15/09/2019 - Project Meeting

A hygge kick-off for the Chromdesigners in Copenhagen

by ARUN KUMAR SUNDARAMURTHY

It was finally gonna happen! After 6 months of me being called ‘ESR4’, I was looking forward to the Kick-off to understand what it really meant to be an Early Stage Researcher. I was excited to get to know my fellow Chromdesigners, however quite nervous at the same time, wondering if I would fit in. At least to make me feel better, I said to myself, ‘You don’t have to travel anywhere, so KEEP CALM AND JACKET ON’ (pro tip for living in rainy Copenhagen). The ice-breaker moment was on a Sunday evening when I met my peers for a welcome dinner at Spuntino. The Italian food, powered by a bottle of wine, really prepped the mood for the kick-off meeting the next day!

Luciano welcoming the network members and partner organizations.

After a speed dating session in the morning with the whole team, it’s time to talk some science. All the PhD students presented our scientific journey so far along with the current project plans. It was exciting to see how diverse our team was, ranging from people working with mouse embryos to ones dealing with cancer patients, all coming together to contribute to chromatin research from different perspectives. And not to mention, our in-house PhD student on science communication was a feather to the cap! We then got to know the partner organizations with talks from their excellent representatives and their contributions & support to the consortium. Further, the rest of the day was dedicated to discussions on future training events, responsibilities, and goals to meet throughout our training period.From day two on, the scientific part took place. For the next four days, we had breakup sessions on dedicated chromatin-associated topics. Each session comprised talks given by experts in the field followed by journal club presentations by the PhD students. This spurred a good ambience for wonderful scientific discussion with several doses of caffeine in between.

It’s Mike vs. Marc at the Bar – let’s end this now 😀

To wrap up the kick-off with a rather calmer activity, we were trained for our scientific writing skills. Not only all of us were taught about organizing our research outputs for publication; we understood scientific journals’ expectations and the process of getting published. Also, we gave one-minute pitch talks on our project to be understandable for the general public (trust me, that wasn’t easy!).

Beer support from Helin lab members to our network

Honestly, the kick-off really proved to be a ‘knowing your scientific peers’ event. We spent an entire week discussing science, walking in the beautiful streets of Copenhagen, and more importantly, I was convinced that ESR4 wasn’t alone!

Yes, we, of course, felt that almost every day. However…
We recovered with our after-party during the evenings. «Skål» to Chromdesign!

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