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OncoCareer Board

OncoCareer Board

The OncoCareer Board consists of enthusiastic early-career scientists from different departments within the Strategic Program Cancer of the UMC Utrecht, and provides a supportive network for early-career scientists (assistant professors, post docs, MD-PhDs) within this Strategic Program.

Aims uitklapper, klik om te openen

The OncoCareer Board has three major goals:

  1. Create a nurturing environment for both local and international early-career scientists within the UMC Utrecht
  2. Promote career and personal development opportunities within and outside the UMC Utrecht
  3. Facilitate early-career scientists to connect with peers by creating a coherent community

To achieve these goals, we will organize and promote workshops (e.g. career development, project management, professional leadership, gender equality, ethnic and cultural diversity), academic and industry seminars and social networking events of interest within the UMC Utrecht, University of Utrecht and greater Utrecht area. Through feedback forms, surveys and other forms of communication we will periodically assess if what we offer is what you want / need, and what we can do to help you developing an excellent career!

You can contact us by sending an email to: OncoCareer@umcutrecht.nl

Members of the OncoCareer Board uitklapper, klik om te openen

  • Stefano Mandija
    Stefano is an assistant professor at the departments of Radiology and Radiotherapy of the UMC Utrecht. His research focuses on the development and clinical translation of quantitative MRI methods and MRI biomarkers for diagnostic and radiotherapy treatment response prediction and monitoring.
  • Marta Cuenca-Lopera
    Marta is a postdoc at the Center for Translational Immunology within the division LAB. Her research focuses on the development of 3D culture systems for testing patient-specific drug sensitivity in multiple myeloma, and on finding novel ways to target malignant cells that are resistant to treatment.
  • Aniek Janssen
    Aniek is an assistant professor at the Molecular Cancer Research department within the division LAB. Her lab focusses on understanding the mechanisms of DNA damage repair and how misregulation of this process could contribute to cancer development.
  • Evita Wiegers
    Evita is a postdoc at the high-field MR research group, imaging division. Her research focusses on metabolic imaging of brain tumors using MRI.
  • Michiel Boekhout
    Michiel is a postdoc in the lab of Hugo Snippert at the department of Molecular Cancer Research within the division LAB. He works on chromosomal instability, using patient derived organoids to understand how chromosomes misbehave during cell division and what consequences that behavior has for the genome and fate of the daughter cells.
  • Casper Beijst
    Casper Beijst is a medical physicist and scientist at the department of radiotherapy of the UMC Utrecht. His research focuses on the development of PET/MRI for pathophysiological guidance of radiotherapy.

Past Board Members

  • Dr. Anja van der Kolk
  • Dr. Yuana Yuana
  • Dr. Frederieke van der Baan
  • Dr. Thijs Koorman

Future Activities uitklapper, klik om te openen

October 21 2021

Workshop: “The power of storytelling: How to tackle a grant interview”

See information here (intranet from the UMCU)

Past Activities uitklapper, klik om te openen

2020

January

  • Launching a survey to identify needs and hurdles in career development of early-career scientists within the Strategic Program Cancer in UMCU.

As part of the Strategic Program Cancer in UMCU, OCB has launched a survey to identify needs and hurdles in career development of early-career scientists. The survey was filled out by 61 early-career scientists including MD-PhDs, PhDs, Postdocs, and assistant professors and revealed some significant findings.

March

  • Meeting with the daily board of Strategic Program Cancer and dean of the faculty, Prof. Dr. Arno W. Hoes to discuss the results of the survey (Planned on March 23rd, but cancelled due to COVID-19).

A meeting was planned to discuss the results of the survey with the daily board of the Strategic Program Cancer and our dean of the faculty, Prof. Dr. Arno W. Hoes. This meeting was also intended to initiate a lively dialogue between the early-career scientists, the board, and the dean in order to find solutions for the unanswered needs and hurdles in career development. Due to COVID-19 and the government-imposed lock-down, this meeting was unfortunately cancelled. Alternative ways to communicate and discuss these results are under consideration.

