AR&D Retreat 2019

Hakuna Matata, what a wonderful Retreat!

On October 31st and November 1st the first Amsterdam Reproduction and Development Retreat was held in the Heerlickheijd in Ermelo. 65 participants travelled to the deep forest to find a hidden jungle full of scientific knowledge. The majority of participants representing the Circle of Life were PhD students, but also post-docs and PIs joined during the Retreat. Everyone shared their work during the plenary and/or parallel pitch sessions and the PIs were there for the rare moments nobody had questions.

The best pitches of every session were asked to pitch again for the price. Nienke van Welie and Miriam Zagers were eventually voted best by the PIs (Nienke van Welie) and public (Miriam Zagers). One of the two prices never left the Heerlickheijd, it’s up to you to guess which one.

The key note lectures of Thursday were given by Wessel Ganzevoort and Pim Teunissen. Everyone had heard from the STRIDER study and was curious to hear the story behind the media attention. It was very inspirational to hear how well thought through the study was set up and how this could still result in serious adverse events. On top of that, we were given a great example of how to deal with a study that needs to be stopped before the final inclusion.

Pim Teunissen was the second key note speaker on stage. He talked us through his scientific career and difficulty when you encounter scientific fraud and fabrication of data by research partners. What does it do to you when the content of papers are being questioned and you have to ask yourself: who can you trust in science? His talk about the importance of scientific integrity was moving and informative, providing the audience with tips to help prevent such a situation in future science.

Wessel Ganzevoort

Pim Teunissen

During the early Thursday evening the brains had to work one more time during the Pubquiz. After dinner, everyone went to their rooms to dress up in the Circle of Life theme. We were so happy to see everyone fully dressed up during the party! After a shout out to Christianne and Lidewij, Sanne Stegwee won the best dressed sash as Rafiki. The evening was concluded with a remake of the Lion King opening scene, where Simba was substituted for.. French fries!

During the Friday program we focused on personal development. The early birds were out in the woods during bootcamp, showing their strengths during Jiu Jitsu or viewing the world through an upside down perspective during yoga.

After sporting, four rounds of workshops were given. We focused on Hakuna Matata during the mental health workshops: Burn-out prevention and Achievement psychology, we worked on our Roaaaar during the Using theatre skills workshop and learned how to become kings in science during the Presenting/Mindset skillsGrant writing and Getting things done workshops.

The first AR&D retreat came to an end after the final words of the board. We would like to thank everyone who participated and hope to see you all (and more) again next year!

A final roar,
The AR&D Retreat committee 2019

Pictures by Martijn Gijsbertsen