Open Sunday webinars
We cast free, open webinars every Sunday at 5 pm GMT (7 pm CEST). The content will shape as we go and according to the participants’ wishes. For now, the sessions are planned for 60-75 minutes, and the program is as follows:
➣ Online meeting with a guest PhD who pursues a career in industry (~60 min). This webinar represents the speakers’ personal views and not the views of their employers,
➣ Q&A “Ask us anything” session/open discussion (15 min).
To access the recordings of the previous episodes, please scroll down the page or subscribe to our YouTube channel. Also, if you are interested in casting webinars by yourself, we can recommend to host them on the Webinargeek platform – it offers a number of useful features and a very efficient customer service.
Of course, a good webinar is all about inviting a guest who is mindful, has an interesting story behind, and is open to share the story with all the inventory. If you know such a person, please share with us!
We email the direct link to the webinar to all the subscribers ~48 hours before the webinar (so, on Friday evenings).
August 9th 2020
Victoria Sherwood, PhD
Dr. Vicky Sherwood holds a PhD in Biosciences from the University of Nottingham, UK. During her studies she worked on understanding the interplay between DNA tumor viruses and the host innate immune response. She then went on to do a couple of Postdoc projects, including one at Lund University in Sweden. During this time, she developed an interest in understanding the molecular basis for the development of metastatic skin tumors. This interest led her to start her own research lab in 2011 in the UK, where she ended up as a Principle investigator at the University of Dundee. Her research group worked on the development of novel therapeutic treatments for the deadliest forms of skin cancer.
Despite her academic career track, Vicky had always harbored an interest in taking the plunge to experience life beyond academia and discover what else was out there. In 2017 she went for it, and made a career transition into the medical communications field. Here, she works on developing a variety of promotional and non-promotional materials for the cancer immunotherapy market. Her experience from this transition has sparked a personal interest in career opportunities for STEM researchers.
Since January 2018, Vicky has published her own blog (www.biomedbadass.com), revealing insights into the career transitions from research scientist to industry professional. The aim of the blog is to help researchers answer some of the challenging questions they face when considering an industry career. Questions such as; “What skills do I have that are useful in industry?”, “How does the work culture differ compared to academia?”, “Will I enjoy working in a company compared to academia?” and “What kind of opportunities are available to me?” to name a few. In this endeavor, she hopes this resource can provide much needed support for career planning by STEM researchers. She looks forward to sharing these insights with you…
(click on the photo of the guest to watch/hear the recording of the episode)
August 2nd 2020
Mariam Kostandyan, PhD
Dr. Mariam Kostandyan obtained her PhD in Experimental/NeuroCognitive Psychology from Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium. In her PhD, she worked with multimodal neuro-cognitive and behavioral techniques, such as behavior studies, neuroimaging, electroencephallography, pupillometry, and brain stimulation. In the process, she became a researcher with broad expertise in behavioral and (neuro-)cognitive studies with a strong emphasis on data-driven approach and data analytics.
Yet, after her PhD she decided to step outside academia. Today, she works as a Research Consultant at a recruitment agency, Schelstraete Delacourt Associates. She is responsible for a strategic search for potential candidates on the executive level. She works with professionals across the board range of industries — from the agricultural industry to IT. Among other responsibilities, she determines the recruitment strategy based on parallels with the client or the nature of their business model, she conducts market studies to select the best candidates and conducts interviews with the candidates on the phone.
In this webinar, we will ask Mariam about her decision to switch from neurocognitive studies to recruitment. Is it difficult to make this jump? What is the most important while hiring executives? Is this true that most companies don’t trust in the management skills of fresh PhD graduates? How to increase your chances at the job interview?
July 26th 2020
Alessandro Montalto, PhD
Dr. Alessandro Montalto holds a PhD degree in Statistical Data Analysis applied to neuroscience awarded by the University of Gent, Belgium. Before his PhD program, he completed his Master’s degree in Physics at University of Federico II in Naples, Italy. During his PhD, he developed a Matlab toolbox called MuTE to detect directed dynamical links among brain regions.
After the successful project in Gent, Alessandro moved to Sydney for a Postdoc project dedicated to complex systems. A few months into the project, he was hit by an overwhelming epiphany: he was pursuing an unfulfilling life, and the academic path wasn’t for him. He went through a tough time during which he came out of burnout and depression. Alessandro then decided to quit academia and start doing what he really loves: connecting, sharing, and helping. Thus, he went through an inner journey that led him to a certification in life coaching.
