Group picture during the ice-breaker event (photo: Louise Delaigue)

We started Monday evening with an informal get-together at a restaurant in Utrecht city center. After dinner, drinks and a pub quiz, most of the ice was broken. The next day, the symposium was officially kicked-off by NIOZ-director Han Dolman. All connected departments from both institutes were presented to give an overview of their expertise and facilities. More in depth research was presented by PhD’s and postdocs during a poster session. Talks on science communication, founding a start-up and a workshop on communication and collaboration were inspirational and gave a different view on the science. The favorite element for many was a speed-dating session, where all participant got to chat with people from different fields.

Speed-dating (photo: Catherine Blanchard)

The symposium already yielded some new collaborations, and one-third of the participants felt inspired to collaborate. In total 85 early career scientists from 10 different departments participated. They were equally distributed over NIOZ, UU and both UU-NIOZ. The real-life interactions, formally and informally, and meeting colleagues in both institutes was highly valued by the participants. On to the next edition!

Workshop collaboration and communication (photo: Catherine Blanchard). Jim van Belzen (NIOZ, EDS) giving a talk about his experiences in science communication (photo: Louise Delaigue).