57 students participated during four days in the NMMP Summer School that took place at Sandvik Gård. The summer school was designed for PhD students and Postdocs, where the aim was to learn the most advanced technologies to study transcriptional regulation.
A key feature was the relatively low ratio between participants and teachers/speakers. It allowed each participant to come in close contact with successful scientists and learn how they have developed key technologies to respond to pressing questions in their field.
Photo credit Claudio Cantù
Science by the pool
The course included talks, group discussions and activities. One of the more unconventional, but appreciated activities was the "Non-Poster Session" that took place by the pool. In the evaluation at the end of the event, it was clear that many enjoyed the unusual format: discussing science in an informal setting.
Claudio Cantù and Silvia Remeseiro, the organisers, were very satisfied after the days at Sandvik Gård.
What was the biggest new discovery you learned?
"That students want to expand their knowledge, expertise, learn more technologies and interact with their peers. I have learnt that support, not pushing, is probably the best strategy for a group leader to lead a healthy research group", Claudio explained.
Apart from scientific seminars, what was the best ingredient?
"Places for social cohesion: many indicated the sauna as the best ingredient, referring to the sauna on the lake that we could use at nights. This generated really legendary moments of fun and interactions", said Claudio.
What do you bring with you from the summer school?
"It was important for us to create a relaxed environment to foster scientific discussion, specially since many of the PhD students had even started their PhD in the middle of the Covid pandemic and therefore hadn’t had the chance to attend any scientific event in real life. It is very rewarding to know that they will take really nice memories of the summer school with themselves, and that will accompany them along their careers", said Silvia Remeseiro.
"The enthusiasm from the students. I am energised in seeing how smart they are. They are intrinsically motivated in most of the cases and they are not afraid of asking questions and leading sophisticated discussions when provided with the right environment", said Claudio in conclusion.
The students in the summer school were given the chance to rate their experience after the four days. The overall points were very high regarding the organization, the program, and the venue.
On the question ”Should we ask NMMP for money to run the summer school again?” all the 57 participants answered “yes”.
A perfect way to sum up and end the NMMP Summer School of 2022.
The Summer School is generously funded by the Swedish National Molecular Medicine Fellows Program (NMMP), including the contribution of the Wallenberg Center for molecular Medicine (WCMM), and the SciLifeLab.
Many thanks to all participants. An extra big thank you to Claudio Cantù (WCMM, Linköping University), Silvia Remeseiro (WCMM, Umeå University) and Andreas Moor (ETH, Zürich) for organizing the summer school.