Alessandro envisions his life as a promoter and a facilitator of change. That’s why, after 15+ years of working remotely, Alessandro now helps other fellow remote workers create the most burnout-free and fulfilling remote work experience by sharing his own life journey in combination with CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) and ACT (Acceptance Commitment Therapy) coaching tools. Furthermore, Alessandro freelances as a marketing consultant to help companies engage with their clients in a more human and team-oriented fashion.
July 19th 2020
Patrick Britz, PhD
Dr. Patrick Britz holds a PhD degree in Biopsychology and worked on combining EEG and fMRI as well as on the interaction of emotion and attention. During his Ph.D., he started working for Brain Products GmbH as a Scientific Consultant and was offered to go to North America to work for Brain Vision LLC. From beginning as a Scientific Consultant, Patrick soon took over more responsibilities and in 2013-2019, was the President of Brain Vision LLC and in 2017-2019 was the President of Brain Vision Solutions Inc. in Canada. Brain Vision LLC provides solutions to the leading institutes, minds, and companies in North America to drive the most innovative research, as the distribution partner for companies of all sizes from academic startup companies to multinational concerns including Brain Products, NIRx, CGX (Cognionics), EasyCap, and CREmedical to name a few.
In this webinar, we will learn what Patrick learned about the recruitment process in the times when he was working as a CEO and President of Brain Vision LLC and he used to review over 200 job applications (mostly, coming from researchers) a year. We will also ask Patrick how he sees his future professional career, and where on the job market are the best opportunities for researchers in his field of expertise.
Since December 2019, Patrick works as the General Manager at NIRx GmbH in Berlin, an international company that provides life science comprehensive technology solutions for the most demanding investigative applications. NIRx GmbH offers a range of products based on multi-distance spectroscopic measurements. Patrick’s role is to drive innovation so that NIRx GmbH can offer the solutions you as a customer want to use in the future. Patrick perfected the art of predicting where the science will go next!
July 12th 2020
Maria Otworowska, PhD
Dr. Maria Otworowska holds a PhD degree in the Computational Cognitive Science awarded by the Radboud University Nijmegen. Before her PhD program, she completed her Master’s degree in Cognitive Science at Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań, Poland. She also spent one year at Università Degli Studi Di Catania as an Erasmus student. During her PhD she, like many others before her and undoubtedly many after her, tried to explain how the brain works, with a focus on learning and decision making.
Towards the end of her PhD, she made one of the most difficult decisions in her life and she decided to leave academia and try her luck in “the real world”. Uncertain what to do, she randomly moved to Barcelona without knowing the language or anybody there, where she entered the corporate world as a data scientist at King, an independent unit of Activision Blizzard Inc. (Nasdaq: ATVI), an entertainment company producing games. As life experiences go, most of them are to a certain degree useful and educational, some may also be motivating, and such was this one. She quickly realized that the corporate world was not her life path, and it gave her all the courage and motivation needed to believe in her an original startup idea hat she got meanwhile, and pursue it full time.
She quickly got sucked into the app dev world and her first “side project,” after many additional adventures, became her current life path. She went from cognitive science to… skincare and chemistry (but with a healthy dose of AI as well). Now she is a proud founder of Skin Bliss (https://skinbliss.app) and was awarded a place in one of the most important accelerators in the beauty industry—Sephora Accelerate—where she has been receiving mentoring and guidance on her business.
In this webinar, we will learn how Maria has become self-made success, how she chose the problem she is solving in her company right now, which competencies acquired during her PhD turn out to be the most useful, and how her expansion plans looks like.
July 5th 2020
Mattias Hansson, PhD
Dr. Mattias Hansson graduated from a PhD program in Mathematics at Lund University in 2013, with a thesis entitled, “Statistical Segmentation and Registration of Medical Ultrasound Data.” He then completed a Postdoc project at the University of Copenhagen and subsequently, he worked as a Scientific Programmer at the Erasmus Medical Center Rotterdam. In 2018, he took a decision to leave the academic career track and become a Data Scientist. Initially, he chose to work for the Dept Agency in Rotterdam. However, as of now, Mattias works as a freelance Data Scientist.
In this webinar, Mattias will tell us about his PhD experience and his conclusions after moving to the open job market. What is he proud of? Does he have any regrets? What advice would he give to early-career researchers? What is his mindset now, and what are his plans for the future?
June 28th 2020
Andre Marques-Smith, PhD
Dr. Andre Marques-Smith was born in Portugal to a mixed Scottish and Portuguese background. After undergraduate studies in Psychology, he completed his PhD at the University of Oxford, mapping the development of sensory cortical neural circuits in neonatal rodents. In early post-doctoral work at King’s College London, he studied the role that genes play in instructing neurons to form the right connections. He then shifted to systems neuroscience, completing projects on the development of electrophysiological tools for simultaneously recording hundreds of neurons and on neural circuits underlying instinctive vision.
