From 6 to 16 July 2017 all 10 Early Stage Researchers (ESR) visited UiT – The Arctic University of Norway for a two-week training camp (TC). This TC is the fourth of its kind and has been devoted to several soft-skills courses.

Day 1 – Grant Writing

Michaela Aschan (UiT) and Petter Olsen (Nofima) gave an excellent one-day course on how to fund your research. As most of the ESRs have 1 to 1.5 years left, applying for funding for e.g. a postdoctoral position is a next logical step. The course was structured by explaining various funding concepts, where to find funding, and how to effectively write grant proposals. Both Michaela and Petter have extensive experience in writing grant applications, specifically EU Horizon2020 applications, and have given all ESRs hands-on experience.

Day 2 & 3 –  Entrepreneurship and Commercialization of R&D

Alexandra Bieliei, CEO and Co-founder of Pinhole AS gave a two-day course on entrepreneurship. Alexandra’s company is a technological start-up focusing on the development of self-learning technology used in personal wearable heart monitors. The course was aimed at providing useful tips on how to start your own company, where to get funding, how to write a business plan, and most importantly, how to know your product and customers.

Day 4 – Social science perspective on fisheries

Ingrid van Putten, a researcher at CSIRO, came all the way from Tasmania to talk about social network modelling, qualitative modelling, and Bayesian modelling. The day started with some theory on the various modelling aspects and ended with some practical examples by using free to use modelling tools such as Cytoscape and Netica.

Day 5 – Career Orientation

Michaela Aschan (UiT) talked about future career perspectives for researchers and how to reach the next goal. All ESRs were asked to make the Ocean’s personality test and discussed the outcomes amongst each other. A great way of learning your colleagues. Michaela talked about how to create an effective CV according to the ERC template, and all ESRS discussed their career goals with each other.

Day 6 & 7 – Free time

Hiking, BBQ and loads of fun. See the video below for an impression.

Day 8 – Governance and Fisheries & Photography

Melania Borit (UiT) and Petter Holm (UiT) created a serious game in which participants need to govern and manage a virtual fishery. All ESRs got the play this game and were introduced to all sorts of management tools to balance economic, social and environmental sustainability while maintaining happy stakeholders. A great way of learning on fisheries, governance, and management.

The second part of the day was devoted to photography. Ellie Kowalska O’Neil, a BRIDGE intern from Plymouth University, gave a very helpful workshop on science photography: how to work with light, how to frame your photo and how to edit photos.

Day 9 & 10 – Science Education

Judy Mann from the South African Association for Marine Biological Research (SAAMBR) gave a two-day course on how to communicate your science. Simplifying your message, knowing your audience, and how to give a perfect 30-second pitch were among the topics discussed.

Day 11 – Presentations

All ESRs gave a presentation on their current work and future work.


A short impression of training camp 4