The Profile of ...

Daniela Happel (née Scholten) – Scientific Project Manager

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NGC hosted a very popular event on Project management on Monday, 26th February. We welcomed Dr Daniela Scholten, the Coordinator of the PostDoc Program and the International Summer School at the Institute of Molecular Biology in Mainz. After completing a PhD in Biology from Marburg, she changed her career path and started working as a Project Manager. She gave us a lot of information about the requirements for becoming a Project Manager in an academic and non-academic environment. In this interview, she shares her interest for science as well as her career tips and personality traits with us.

What got you interested in Science?

Actually, it was the biology lessons at school. Learning about basic genetics and molecular biology got me fascinated and I wanted to learn more.

What do you love about your job?

I love the variety of topics and tasks and working together with many different people. It never gets boring. Also, I am still close to science without having to do the pipetting myself.

What advice would you give to early career researchers/PhD students?

There are so many job possibilities out there. Academic careers are perfect for some but not all. Take your time (and start early) to think about your strengths and what you would like to do after your PhD. Talk to many different people to learn about their careers and the ideal career options for you.

Do you see your position as a long-term one?

I would like to stay in scientific management. There are many options in this field, so let’s see what will happen.

How do you spend your time when you are not at work?

I try to do sports regularly. Moreover, I really like to cook and I enjoy good food, spending time with my friends and travelling (among other things).

Written by Isabelle Arnoux; Edited by Radhika Menon. Picture: courtesy of Daniela Happel. Featured Image: NGC/Design.

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