At the end of July, the Symposium of the alumni of the BioLAB programme: Visiting Research Graduate Traineeship will be held in Warsaw. It will be the first event of that sort; it aims to gather together alumni of the programme, which has been running for more than 18 years now. The attendees will participate in two days full of presentations and meetings, in the course of which experts in biological sciences will share their knowledge, experience and achievements in the academic and business world. The Polish National Agency for Academic Exchange NAWA is the patron of the event.
Almost 300 students from top Polish universities have participated in the programme since its inauguration. They could take part in research in the area of biological sciences for one year at one of four American institutions: University of Virginia, University of Chicago, Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation or University of Texas: Southwestern Medical Center. The results of the studies they carried out during their traineeship were often published in the form of articles in peer-reviewed journals such as Nature, Proteins: Structure, Function, and Bioinformatics or Acta Crystallographica.
At the symposium, which will be held on 26 and 27 July at the Faculty of Chemistry of Warsaw University of Technology, the programme’s alumni from more than a dozen years ago will meet those who have recently graduated and just returned from their traineeships. It will be a great opportunity not only to exchange knowledge and develop their contacts, but also to enter into cooperation on various projects.
In addition, the event will feature a networking space and workshops. NAWA will present itself at an information stand on Friday, 26 July – all interested persons will have the chance to talk to a representative of the Department of Programmes for Scientists about the Agency’s scholarships and grants. Moreover, NAWA has prepared workshops titled NAWA’s Scholarship Offer for Scientists – How to Draft a Good Proposal, which will be held by the Head of the Department of Programmes for Scientists, Katarzyna Pietruszyńska (Saturday, 27 July, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.).
The symposium will furthermore feature workshops and academic panels, which will be attended by outstanding representatives of various areas of biological sciences. The long list of guests includes among others Michał Walczak, PhD, an alumnus of the programme and founder and director of Captor Therapeutics, a biopharmaceutical company focused on the areas of cancer and autoimmune diseases, which is the sponsor of the symposium, as well as Jernej Zupanc, PhD, founder and director of Seyes, who will explain how to present complex messages visually so that they are understandable to the recipient.
The event’s organisers are the Polish-American Fulbright Commission, which has run the BioLAB programme in Poland since 2013, and Warsaw University of Technology, the alma mater of numerous programme alumni. The partner of the event is the Polonium Foundation, whose CEO is another BioLAB alumna – Justyna Pielecka-Fortuna. The symposium is held under the patronage of the Ministry of Science and Higher Education and the Polish National Agency for Academic Exchange NAWA.