Periodic Reporting for period 1 - PRONKJEWAIL (Protecting patients with enhanced susceptibility to infections)
Reporting period: 2016-09-01 to 2018-08-31
industry will increase the PhD students’ future problem-solving capabilities. Further, PhD students will learn to value mobility through internships at international partner organizations. By providing an excellent scientific working environment PRONKJEWAIL will directly impact on hospital care and, ultimately, it will contribute to enhanced public health. By providing excellent training, PRONKJEWAIL will develop new talent within the next generation of medical researchers thereby strengthening the European Research Area.
All ESR are registered with the Graduate School of Medical Sciences and are undertaking a variety of courses offered there, such as Scientific Integrity and Project Management (https://www.rug.nl/research/gradschool-medical-sciences/phd-programme/courses/).
The tailor-made training programme for Pronkjewail is divided into four training packages (TPs): (1) training-by-research, (2) programme-wide events, (3) transferable skills, and (4) intersectoral training. All ESRs have deeply engaged in their own research which is visible by the scientific output that the ESRs have created by publications and poster and oral presentations at international conferences. Moreover, a diversity of interdisciplinary collaborations have helped the ESRs to develop their scientific output.
16 ESRs were appointed at the UMCG, 13 female and 3 male. The gender distribution of researchers and other workforce involved in the first two years of the Pronkjewail project consists of 25 females and 18 males. In September 2017, a digital survey for the ESRs in the Pronkjewail project was conducted by an independent person to identify factors threatening the balance in work and family life. The discussions revealed no gender issues, nevertheless the attention for sexual harassment, for WLB in general and their opinion about the training is very highly appreciated by the ESRs.
The project is running smoothly and all deliverables are submitted to the Participants Portal in due time. All milestones were reached as planned. All the meetings for the first 24 months were as planned. The recruitment procedure was completed in the first 12 months and there were no delays in the project planning.
International reporting of the scientific results will continuously be supported in Pronkjewail. ESRs report their activities in their Pronkjewail newsletter (first edition June 2018) as well as on social media (Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook). Coordinator and project manager will continue to receive up-to-date information on the planning of the secondments from PIs and ESRs. Training and evaluation will continue to focus on maintaining an optimal work/life balance. Inter-sectoral exposure to industry via training and secondments will increase in the following years of the PhD training. The recently obtained EIT health funding for RECIPE (Research, Entrepreneurship Combining Innovation with PhD Education) will align with Pronkjewail and further expand this exposure in close collaboration with the University of Uppsala (Sweden) and the Uppsala Antibiotic Center. Financial support from our university enables Pronkjewail to provide small rewards for ESRs collaborating in scientific projects. This reward can be used as bench fee or travel money. This reward emphasize the importance of interdisciplinary scientific projects. The next round will be in June 2019. In the coming year the training programme for the ESRs will focus on the serious gaming and media training. Transferable skills training involves project evaluation, planning and phasing, and the scope of the PhD thesis. The media training will be given by the professional journalist Rinke van den Brink, author of the book “Het einde van de antibiotica” (The end of antibiotics). Further, ESRs will master their use of social media and learn how to manage contact with public media (i.e. radio, TV-interviews, press conferences). Recently, an article in the newspaper of the students of the university mentioned that many international students still experience prejudice and discrimination within the institution. We would like therefore to monitor the situation for the PRONKJEWAIL PhD students and are planning to conduct an interview regarding discrimination issues in 2019.