June-July

  • Virtual dialogues with early-career scientists during COVID-19 Pandemic.

Lock-down was released, but life and research were not back to normal. Working from home was still the norm for most of the early-career scientists. To connect and support the researchers during this difficult time, we organized several virtual dialogues oriented to enucleate struggles and needs occurred during this pandemic situation and to discuss possible solutions. These have been brought to the attention of the UMCU Raad van Bestuur.

July

  • Letter to the UMCU Raad van Bestuur from UMCU Jonge Akademie together with OncoCareer Board to address the concerns about the stagnation of ongoing research of early-career scientists due to the corona crisis. 

The OncoCareer Board has joined forces with UMCU Jonge Akademie chaired by Dr. Marianne Boes.  A letter was send to the UMCU Raad van Bestuur to address the concerns about the stagnation of ongoing research of early-career scientists due to the corona crisis. This letter was directed to the dean of the faculty, Prof. Dr. Arno W. Hoes, and research managers, as well as the chairs of strategic programs in UMCU. In this letter, we asked for their attention to our young researchers that have been hit by the current corona crisis. We emphasized that these researchers, who are mostly on temporary contracts, will suffer a loss of at least 4 months of their research time, and this loss will have major consequences for the completion of their projects, and will eventually affect their career. We have also supported the national initiative of Promovendi Netwerk Nederland, PostdocNL, and De Jonge Akademie van de KNAW, who sent an urgent letter to the government published on 13 July 2020: ‘Jonge wetenschappers: laat ons niet in de steek’:

September-October

  • The OncoCareer Board meets with the Young Science In Transition and the UMCU Young Academy.

Both groups intend to join forces with regard to the talent program of the UMCU. The OncoCareer Board and the UMCU Young Academy also support the introduction of the new reward system that has been developed by Young Science In Transition.

December

  • Launching survey to identify needs and hurdles in career development and work-life balance within the UMCU.

Together with the UMCU Young Academy and Young Science In Transition, have launched a survey across the six Strategic Programs of the UMCU to identify needs and hurdles in career development and work-life balance of researchers within the UMCU.

2021

January

  • Survey analysis reveals needs for Researchers at UMCU

The survey of December 2020 was filled out by 275 scientists and clinicians, including MD-PhDs, PhDs, Postdocs, assistant-, associate- and full Professors and revealed urgent needs and hurdles for researchers at the UMCU. The OncoCareer Board, Young Science In Transition and the UMCU Young Academy started working with the research office to help shape a new edition of the UMCU talent program.

April

  • Dialogue with the UMCU Adviesraad

The OncoCareer Board, Young Science In Transition and the UMCU Young Academy brought the survey results to the attention of the Adviesraad on April 9th. The need of research career programs and a centralized research career center were emphasized during this meeting.

May

  • Survey Results presented during the event ‘Empowering career development for young investigators in UMCU’ 

Based on the survey results, the status, prospects and recognition of early-career researchers has become a topic of great awareness and urgency within the UMCU. Indeed, career development in academia is changing. At the UMC Utrecht, academic research is organized in strategic programs, with researchers contributing to basic, translational and (pre)clinical research lines that aim at improving patient’s lives in the shorter or longer run. On May 28th, these results were presented during the event ‘Empowering career development for young investigators in UMCU’ organized by the UMCU Young Academy.

June

  • Workshop: “Boost your grant writing: What the Research Support Office can do for you.”

A major finding highlighted by the survey was the need for support in grant writing. This need was also underscored by the common opinion amongst responders that obtaining a grant is a necessary requirement to receive a fixed appointment at the UMCU. The UMCU has a dedicated Research Support Office (RSO), but, as shown by the survey, many researchers are unaware of this. For this reason, we have organized this workshop in collaboration with Claudia Nicolaije from the RSO, to provide some tips and tricks on grant writing and to make people aware about how the RSO can support researchers in the preparation of competitive grant applications. The event, specifically tailored, but not limited to, researchers of the Strategic Program Cancer, was well received and attended by more than 50 researchers.

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