However, even though Andre developed a career in science — including publishing his work in the most prestigious research journals such as Science, Nature Neuroscience, Neuron & Nature Communications — and got all the credits to stay in academia for a lifetime, in 2019, he took a personal decision to pursue a new challenge and direction in his career. After a period of self-study on Deep Neural Networks and Reinforcement Learning, he joined CoMind Technologies to work on building a wearable brain-computer interface. He is very open about his motivation and life philosophy, and he is eager to help other researchers who are hesitating on how to pursue their careers.
June 21st 2020
Natalia Vtyurina, PhD
Dr. Natalia Vtyurina was trained in Russia as a fundamental Physicist at Lomonosov Moscow State University (2011). She successfully graduated as a PhD in Biophysics from the Bionanoscience department at Delft University of Technology (2016) where she studied DNA-protein interactions at the single-molecule level. This experience prompted her to proceed further towards a new challenge in biomedical research. With the ultimate purpose of discovering how to maximize the delivery efficiency of engineered nano-sized drug carriers, she has completed a postdoctoral research project in the field of nanomedicines at the University of Groningen (2019).
Being social and communicative, she is actively contributing to the dynamic, fast-moving, and multicultural environment of the Controlled Release Society (CRS). In February 2019 she established a new CRS BeNeLux & France Local Chapter and in April 2019 was elected to be a president of this non-profit scientific association.
In November 2019, Natalia made a transition from academia to industry and joined ProPharma Group in Leiden, the Netherlands as an Associate Consultant. She is executing assignments and projects in Life Science Consultancy, Manufacturing & Development, and has experience in Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP), Internal Standards, Qualification and Validation, and Data Integrity.
In this webinar, Natalia will tell us about the process of transitioning from academia towards pharma industry. She will also share some secrets of her impressive self-management that allows her to marry a full-time job as an Associate Consultant with chairing the CRS BeNeLux & France Local Chapter association and running her own business as a stretching class instructor after working hours.
June 14th 2020
Peter Lewiński, PhD
Dr. Peter Lewinski is a University of Oxford graduate with Postdoc/Assistant Professor in economics from the top business schools, with hundreds of citations and 8 years of experience in AI. He is a recipient of Marie Sklodowska-Curie Fellowship for his PhD at the University of Amsterdam. After his PhD, he worked as ING Bank director of the Credit Risk Modeling department and London Mayfair Fintech associate. Currently, he works as a management team member in four Amsterdam deep tech startups, driving sales/business development (earlier: R&D).
In this webinar, we will ask Peter how to navigate in the world of business, how he compares the business world to academia, and why he chose the Netherlands for his career in business.
June 7th 2020
Ian Cameron, PhD
Dr. Ian Cameron works at the exciting interface between academia, entrepreneurship, industry, and society. Ian holds an impressive combination of positions: at the same time, he works as a coordinator at NeuroTech-NL, as a Domain Expert, Mental/Cognitive Health & Well-being, Precision Health & Nutrition, OnePlanet at OnePlanet Research Centre, a Senior Researcher at the Donders Institute for Brain Cognition and Behaviour, Radboud University Nijmegen, and a Senior Researcher at the Biomedical Signals and Systems, University of Twente. He is driven towards the societal applications from neuroscience and psychological research and brings management and entrepreneurial practices to academia. Ian enjoys working in multidisciplinary and team-based environments involving people from diverse organizations and backgrounds.
Ian has an MBA from TIAS School for Business and Society, in the Netherlands, where he wrote his management thesis about the alignment of culture, structure, and strategy to achieve societal impact from research. Beforehand, Ian earned his PhD from Queen’s University, in Canada, and did a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of California, Berkeley, both involving human neuroimaging and behavioral studies.
As a researcher, he is interested in big-picture questions that connect neuroscience discoveries to clinical and societal applications. Specifically, Ian specializes in cognition and sensory-motor control in movement disorders, making use of functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI), functional Near-Infrared Spectroscopy (fNIRS), Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS), and eye-tracking techniques.
May 31st 2020
Leonardo Morelli, PhD
Dr. Leonardo Morelli works as Scientific Software Developer at Alten Nederland in Rotterdam since February 2020. Leonardo completed a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Applied Mathematics at La Sapienza University, Rome (IT). Then, he moved to Leiden, the Netherlands for his PhD program in Mathematics. Although he insists that his PhD research in Mathematics concerns how the “Hola!” waves at football stadiums propagate, his research employed highly technical mathematical tools both on the theoretical and on the computational side. Halfway through his PhD program, he decided to switch his career path to the industry world — yet still, it took him another couple of years to find a topic that he would be passionate about.
