UMCU-Young Academy

UMCU-Young Academy

Mission & identity:

The UMC Utrecht Young academy are a group of early to mid stage career researchers that work to promote an open, supportive and internationally competitive research environment for young investigators. We include members from each of the 6 strategic research programs and represent a diverse range of clinical and fundamental life sciences expertise. 

Goals of the UMCU-YA :

We aim to provide a voice for young investigators during policy making decisions that impact career development pathways, career development support and academic recognition / reward procedures for young investigators. We promote a transparent process and achieve this through direct engagements with UMC Utrecht leadership, by acting as a sounding board for key stake-holders and by coordinating career and research events to foster engagement and awareness within the UMC Utrecht young investigator community.

News & Events uitklapper, klik om te openen

12 April 2024

Live Onboarding Research Event

The UMC Utrecht Young Academy is proud to sponsor and present at the Live Onboarding Research Event. Colleagues who have started working at the UMC Utrecht last year are invited to participate in this event on 12 April 2024, from 9-12. It will be held at the Radiotherapy Auditorium, Q building, floor 1.  

12 February 2024

UMC Utrecht YA Careers & Networking Series: ConnecTED 

The UMC Utrecht Young Academy will host it’s third ConnecTED event. Early-mid stage investigators from each strategic program give 5 min "TED talk" introductions to their research and share personal experiences about their career journeys in UMC Utrecht. This time we host a new investigator from each of the 6 strategic programs, and welcome  Elly Hol, vice dean of research of the UMC Utrecht. The programme for the event will be: 

16:00-17:00  -  Welcome & Plenary Session

- Welcome from the UMC Utrecht YA: Dr. Kevin Kenna & Dr. Ganna Rozhnova

- Keynote: Elly Hol (Vice dean research)

- Speerpunt Brain: Emma van Bodegraven

- Speerpunt I&I: Patricia Olofsen-Dieleman  

- Speerpunt Cancer: Carmen van Dooijeweert 

- Speerpunt RMSC: Roel Custers

- Speerpunt Circ Health: Anneline te Riele

- Speerpunt Child Health: Daniel Vijlbrief

17:00-18:00  -  Drinks & Networking.

27 November 2023

New members call

The UMC Utrecht Young Academy has opened its annual application round for new members. Please submit the application document to by January 14th

Who are we?
We are a group of early career researchers (ECR) that work to foster a strong, collaborative and transparent research environment within UMC Utrecht. We engage with UMC Utrecht leadership on events, policies and procedures that impact both clinical and non-clinical researchers and we conduct community building activities to promote connection and opportunities for early stage investigators.

What do we offer? 
- Opportunities to learn about “how UMC Utrecht works” & career development pathways 

- Opportunities to influence decisions impacting ECR (eg starter grants, incentive grants, researcher onboarding..) 

- Opportunities to build your research networks (organizing community building eg ConnecTED, UMC Utrecht research day..) 

- Opportunities to increase your visibility within UMC Utrecht through engagement with management, support staff and peers

What would you do? 
 - Represent views of ECR from your strategic program to the YA 

- Represent views of ECR from your strategic program to UMC management / staff 

- Review policy documents impacting ECR and “lobby” for ECR interests 

- Contribute to events promoting ECR research and career development 

- Engage with other young academies across the Netherlands

- Bring your own ideas for new initiatives 

How much time does it take?
That depends on your ideas, but we expect a willingness to contribute ~3-4 hours per month for new members.

17 November 2023

The UMCU-Young Academy congratulates the winners of the 2023 UMCU Utrecht Starting Grants:

Thomas Alderliesten (Vrouw & Baby), Ernest Benavente (Hart & Longen), Mischa De Ridder (Beeld & Oncologie), Heleen Pennings (Onderwijscentrum) and Sigrid Vervoort (Julius Centrum). 

We are very happy to have contributed to the selection and revision process of the applications on behalf of the young researchers at UMC Utrecht and to have witnessed the lottery process.

18 October 2023

Onboarding event from 2024

We are happy to announce that from 2024 onwards a live onboarding event will be organized by the Onco-Career Board, Regenerative Medicine Postdoc Association, Young Science in Transition, and the UMC-Utrecht Young Academy. During this event, researchers entering the UMC Utrecht will be informed on how to navigate within the UMC-Utrecht and ULS-campus and have an opportunity to connect with each other.

