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Special Sessions

ERC Special Session

European Research Council Special Session – How to apply for your next ERC grant

Wednesday July 10; 09:00–10:00

The European Research Council (ERC) is a funding agency of the European Union that supports excellent ground-breaking research across all fields and aims to push forward the frontiers of knowledge. Funding is available for scientists of any nationality to work in the European Union or in a country associated to the Horizon 2020 Framework Programme. This session will present the funding schemes offered by the ERC (Starting, Consolidator, Advanced and Synergy grants) and details about the evaluation process. It will include practical information on how to draft your next proposal and apply for funding. In addition, Prof. Günter Meister, who has received both a Starting and a Consolidator grant from the ERC, will present his experience as an ERC grantee regarding the application process and the difference that the ERC grants have made to his research and career. The session will include time for Q&As with the audience.

Chair: Maria Siomos, Panel Coordinator of the LS2 Panel (Genetics, ‘Omics’, Bioinformatics and Systems Biology), ERC, Belgium
• Helena Magliarelli – Scientific Officer, ERC, Brussels, Belgium
• Günter Meister – Professor of Biochemistry, University of Regensburg, Germany

FEBS Special Sessions

Alongside the core research-focused scientific program of the FEBS Congress, FEBS committees and working groups are organizing sessions of wide general interest to molecular life scientists – on education, research and career skills, 'science and society', and gender issues. These provide a contrast to the scientific symposia, with opportunities to hear about research-related interests such as teaching in the molecular life sciences, soft skills for researchers, and subjects for debate.

FEBS Special Session on Gender Issues in Science 

Sunday July 7; 16:15–18:15. Chair: Cecilia Arraiano, Portugal

Women and men should have the same opportunities across all science disciplines. Different careers are possible – e.g. academia, industry – but we have always to address gender issues if we want to ensure diversity to support the quality of research and innovation. A culture of collaboration implies the inclusion of both men and women solving problems facing society. The session will present and discuss how we can avoid discrimination and significantly contribute to the progress of science.

• Closing the gap: providing equal opportunities in scientific careers, Isabelle Vernos (Chair, ERC’s Gender Balance Working Group), Spain
• Improving gender balance in science and innovation – key elements of lasting progress, Maren A. Jochimsen (Vice President,  European Platform of Women Scientists EPWS), Germany
Advancing gender equality in the sciences: not a black and white issue, Charise Johnson (500 Women Scientists), UK

FEBS Special Session on Science & Society – Personalised medicine: a future vision 

Tuesday July 9; 16:15–18:15; Organized by the FEBS Science and Society Committee

The advance in the knowledge of the human genome and in the technology that allows it to be sequenced, analyzed and compared, is allowing the beginning of a new era in the study of human diseases. Likewise, it opens new opportunities to develop tailor-made treatments, especially to understand and treat rare diseases, as well as new ethical challenges in the use of biomedical information. 

Chairs: Emmanouil Fragkoulis, Greece; Isabel Varela-Nieto, Spain
• An introduction to personalised medicine, TBC
• Bioethics and personalised medicine, Andrzej Kochanski, Poland
• Precision medicine of rare diseases and the link with common disorders, Francesc Palau, Spain

FEBS/IUBMB Special Sessions on Education 

Session 1 – Creative teaching: Effective learning in life sciences education

Monday July 8; 16:15–18:15; Co-organized by the FEBS and IUBMB Education Committees

How do we go about fostering effective learning in our students through the use of creative teaching methods? How do we bring together student-centred approach, active learning and ideal doses of creative activity? This session will explore the nature and value of creative teaching and propose a number of strategies that life sciences educators should consider if they hope to graduate the future scientists of 21st century society.

Chairs: Luciane Vieira de Mello, UK; Laszlo Dux, Hungary
• Enhancing your classroom teaching by integration of open online courses, Peter de Jong, Netherlands
• Student-activating methods of teaching in life sciences, Michal Nowakowski, Poland
• Undergraduate teaching laboratories the transformative impact of learning technologies, Bill Heslop, UK
Panel discussion and Q&A

Session 2 – Future education now!
Tuesday July 9; 16:15–18:15; Co-organized by the FEBS and IUBMB Education Committees

Internationally recognized educational innovators Eric Mazur and Joan J. Guinovart will be the speakers of this session. Now is the time for FEBS educators to listen to their motivational talks and be inspired.

Chairs: Gul Guner Akdogan, Turkey; Jean-Luc Souciet, France
• Innovating education to educate innovators, Eric Mazur, USA
• Revamping postdoctoral training and education, Joan J. Guinovart, Spain

FEBS Special Session on Research and Career Skills

Wednesday July 10; 16:15–18:15; Organized by the FEBS Working Group on the Careers of Young Scientists and the FEBS Education Committee

This session will provide short talks on a range of skills for scientists beyond the lab bench. Participants will then be able to choose one of the four topics to explore further in practical exercises and discussion.

Chairs: Irene Díaz Moreno and Ferhan Sağın
• How to elaborate a cogent scientific grant application, Miguel A. De la Rosa, Spain
• How to make the best out of your paper, Daniela Ruffell, Spain
 How to write an interesting and insightful review article, Seamus Martin, Ireland
• How to prepare an engaging undergraduate lecture, Francesco Michelangeli, UK
• Small-group exercises and discussion

FEBS Research and Careers Skills Workshop – Networking 

Monday July 8; 18:30–19:30; Organized by the FEBS Network Working Group

Following a popular session at last year’s FEBS Congress, this workshop will look again at the value of networking for scientists and a range of networking approaches for different aims, such as finding a collaborator or seeking a new academic position. Participants will take part in small-group discussions facilitated by FEBS-associated scientists, and one aim will be to generate and share a set of tips to take away and put into practice. The session will end with a short speed networking game. 

FEBS has twin commitments to high-quality publications and the promotion of molecular biosciences. As a charitable academic organization,
FEBS uses income from the journals to fund its diverse activities, including support for the FEBS Congress.