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VUB PhD Research Day 2013 - An affair to remember!

On Friday May 31st, 2013 the 2nd edition of the VUB PhD Research Day took place. This tri-annual event offers our PhD researchers the opportunity to meet and to present their project to the entire VUB community. We are glad to announce that the event was even more successful than the first edition in 2010!

This time the VUB PhD Research Day was themed ‘Open Science’. A hot topic, or so it seems when we look at the many initiatives taken by various governments including the European Union. Don't be mistaken: science is becoming more and more a network affair. Numerous scientists join forces in the context of their research, beyond the boundaries of their institutions or even continents to get faster and better results. Open science is thus an efficient way to share knowledge, findings and insights.

The opening speech was delivered by our rector Paul De Knop who proudly announced that the number of awarded PhD degrees at the VUB has almost doubled in the past decade, going from 101 in 2002 to 185 last year. He therefore deservedly stated, “After all, without the doctorates, without you, there is no science, no knowledge, and no university.”

Our panel discussion on Open Science was initiated with video messages of European Commissioner for Digital Agenda, Mrs. Neelie Kroes and Wikipedia co-founder Mr. Jimmy Wales. Moderated by Mrs. Inge Van Nieuwerburgh a fascinating talk on Open Access took place with policy-makers, experts and scientists. We remember that the issue of accessibility of research results and research data will increasingly gather importance in the scientific debated of the 21st digital century.

In the afternoon the focus returned to our own junior researchers. A multi-disciplinary poster session exhibited over 135 scientific posters and all 8 faculties organised their own presentation sessions. We still have some Book of Abstracts for those interested, to be picked up at the Central PhD Office.

5 of our doctoral researchers received an award for their poster:

  • Laura Van Den Borre “The Impact of Asbestos on Mortality in Belgium” - Doctoral School of Human Sciences
  • Johan Viaene “Identification, discrimination and classification of Curcuma samples using chromatographic fingerprints” – Doctoral School of Life Sciences and Medicine
  • Christina Makarona “Follow that sherd! Tracking pottery exchange paths in Prehistoric Cyprus using Geochemistry” – Doctoral School of Natural Sciences and (bioscience) Engineering (WE)
  • Alexander Lutz “Self-healing coatings and their electrochemical analysis” - Doctoral School of Natural Sciences and (bioscience) Engineering (IR)
  • Kevin Van der Jeught “mRNA encoding a fusokine consisting of IFN-β and the ectodomain of the TGF-βII receptor has anti-cancer activity', vakgroep FYSP - promotor Karine Breckpot, faculteit GF” – Public’s Choice Award

Next to all this, another event took place. The kick-off of FLAMES, the Flanders Training Network for Methodology and Statistics. An inter-university initiative launched to support young researchers in pursuit of smooth, first class empirical research with evidence based conclusions.

In short, the VUB PhD Research Day was a success! We hope to see you all again for the 3rd edition in 2016, in the mean time you can revisit the event below!