Centre for Unusual Collaborations uitklapper, klik om te openen

The Young Academies of the four institutions in the Strategic Alliance between  TUe, WUR, UU and UMC Utrecht have set up the Centre for Unusual Collaborations (CUCo). 

Read more the CUCo

Read more about the Strategic Alliance between  TUe, WUR, UU and UMC Utrecht

Follow UMC Utrecht Young Academy on Twitter

Excellent fundamental / translational / clinical research is the basis for good patient care in the future. Research is necessary for the development of our knowledge to improve diagnostic and treatment methods. The UMCU-YA will provide solicited and unsolicited advice on strategic themes related to research, and will form alliances with partners outside the UMCU.

Young Faculty Associations uitklapper, klik om te openen

UMCU-YA is in close contact with two other Young Faculty Associations (YFAs). The YFAs represent young faculty and group leaders in the Life Sciences programme board, organize onboarding activities, facilitate the sharing of practical knowledge and materials, and promote collaborations. The YFAs organise shared activities, as well as independent activities, tailored to the different faculties and research institutes that make up Life Sciences in Utrecht:

Science for Life Young Investigator Forum (YIF)

Hubrecht Young Faculty Association

Connections between Utrecht Young Academy and UMC Utrecht Young Academy uitklapper, klik om te openen

 Since 2019, Utrecht has two young academies: the Utrecht Young Academy (UYA), which falls under the university administration of Utrecht University, and the University Medical Center Utrecht Young Academy (UMC Utrecht YA), which falls under the Research Support Office of UMC Utrecht. 

 Objectives and missions of UYA and UMC Utrecht YA  

The members of UYA are young scientists from all faculties of Utrecht University (including the medical faculty). We specifically recruit members who are able or curious to look beyond their own discipline. UYA has a three-part mission, in the field of science, policy and society. In the field of science, UYA offers a collaborative platform and network for the exchange of ideas, is committed to diversity and inclusion and promotes open science. UYA stands for evidence-based policy at all policy levels in society. UYA wants to make science accessible to society and stimulate scientific thinking in society.  

The UMC Utrecht YA are a group of early career researchers who advocate for a strong, collaborative and transparent research environment within the UMC Utrecht. We act as a sounding board for clinical and basic scientists and communicate with UMC Utrecht leadership about academic affairs such as research careers, education, and academic reward and recognition.  

In view of these missions, there are differences between UYA and UMCU-YA in the following areas:  

  1. UYA has a larger educational component in their mission and activities because of the larger educational task of its members.  
  2. UMC Utrecht-YA has a greater focus on both fundamental and clinical research within the context of an academic hospital environment. In this the focus of UYA is less, because of the smaller number of UMC members in UYA.  
  3. UMC Utrecht-YA focusses on strengthening research ties within the UMC itself and across institutes of the Utrecht Science Park, while UYA focusses for a connection between disciplines from Utrecht Science Park and the disciplines in the city center (Humanities, and REBO).  
  4. Although the UMC Utrecht-YA has a major impact on society through patient-related research and participation in some outreach events, UYA has made impact on society as a more concrete part of its mission and also links specific activities to it.  

The UYA and UMCU-YA have similar goals when it comes to:  

  1. The position of young scientists in the academic field and on the career ladder  
  2. Striving for more and better Interdisciplinarity in research and education in general  
  3. The transition towards Open Science practices  
  4. Recognition and rewarding  
  5. The link of the academy with society when it comes to themes within Life Sciences  
  6. Sustainability and the transition to a circular university and society.  

Board meetings uitklapper, klik om te openen

UMCU-YA has once in the 6 weeks a board meeting to discuss different scientific themes. The chair and co-chair represent the UMCU-YA at regular meetings of the program boards of the UMCU focus areas and Utrecht Life Sciences. This allows their voices to be heard in the decision making process, and also informs young investigators of important decisions on which they should anticipate.

Gatherings uitklapper, klik om te openen

UMCU-YA organises and hosts gatherings where all researchers who are active in Life Sciences research at the Utrecht Science Park can come together to discuss their research and current topics of interest, ranging from teaching practices to diversity. These gatherings provide the perfect networking opportunity for the start of interdisciplinary and collaborative research. It also helps starting group leaders to get to know other researchers at the Utrecht Science Park. The UMCU-YA made a mailing list of all young investigators within the UMCU to announce news and events. UMCU-YA is also involved in promoting collaborations between the WUR/UU/TUe/UMCU, the Young Academy Alliance.

