INGENIO have held between Monday and Wednesday the first ever virtual edition of the INGENIO PhD Days; an event that aims to contribute to the development of research capabilities, presentation and communication skills, as well as to build networks among a new generation of researchers (PhD students as well as early career researchers). 40 early career researchers of different countries attended to the event. For this edition, we have worked alongside with Teje Redes, experts on collaborative methodologies, in order to keep on the interactive spirit of the event and to make of this an active virtual conference!
Alejandra Boni, deputy director of INGENIO, opened the conference with a welcoming speech in which she highlighted the importance of PhD students and early career researchers. Afterwards, Molly Morgan, Director of Policy of the British Academy and Ohid Yaqub, Senior Lecturer at the Science Policy Research Unit (SPRU) of the University of Sussex, discussed about Innovation & Research Agendas: Between policy priorities, societal challenges and academic autonomy. It was an open discussion, where all the attendees had the chance to participate and give their point of view. That created an excellent debate atmosphere.
The second day of the event, on Tuesday, was the day where PhD Students and early career researchers shared the stage of their work, presented their research and received advises and suggestions from INGENIO's senior researchers. These presentations were framed in 7 different topics. First one of these was about "Scientific career and research behaviors", and the presentations were moderated by Pablo D'Este and Adrián Arias Díaz-Faes. Second one of these topics was about "Educational change", moderated by Mónica García Melón and Adela García. Alejandra Boni and Paula Otero were the chairpeople of the third block of content, about "Sustainability transitions". The fourth topic of presentations was about "Serendipity and Innovation", and it was moderated by Pedro Marques, Hannia González and François Perruchas. After a short break, the presentations continued with "Technology transfer and innovation", "Feminisms and decolonization" and "Digital transformation" as main topics.
Wednesday, the last day of the PhD Days, we celebrated two workshops. The first of them, given by Ferran Giones, Deputy Director of the Institute of Entrepreneurship and Innovation Science at the Universität Stuttgart, helped the early career researchers to strengthen their research questions. It was an interactive workshop that aimed to provide applicable insights into the participants’ research projects. At the second one, the researcher of the Delft Institute of Applied Mathematics, Nicolas Robinson-Garcia, provided the early career researchers some tips to face an international research stay. Furthermore, he explained how to focus on a research career and how to manage any research stay. Afterwards, early career researchers were put together in small groups to discuss how they can help to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through their research.
At the end of the day, Jordi Molas, INGENIO (CSIC-UPV)'s director, expressed his gratitude to the attendees because of the enthusiasm they showed throughout the congress. "We organized this to help early career researchers and to create the sense of community among them. It's really important to support them. I hope we'll be able to see you collaborating with other people that came to this event", said INGENIO's director during the closing speech.
INGENIO's intention for this conference was to make the participants felt like this experience was as entertaining as if they had actually travelled to Valencia. For that reason, along this trip through the 2020 INGENIO PhD Days Conference, participants had the chance to practice yoga or meditation, discover some Spanish music, make new friends and get a taste of our culture. Besides, they have had the perfect environment to create collaboration networks with other early career researchers.