Alliance4Life Skills Academy

29 April 2022, University of Tartu and ONLINE! REGISTER HERE!

Researchers and research managers need to master a broad portfolio of soft and transferable skills in order to reach their goals within the complex research environment. All technical skills and other hard skills might come short if one doesn´t combine them with a set of soft skills that are crucial to reach one´s full potential and to make a difference in a highly complex environment of a university or a research institution. The upcoming four courses of the Alliance4Life´s Academy will focus on the development of research training skills, communication skills, leadership skills, and intellectual property management.

The online courses are open also to wider scientific community!

Research Training Using Virtual Reality (online)

Damjana Kastelic and Jonas Krebs from the CRG Barcelona will introduce the future of research training using virtual reality. Virtual reality (VR) is one of the next big technological waves with innumerable applications in virtually every professional discipline. It will allow completely new ways of remote collaborations in far more engaging ways with far more possibilities than traditional video conferencing and online collaboration tools allow. VR therefore bears an unprecedented potential to reduce travel and production costs and thus contribute to a more sustainable way of working in the future. The trainers will shed light on novel virtual tools that allow more immersive interactions between participants in networking, communication, research and training than traditional platforms. The focus will be set on virtually reality (VR) assisted tools that also allow the integration of VR headsets. This session will take place online and is open wider scientific community, including non-member institutions of Alliance4Life.

Damjana Kastelic obtained her PhD in Life Sciences jointly from the University of Paris XI and University of Ljubljana followed by several years of post-doctoral experience in protein engineering and biotechnology in UK and Germany. She has an extensive scientific training experience and currently leads the scientific training and academic office at the Centre for Genomic Regulation in Barcelona.

Jonas Krebs obtained his PhD in Biochemistry from the University of Potsdam, Germany, followed by 7-year work experience in professional networking, project development and research management. He developed special expertise in European research funding, amongst other through an internship at the European Parliament and the "Certificate EU-liaison officer“ from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research.

Science Communication (on site)

Ester Jarour from CEITEC Masaryk University will deliver an interactive practical workshop on science communication and how to effectively present research results. Giving scientific presentations is an important part of sharing researchers work and achieving recognition in the larger scientific communities. The ability to do so effectively can greatly contribute to career success, regardless if PhD students choose to pursue academic career or join the industry. However, instead of engaging audiences and conveying enthusiasm, many presentations include pitfalls such as overly complicated content, monotone delivery and focusing on what speaker want to say instead of satisfying the needs of the audience. The goal of this course is to teach early-stage researchers and research administrators how to prepare effective presentations that would appeal to a wide range of audiences. This workshop will take place at the University of Tartu is limited to 12 participants from the Alliance4Life member institutes.

Ester Jarour is communications lead at CEITEC Masaryk University. She has a proven track record of improving the overall visibility of CEITEC research results, as well as in engaging researchers in science communication activities. She developed by students well-rated science communication course that teaches students how to deliver engaging scientific presentations to various audiences. Ester studied International Management at the Zurich University of Applied Science in Switzerland. She enjoys helping others to achieve their professional goals.

Leadership and Coaching in Science (on site)

Damjana Kastelic from CRG Barcelona will introduce the very important concept of leadership and couching in science. Scientific careers are very complex, demanding, uncertain, and often accompanied by many rejections. At times, it can be challenging for research group leaders to maintain excellent scientific performance in such a complex environment, and to master interpersonal dynamics in their research teams. Coaching is one of the most powerful techniques by blending active listening, asking open ended questions, setting SMART goals, and emotional intelligence by being fully present and focused. Trainer will introduce concrete coaching tools and practices, that participants can apply in their research groups to improve interpersonal communication and to establish greater emotional safety for their lab members. Because only a safe environment, where new ideas and constructive feedback are supported, can foster innovation and growth. This workshop will take place at University of Tartu and is limited to 16 participants from the Alliance4Life member institutions.

Damjana Kastelic has run a successful independent training business, trained scientists at a global consultancy for world-class science institutes and universities. Damjana has demonstrated flair & expertise in designing and delivering highly interactive learning experiences. She has a unique combination of extensive scientific training and experience, linked with expertise as a coach and personal development facilitator. She currently leads the training and academic office at the Centre for Genomic Regulation (CRG) in Barcelona, Spain.

Intellectual Property Management (online)

Simona Rataj from the University of Ljubljana and her colleagues Katarina Šimunović and Nikolai Adamovitch will deliver an online lecture about intellectual property management and how to bring scientific inventions from the laboratory to the market. Protection and exploitation of the intellectual property developed by researchers is as important as publishing of scientific articles. But is has to be done properly and in the right order to keep as many options open as possible. The speakers will share with the audience how to identify and protect intellectual property, how to find partners for further development of the invention and what are the pitfalls of collaboration with the industry.

Simona Rataj is Head of Department for Strategic Marketing of IPR University of Ljubljana. Simona is an important part of the team that connects research and business communities and encourages cooperation. Katarina Šimunović is a researcher from Biotechnical faculty at the University of Ljubljana and Nikolai Adamovitch is a visionary founder of the Commercialization Reactor and an experienced business angel and entrepreneur.

Deadline for registration: 10th April 2022

Programme for DOWNLOAD (PDF)