Previous News & Events uitklapper, klik om te openen

11 October 2023 

We would like to bring to your attention the Mercator Sapiens Stimulus prize from KHMV:

The board of the Royal Dutch Society of Sciences and Humanities will be able to make an annual contribution for scientific research of 1 million euros available from 2024, made possible by the Hartwig Foundation. 

The Mercator Sapiens Stimulus is intended for a researcher to investigate an intriguing and important scientific question. The Stimulus is aimed at talented, mid-career researchers working in the Netherlands, with a permanent appointment at a Dutch university or research institute, who have demonstrated that they can conduct innovative and ground-breaking research, for example, members of the various university Young Academies.

Nominations include a (link to a) CV of the candidate, including an explanation/motivation of max. 500 words as to why the nominee qualifies for the Stimulus.

For more information, see here:

Nominations will be submitted by the rector of Utrecht University. The internal deadline to receive nominations from interested and suitable candidates is October 11 at 12.00.

30 May 2023

UMC Utrecht YA Careers & Networking Series: ConnecTED 

The UMC Utrecht Young Academy will host it’s second ConnecTED event. This follows a very successful first event in February, where early-mid stage investigators from each strategic program gave 5 min "TED talk" introductions to their research and shared personal experiences about their career journeys in UMC Utrecht. This time we host a new investigator from each of the 6 strategic programs, and once again welcome back Anna-Pavlina Haramis who will talk about the expansion of support services from RSO. The programme for the event will be: 

16:00-17:00  -  Welcome & Plenary Session

- Welcome from the UMC Utrecht YA: Dr. Kevin Kenna & Dr. Ganna Rozhnova

- Speerpunt Child Health: Dr. Karin Jongmsa (Assoc Prof)

- Speerpunt Cancer: Dr. Casper Beijst (Assist Prof)  

- Speerpunt Brain: Dr. Edwin van Dellen (Assoc Prof)  

- Speerpunt Circ Health: Dr. Magdalena Harakalova (Assist Prof)

- Speerpunt I&I: Dr. Nienke Vrisekoop (Assoc Prof)

- Speerpunt RMSC: Dr. Jaqueline Lourdes Rios (Assist Prof)

- Dr. Anna-Pavlina Haramis (RSO)

17:00-18:00  -  Drinks & Networking.

We hope to see you there! Registration is requested to ensure that we can run the event smoothly (register:

10 Feb 2023

UMC Utrecht YA Careers & Networking Series: ConnecTED 

UMC Utrecht YA will host “ConnecTED”, the next event in our UMC Utrecht YA Careers & Networking Series. The event will feature TED-talk style mini-presentations from rising early-mid stage investigators in each strategic program of the UMC Utrecht (7mins each). Each speaker will also be pitched questions about their experiences establishing a research line in the UMC and their views on how to support early-mid stage UMC Utrecht investigators. The programme for the event will be:  

16:00-17:00  -  Welcome from the UMC Utrecht YA & Plenary Session 

 - Welcome from the UMC Utrecht YA: Dr. Jannie Wijnen & Dr. Kevin Kenna 

- Speerpunt Brain: Dr. Frank Meye (Assist Prof)  

- Speerpunt I&I: Dr. Annemarijn de Boer (Assist Prof)  

- Speerpunt Cancer: Dr. Aniek Janssen (Assoc Prof)  

- Speerpunt RMSC: Dr. Riccardo Levato (Assoc Prof)  

- Speerpunt Circ Health: Dr. Elisa Dal Canto (Assist Prof)  

- Speerpunt Child Health: Dr. Maria Luisa Tataranno (Clinical Scientist)  

17:00-18:00. -  Drinks & Networking Game.   

Oct 2022

The UMCU-YA is looking for excellent young UMCU-researchers (2-years postdoc experience, assistant or associate professor). There is a preference for individuals who have not (yet) had a leadership position within a large research group. Members are mostly in an earlier stage in their career than members of De Jonge Akademie of the KNAW. UMCU-YA members think ‘outside the box’, have a broad vision on research and education, and are motivated to actively organise and participate in UMC-Utrecht YA events. In general members should be willing to invest on average two hours per week in YA activities.  Selection procedure:

- In odd-numbered years, young researchers may nominate themselves.

- In even-numbered years, directors of strategic themes, may submit 2 nominations each (1 clinical and one non-clinical researcher).

Nominations should include a short CV (max 1A4) and a motivation letter (1A4) describing what the candidates vision on the academic landscape of the UMC Utrecht and specific activities within the context of the YA he/she would like to undertake.

