The training seminar improves early-stage researchers’ soft skills

Within the SPRINGBOARD project on May 11-12, 2021 the Transferable Skills training seminar for early-stage researchers was organized. The training focused on science communication, the general aspects of intellectual property rights, and the development of skills necessary for the preparation of competitive proposals for the Horizon Europe program.

Due to the current pandemic situation, the training seminar took place online. More than 40 participants attended daily lectures presented by experts in their fields. Among participants, more than 40% were early-stage researchers.

The lecturers from the University of Antwerp covered the main agenda of the seminar.

Prof. Robin De Cock presented how to pitch a project successfully and trained participants to make outstanding presentations.

Dr. Bruno Hoste drew special attention to the impact of the scientific projects and how to communicate, disseminate and exploit results achieved during the project. The plan of the communication, dissemination and result exploitation of the SPRINGBOARD project as a representative example was analyzed.

Dr. Sean McCarthy and Sylvia McCarthy from Hyperion, Ltd. presented a new research program “Horizon Europe” and talked about how to write and what to take into consideration when writing a competitive project proposal. This presentation was very useful for experienced researchers as well since the program “Horizon Europe” which is the European Union’s key funding program for research and innovations has been launched recently.

Dr. Steven Vermeir introduced the listeners to the basics of intellectual property rights. Understanding of intellectual property rights is critical for the stimulation of innovations because it is the key instrument to maintain a competitive advantage in the market.  

Prof. Jurgen Joossens presented the advantages of spin-offs. Generation of spin-offs is a key for element technology innovation which is used by universities not only to transfer technology to society but also to contribute to the development of the regional economy. He shared his personal experience of collaborating with the industry and generating spin-offs.

The main goal of the event was to address the staff career development and to build the capacity of early-stage researchers in the Latvian Institute of Organic Synthesis.