Read this blog in:
Let’s relive the memories of ViBrANT (2018 to 2021)
Since the day I entered the world of ViBrANT, my way of seeing science has become more realistic and practical. During this project I got to know different aspects of my research field as well as other related topics. ViBrANT organized several training courses and workshops during our project time. These trainings broadened our field of knowledge and experience of teamwork with an international team from different research areas with a common goal at the end of the day. This colorful experience improved my academic and networking skills. Today I will share the memories of ViBrANT events.
ViBrANT kickoff meeting in Frankfurt, Germany
This was the first event where we all ViBrANT members met in September 2018. However, some of us, including myself, could not be physically present at the meeting. This was the first time I met such an incredible multidisciplinary team. During this week-long orientation program, we were taught by professional experts in the respective fields how to read literature efficiently and write effective blog posts to spread our research work. In addition, we faced the challenges of organizing a results-oriented research project, maintaining novelty and quality in research papers while maintaining scientific integrity and ethics, and also overcoming our fears and insecurities while engaging in meetings and presentations.
Summer School, LEEDS and FEMS-2019, Scotland, UK
I was so excited to finally meet all ViBrANT members after our last virtual meetup. This was a real school-like experience where you get to school on time every day and learn something new and then wait for a test to assess your attentiveness in the class. These days of summer school in the UK were full of opportunities and learning something unconventional. Being realistic about research, we have been guided to implement our insights or scientific ideas to create a startup company. This workshop really fascinated me to think beyond subjective knowledge and set foot in the world of science as an entrepreneur.
As a researcher, effective writing of research articles and generating PowerPoint presentations is an inevitable part of our PhD project. During this summer school we held a very informative and practical session to improve our manuscript writing and presentation skills. I found this session useful for me as I learned how to manage time and nervousness during a presentation. Also, being an interactive speaker and maintaining constant eye contact with the audience as a whole, not just a select few, was the message I took away from the workshop.
Although I’m not the one who works with structural biology, there was a very interesting session on different structural biology techniques during the summer workshop. I have subjective knowledge of some techniques like NMR and X-ray crystallography, but the actual application of these techniques has really intrigued me. We got the opportunity to study the implementation of these techniques in the labs.
Apart from the trainings and workshops, we had a lot of fun together as a team. We enjoyed team lunches or dinners with ViBrANT supervisors. We also had some extracurricular activities like jazz lessons and tracking to freshen up our summer school schedule. On the weekends we as the ESRs team were able to organize our own fun. We visited some places like Yorkshire and London.
After the summer school we attended a conference: FEMS-2019 in Scotland and presented our work. Attending conferences is not just for presenting or learning, it is also an opportunity to expand our network. I found Scotland very striking.
Virtual workshops during the Corona pandemic
The corona pandemic made it difficult to attend meetings and workshops, so the rest of the workshops were organized virtually. This included the latest developments in mass spectrometry and proteomics, training in building lab-on-chip devices for diagnostic use, translating academic work into commercial products, career planning and intellectual property rights, and a lively symposium session organized by some of our ESRs as part of the World Microbial Forum 2021
As part of our training, a committee of ESRs was formed to organize a small (100 people) interdisciplinary conference (July 2021) on host-pathogen adhesion. This conference gave us a platform to disseminate our results to other academic/industrial audiences, thus expanding our networks.
Last meeting in Frankfurt, Germany
The project is over and this time Corona couldn’t stop us from at least meeting in person to discuss our feedback on the project and our future plans. Interestingly, some of us have already completed the projects and started a new job with a new goal and new people.
An international training network such as ViBrANT not only offers you a very large platform to gain a wide range of knowledge at a glance, but also includes several tasks and disciplines. My personal experience with ViBrANT has been very good in terms of my research work, networking, interaction with teammates, supervisors as well as others associated with ViBrANT. Admittedly, there were also some ditches as with everything new set out on the growth path, but in the end, looking back, each ditch was there to assert itself.
Good luck everyone for your subtle present and excitingly bright future!