2019 – What an NCG Year!
Written by Chiara
The past year has been a year of important changes for NGC and for some of the people involved in it. You might have noticed a shift in the activities organised by NGC through 2019. Funding and the restructuring of our team has led to new opportunities and developments.
NGC began as a venue to meet young researchers in the neurosciences from other labs of Mainz’s campus and foster peer-to-peer exchange. In 2019, we introduced some new opportunities to exchange information with each other, such as the Spring Mixer event, in which we offered a happy hour with different discussion themes. We envisaged this format for social events in order to discuss about less scientific topics, such as life on campus in Mainz or how to get access to mentoring even without joining one of the mentoring programmes available (which, as of today, are still mostly targeting young female researchers). Thanks to Mirjam and Fazi for their work in preparing our events.
In early 2019, we also successfully applied for funding from the Gutenberg Nachwuchs Kolleg (GNK) of Mainz University, which now allows us to organise Career Development Events for Life Scientists. We have already successfully offered two career talks and one workshop, which attracted quite a number of PhD students and postdocs. We are happy to be able to continue offering these events at least until mid-2021, and we are already offering events for January and February of 2020; don’t miss them out! As it happens, all PhDs (should) come to an end. In the past year, plenty of young (once) dreaming graduate students completed their doctoral studies and moved on to the rest of their lives. Amongst these, our own Tanja, Radhika (who graduates on the release date of this editorial) and myself. We did it! Rehearsing our PhD defences helped us to improve our talks and give a top performance on D-day. NGC invites whoever wants to rehearse their defence to join us and schedule a PhD defence rehearsal. Sometimes, the point of view of an outsider can help to make our presentation more accessible to the committee members.
In 2019, some team members left NGC for their careers outside of Mainz, and others joined us to help organising and advertise our events. Thanks to Heiko and Max, who stepped forward and contributed to our success! We are always on the lookout for young researchers who want to engage in our activities. Whether you are a PhD student or a junior postdoc, whether you want to meet new people or gain new qualifications for your CV, get in touch with us. The NGC team will welcome you!
Finding new helping hands is more important than ever, as we transition to 2020. This transition will also mean that I will leave my role at NGC, to allow someone else who still has their feet in the lab to organise meetings and events for you. You will still find me behind the scenes of the Career Talks Series, and I will still write you from this blog (which is spreading its wings and reaching the seven seas) every now and then. I am happy to leave the helm to our sailor, Mirjam, who I am sure will put all her energy into offering you interesting new meetings. Good luck Mirjam!
See you all in 2020 for a new year with a new NGC: new format, new ideas, and new people! Till then, Happy Holidays everone!
Written by Chiara Galante; Edited by Fazi Bekbulat. Featured Image: NGC/Design; Pictures: NGC/Design.