The deadline for submitting nominations: 1 January 2023. The kickoff meeting will take place in the 2nd or 3rd week of 2023. Interested? Contact or the manager of your strategic program.

23 June 2022

UMC Utrecht YA Careers & Networking Series: Carreer symposium

Together with our UMCU partners, we are organizing a Career & Science Symposium on Thursday June 23rd . The symposium will be focused on Research Career support and opportunities within and outside UMC Utrecht.

You can register through this link and find more info:

16 Sept 2021

CUCo Centre Launch Event

On September 16th from 12-16 (time might still change), the CUCo physical location in the Vening Meineszgebouw C on the UU Campus will be opened and we want to celebrate this occasion with a special event. Our current planning is to hold the event in the CUCo Centre itself. However, with the current Covid-19 infections rising, we will have to wait a bit longer to confirm the location, as safety for everyone is our priority. We will share the program with you as we get closer to the date.

28 May 2021

Empowering career development for young investigators in UMCU

On May 28, 14-16h, the Young Academy of UMC Utrecht is hosting an online event on career development at UMC Utrecht. At the UMC Utrecht, academic research is organized in strategic programs, with researchers contributing to (pre)clinical and translational research lines that aim at improving patient’s lives in the shorter or longer run. Based on a  survey that was organized by the Oncoboard in January 2021, the status, prospects and recognition of early-career researchers has become a topic of great awareness and urgency. Indeed, career development in academia is changing, and for this reason, the Young Academy of UMC Utrecht organizes an online Career Event on May 28 2021, from 14-16h!

There will be 2 outstanding speakers, Bram Akkermans (Maastricht University) and Rinze Benedictus (UMC Utrecht), who will give presentations on recognizing and rewarding of academic staff and academic citizenship and will lead a discussion afterwards. Register here by Wednesday, May 26!

March 2021Survey reveals urgent Needs and Hurdles for Researchers at UMCU. The OncoCareerBoardYoung Science In Transition and the UMCU-Young Academy joined forces to address the needs for a talent program of the UMCU. Together, they launched a survey, sent out across the six Strategic Programs of the UMCU, retrieving information about scientific career development and work-life balance of researchers within the UMCU. The survey of last December was filled out by 275 scientists and clinical scientist covering the carreer level from PhDs, PostDocs, assistant, associate and to full Professors. The  OncoCareerBoard, Young Science In Transition and the UMCU-Young Academy are now working with the research office to help shape a new edition of the UMCU talent program. This survey was a follow up of the first Career Survey send out by the OncoCareerBoard as part of the Strategic Program Cancer  in January 2020. The initial  survey was filled out by 61 early-career scientists including MD-PhDs, PhDs, Postdocs, and assistant professors. Due to COVID-19 and the government-imposed lock-down, there is a delay in discussing the results of the survey with the daily boards of the Strategic Programs, but this will be picked up in April of 2021. Keep tuned, to hear more of our progress towards addressing career needs and hurdles for Researchers at UMCU. 
27  October 20202nd Young Academy Alliance Webinar more information 
24 June 2020Young Academy Alliance Webinar
31 March 2020

3nd Young Academy Alliance meeting, Eindhoven.

Pitch possible subjects for collaborations and breakout sessions to make new connections/pitches.

11 March 2020

Strategic alliance launch, Utrecht

Brainstorm together, explore opportunities and inspire each other, in order to give direction to the collaboration.

20 Feb 2020

2nd Young Academy Alliance meeting, Ede/Wageningen.

Pitch possible subjects for collaborations and breakout sessions to make new connections/pitches.

20 Nov 2019

Ist  Young Academy Alliance meeting, Utrecht.

A brainstorm afternoon addressing important societal challenges and to create original ideas for collaborations with the four differen institutes.

15 Apr 2019Kick off meeting UMCU-YA, Utrecht

Previous UMCU-YA Members uitklapper, klik om te openen

Dr. Klomp, Dr. Bekker, Dr. de Ridder, Dr. Boes, Dr. Nijhof, Dr. Meye, Dr. Gawlitta, Dr. Leemans

Interested in becoming a member?

We welcome any scientist who is not yet a full professor and who maintains an experimental research line in an area of fundamental/translational/clinical research in the life sciences. To join the UMCU-YA, please contact us via email.

Contact uitklapper, klik om te openen

If you have any queries, contact us via email: 

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