Training opportunities and workshops for stem cell researchers find great appeal

12/18/2020   News

To prepare young scientists for the next steps in their career and leadership tasks, as well as to create awareness for unconscious bias and discrimination in science, the Stem Cell Network NRW has offered various trainings and workshops in the past weeks.


The Stem Cell Network NRW is committed to diversity and wants raise awareness for this issue. On December 9, a workshop entitled “How equal is science? Unconscious discrimination and what to do about it" offered insights into diversity management with a specific focus on the STEM area (e.g. medicine and biology). Through an interesting mix of lectures and interactive modules, the trainer offered an overview of the current state of research on stereotypes, gender bias and unconscious bias in the context of science. Reflection exercises enabled the participants to become aware of the impact unconscious bias has on their professional and/or private life. Personal experiences with diversity and prejudices were discussed in small groups. As a conclusion, participants and trainer jointly developed solutions for reflecting one’s own stereotypical thinking and preventing distorted judgements.

To promote the transfer of basic research into clinical application and convey knowledge that is essential for the translation process, two half-day workshops providing insights into specific GxP areas were offered in December 2020. The main topics were the principles of GxP quality control and their application in non-GxP settings, as well as the documentation of (research) results according to the GMP standard. An introductory workshop on the GMP standard organized by the Stem Cell Network NRW already took place last year.

To prepare young scientists for personnel responsibility, starting an independent research group, and building up a reputation, the Stem Cell Network NRW has set up a leadership training for Postdocs and Group Leaders. As there were far more interested scientists than places available, the participants were selected based on motivation letters. The workshops offered within the framework of the program started in late fall and are led by a professional coach with a long-lasting track record in leadership training. Part I took place in Cologne at the end of October, part II was held as a virtual meeting on December 11. The last part of the training series is scheduled for January.

A total of almost 80 scientists participated in the different activities. In 2021, the Stem Cell Network NRW will continue to organize events for researchers that cover qualification areas not sufficiently or not at all addressed at the universities. Because of the positive feedback and high interest, new editions of the virtual discussion format „Ask the Stem Cell Expert“ and the popular supervision offer are being planned.