender perspective in science and science communication. The three invitees shared their experience of communicating science and the challenges they faced, as well as some tips. “Your research work is not finished until it has been communicated,” said Agata Baixan, while Gemma Marfany and Carmen Agustín-Pavón highlighted the importance of storytelling and enjoying it. The evaluation criteria in academia, as well as the need to promote a collaborative science and promote the recognition of women in science and science communication were discussed.
Antoni Plasència, ISGlobal general director, closed the day pointing out that the PhD years are not always easy, but they are underpinned by the uniqueness of the “global health state of mind”, which aims at improving the well-being of millions of people, particularly the most vulnerable.
At the end of the day, the following prizes were awarded:
- Oral presentations: 1st prize, Florence Gignac; 2nd prize, Daniel Camprubí; 3rd prize, Paula de Prado.
- Video: 1st prize, Anna Palomar.
- GOTalent: Robert Mitchell, Rebeca Santano, Evelise Pereira, Laura Balaguè, Inés Bouzón.
And a postdoctoral symposium
On September 29, the second postdoctoral symposium was held, under the theme “Failing your way to success”, with the aim of providing advice on how to identify and prepare funding opportunities and how to turn rejections into learning opportunities for future success.
The preaward team at ISGlobal provided an overview of the national and international postdoc funding landscape and gave valuable tips on how to make an application stand out from others. Techniques from improvisation theatre were used to show how to handle failures and application rejections. The main messages of the day’s talks were: plan with time and establish a funding strategy, prepare well for the interviews, adapt your application to the funding institution, share your rejections with your peers and learn from them; be brave: rejection is better than regret.
The organising committee, composed by Sarah Koch, Bruno Carvalho and Nuria Casas, underlined the “highly valuable content and the direct impact on our careers”, as well as the collaborative atmosphere among the 32 participants as well as with the preaward team.