May 24th 2020
Maciej Jedynak, PhD
Dr. Maciej Jedynak holds a PhD in Computational Neuroscience (Cum Laude), an MS diploma in Computational Physics (Cum Laude), and a Postgraduate diploma in IT systems design. Before his Master’s studies, he was also working as a Research Assistant at the University of Iowa.
Maciej was never faithful to one single domain; during his studies he coauthored a publication on complex networks, only to move to the field of particle physics, where he did his Masters and stayed for one more year of PhD studies, working for CERN and BNL experiments. Being faithful to unfaithfulness he quit and moved to industry, where he earned a long track record of IT projects. In particular, he has years of experience in telecommunication companies where he worked as an IT Specialist, responsible for IT project development, from requirements analysis to maintenance on production.
Currently, Maciej works on human brain functional tractography at Grenoble Institute of Neuroscience as a postdoctoral researcher and a member of the Human Brain Project European collaboration. Why did Maciej decide to leave his well-paid and diverse job to embark on the PhD journey? What are, in his mind, the similarities and differences between the academic and the industrial life? Can we learn from him how (not) to navigate your career? Let’s find out!
May 17th 2020
Annika Rausch, PhD
Dr. Annika Rausch works as Data Scientist and Consultant at the IT service provider Ordina Netherlands. Before switching to industry, Annika studied Psychology at the University of Twente, Enschede, The Netherlands, after finishing high school in Germany. She finalized her Bachelor thesis on the topic of motor learning in 2011. She also obtained a Minor in International Business at the University of Twente. Annika later started the two-year research Master Cognitive Neuroscience at the Donders Institute in Nijmegen in 2011, where she specialized in functional connectivity fMRI analysis in Autism Spectrum Disorder. In 2014, she continued working on this topic as PhD candidate within the European EU-AIMS LEAP project, where she developed a keen interest in data analytics and obtained her PhD title. Today, Annika supports clients of Ordina with their digital transformation and implements intelligent systems that help companies with, e.g., automated decision-making processes. She first got hired by the Nederlands Woning Waarde Instituut (NWWI) in January 2019 where she implemented and developed automated validation tools for property valuation reports. She just started her second assignment via Ordina with the Dutch national police in April 2020.
May 10th 2020
Claudio Corrao is a Leadership and Team Performance Coach that focuses on creating healthier working cultures in startups and organizations. His goal is to foster a sense of meaning, trust, engagement, alignment, and creativity among team members and organizations as a means to achieve healthier work environments that lead to higher levels of employee satisfaction. Claudio conducts workshops on how to influence our minds to define our vision and how to use the inner motivators that push us forward and overcome the saboteurs that hold us back, with the final goal of gaining the results that we want. He has coached several startup founders on providing them with the clarity and strategic plan that they needed to bring themselves and their companies to the desired state. With a background in business management and leadership, Claudio is passionate about communication, human behavior, leadership, and organizational culture.
May 3rd 2020
Adriana Bankston, PhD
Dr. Adriana Bankston is a Principal Legislative Analyst at the University of California (UC) Office of Federal Governmental Relations, where she serves as an advocate for UC with Congress, the Administration, and federal agencies. Prior to this position, Adriana was a Policy & Advocacy Fellow at The Society for Neuroscience (SfN), where she provided staff support for special and ongoing projects, including SfN’s annual lobby event and the society’s annual meeting. In addition to working at UC, Adriana also serves as Vice-President of Future of Research and is Chief Outreach Officer at the Journal of Science Policy and Governance. Adriana obtained her PhD in Biochemistry, Cell and Developmental Biology from Emory University and a Bachelor’s in Biological Sciences from Clemson University.
This webinar represents the speaker’s personal views and not the views of their employer, University of California.
April 26th 2020
Iwona Mochol, PhD
Dr. Iwona Mochol is currently a Senior NLP Engineer in Samsung Poland. In 2012, she completed her PhD in Theoretical Physics at the Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg. In her PhD, she was investigating propagation and radiative signatures of large-amplitude, nonlinear waves in relativistic plasmas around compact objects, such as black holes and fast-spinning neutron stars. Then, she moved to Observatoire astronomique de Strasbourg where she worked as a Postdoctoral fellow. At that point, unexpectedly, she decided to quit the research career path and move towards industry. After attending an intensive data bootcamp in London, she moved back to her maternal country, Poland, where she started her adventure with data science. In this webinar, Iwona will tell us about her journey from theoretical physics through a startup job, to a corporate job.