2021 - What an NGC Year!
Written by Chiara
We are reaching the end of 2021 and the NGC Team is getting ready for some well-deserved rest. While we warm up the Glühwein and think about the Christmas presents, we need to thank a few people for making this year’s NGC events possible.
The beginning of the year saw the end of our two years of funding from the Gutenberg Nachwuchs Kolleg (GNK) for the Career Events for Life Scientists. To conclude the series of career events sponsored by Mainz University, we went back to the basics of job hunting and offered one of the most useful career development workshops a young researcher could need: “How to apply and interview for non-academic jobs”.
Funding from the GNK has been a great benefit for NGC, allowing us to invite speakers and organise courses that could be attended for free by all PhD students and postdocs in Mainz and in the Rhein-Main area. We, and also surely the many young researchers who benefitted from our events are very grateful for this funding. They got to familiarise themselves with various non-academic careers, received tips for transitioning into industry from the speakers, and gained valuable tools for their next career steps at our workshops. We also built a strong relationship with the IPP PhD Network’s student representatives, who co-organised the event with us, and got to know them better. We were so happy with our collaboration, that after the end of the funding period we decided to continue organising online career talks together…and we are ready for the next year!
Besides the Career Events Series, this year we developed a new NGC Scientific Seminar Series, in which everyone feels more confident to ask questions thanks to a friendly and informal setting. This year we organised three successful mini-workshops, starting first with “A beginner’s guide to coding”. Our NGC IT guru Heiko Endle guided the first steps of beginners into the world of coding. Thanks to the very good practical training, participants were able to make small changes to existing codes on their own. In the second round of our mini-workshops, another NGC member, Beate Knauer, took the stage and hosted “Electrophysiology for Non-Electrophysiologists”. Participants learned the basic principles of electrophysiological activity and various recording techniques. This seminar included lessons on the basics of in vitro and in vivo recordings, proxies for e-phys activity and their measurement, and a final lesson on data analysis. Finally, Ute Distler from the Mass Spectrometry Core Facility of Proteomics at the University Medical Center Mainz hosted “A Beginner’s Guide to Mass Spectrometry-based Proteomics”. Ute gave a basic introduction on the very interesting topic of mass spectrometry-based proteomics, including sample preparation, application, and data interpretation. Participants had the opportunity to discuss their own previously generated mass-spec data and received help in interpreting them.
We thank the 2021 speakers for these great seminars and we are already preparing the next year’s programme!
As the PhD comes to an end for everyone, we had a defence rehearsal to help someone get ready for the D-day. This rehearsal has been very special to NGC, because it was Margaryta’s, who has been our Designer and photographer since the very beginning of the NGC adventure. Seeing her completing the PhD has been great, and we are very happy for her brand-new Light Sheet Microscopy Facility, which she has passionately built in the past two years and that she is now managing.
“Let the new come”, one could say, as our original members are getting close to the end of their PhD or are already looking forward to their post-PhD lives. We are very happy to have welcomed the new members and we look forward to welcoming more young researchers to our team.
Contrary to the hopes of many, the pandemic has not left us and we are still living with it. For some, 2021 has been even harder than 2020. For others, having the opportunity of getting vaccinated made things easier and helped them feel safer. NGC has continued to persevere and even managed to grow as it has never done before. We welcomed four new members, who are bringing their excitement and ideas to the team. “Let the new come”, one could say, as our original members are getting close to the end of their PhD or are already looking forward to their post-PhD lives. We are very happy to have welcomed the new members and we look forward to welcoming more young researchers to our team.
For the coming year, we hope for the opportunity of organising something in person again. We would also love to have new young NGC members who can bring forward our mission of having events for young researchers organised by young researchers, thus also fostering the interinstitutional exchange which is sometimes limited to direct scientific collaborators.
Don’t miss out on your shot and see you all in 2022!
Written by Chiara Galante & Mirjam Ax; Edited by John JJ Fung. Featured Image: NGC/Design.