Last week the 23rd edition of the RIMLS PhD retreat was held at the Conference Centre Koningshof at Veldhoven. This event organized by and for PhD candidates of the RIMLS institute was a great success, exemplified by the enthusiasm of all attendees and the professional organization by the responsible PhD committee.
Almost 200 participants, including 6 PhD candidates from our collegial Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB) in Barcelona presented their results, debated about political issues, and spent some time on social activities such as a pub quiz and a party.
All 50 last year PhD candidates presented their results in an oral presentation, while all other participants shared their results or research plans during a poster presentation. A jury consisting of Natalia Revelo Nuncira, Christian Büll, Dov Ballak and Bert van der Reijden, evaluated all presentations. Their anonymous opinion was that the overall quality of all presentations and especially the oral presentations was remarkably high. All presenters can be genuinely proud of their achievements.
The keynote speaker of this year was Ron Heeren. He gave an inspiring lecture about translational molecular imaging towards personalized medicine. By showing his slides, he presented a view of the not-to-distant future, and how these state-of-the-art techniques can be applied by researchers and physicians.
Different than other years there was a debate workshop. Here, all PhD candidates learned about different styles and techniques of debating, that proved to be useful at the last session of the retreat: grand debate on policy in science. Unfortunately, two members of the House of Representatives (Tweede Kamer) of two different political parties were last-minute unable to join the discussion. Nevertheless, Jos van der Meer, John Schalken and René Bindels held a lively debate with the audience about the next statements: (1) policy and society should have no influence in determining topics worth researching, (2) positive discrimination for women in sciences is not needed anymore, (3) public academic institutes should be able to freely use patented materials for their research purposes, (4) grant applications should be done anonymously. It was a pleasure to see the audience interacting vividly about the statements.
The RIMLS management team would like to thank the participants, the jury members, workshop leader, keynote speaker, and the debaters. Above all, we would like to thank the organizing committee: Jasper van Beek, Estel Collado Camps, Benjamin Harich, Sónia de Lacerda Schickert, Svenja Mennens, Daan Panneman, Bas van der Schoot and Caroline Sieverink.
We hope to welcome you next year at the PhD retreat 2018!
Winner of the best poster presentation:
Christopher Geven (theme Infectious diseases & global health)
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