Training and Career Development Activities
The combinations of skills in quantitative methods, modelling, epigenomics and epigenetics, as well as data management will be particularly sought after in academic research, industry, higher education, teaching and public engagement and education job sectors. To prepare young scientists for these challenges of the future, the network has provided a large training scheme in epigenetics and systems approaches for undergraduates, PhD students and postdoctoral researchers, which has advanced the mobility of wet to dry as well as dry to wet research, and their reciprocal integration. Around 850 participants benefited from the training events organized by EpiGeneSys, among them ten workshops, eight science courses, two summer schools, 4 rounds of open calls for collaborative projects joining epigenetics and systems biology and 600 days of lab exchanges. The majority of these training events focused on generating a sound knowledge base for furthering our understanding of epigenetic phenomena using the approach, tools and technologies of systems biology. There were also opportunities for training in data base management, quality control, and technology development. This comprehensive programme has ensured a lasting effect on how a future generation of scientists will address new research questions.
Junior researchers' meeting in Strasbourg in June 2012
The RISE1 scheme, which integrated 20 junior group leaders in the network, has developed a strong effect through its varied approach: it supported the young PIs during the crucial first years of an independent research career through providing networking opportunities, peer-coaching, the possibility to form new collaborations with colleagues (which would otherwise not have happened), enhanced visibility and exposure and the chance to validate scientific ideas with leaders in the field. Several of the RISE scientists have since been appointed to senior group leader positions in leading European Institutes. The RISE1 programme provided training opportunities, not just through the training activities of the network, but also a tailored workshop on how to meet the challenges of being the leader of a team. It aided the integration of epigenetics and systems biology through the fact the successful candidate had to propose a project that combined both disciplines, which firmly established the young group leaders at the core of the network and placed their projects at the forefront of the scientific goals of the project.