Navigating the changing academic landscape: a guide for early career researchers

Date & time: Monday, April 15th, from 11:00 to 17:00
Location: Social Impact Factory, Utrecht

Dear young researchers in Brain, Cognition and Behavior,

Young NeurolabNL is organizing a new event “Navigating the changing academic landscape: a guide for early career researchers” in Utrecht (Social Impact Factory, Vredenburg 40, 3511BD). Mark your calendars for Monday, April 15th between 11 and 17.

Similarly to the successful event of last year, we prepared for you a day full of interesting talks, workshops, and a panel discussion. Lunch and ‘borrel’ drinks afterward are provided. We have invited speakers who will share stories about diverse career paths after obtaining their PhD. Academic Transfer will provide a whole workshop on the career opportunities after your ‘hora est’. Moreover, you will have an opportunity to improve your science communication skills and the transferable skills that are of value both inside and outside of academia. Finally, you are invited to join our panel discussion on Team Science.

Participation is free and includes lunch and ‘borrel’ drinks. Register by April 1st. There are limited number of spots. In case of no show-up and no cancellation, the fee is €35.


10.30 – 11.00 Registration

11.00 – 12.30 Welcome + Personal stories on alternative paths in research

Speakers: Dr. Marit Sanders, Dr. Nils Kohn, Dr. Peter Verkoeijen and Dr. Anita Rasmijn

12.30 – 13.30 Lunch & Networking

13.30 – 15.00 Academic Transfer: Career Opportunities

15.00 – 15.30 Coffee break

15.30 – 17.00
Group A: Workshop Science Communication by Liza Cornet,
Group B: Panel Discussion on Team Science

17.00 – 18.00 Borrel

Registration Link

Speakers ’Bio

Dr. Marit Sanders. I am a researcher at Klimmendaal Rehabilitation Centre in the Cognitive Rehabilitation research line. We have a relatively new, small, but enthusiastic research team. I am involved in various research projects that focus on (digital) cognitive (strategy) training for patients with acquired brain injury. My research tasks are diverse and include data analysis,supervising PhD students and research coordination. Additionally, I am responsible for embedding research within the Klimmendaal organisation and creating the necessary policy and preconditions.

In 2020, I obtained my PhD at the Radboudumc, Department of Geriatrics and the Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition, and Behaviour. After my PhD I continued working as a Technical Physician and researcher. Meanwhile, I was also the coordinator of the Radboudumc Alzheimer center. I made a switch back to the Donders Institute and worked as a Graduate school coordinator before starting to work at Klimmendaal.

Dr. Nils Kohn. I’m assistant professor and teacher and researcher at the Radboud University Medical Center. My research is on emotion & memory in humans using mainly cognitive neuroimaging, with a special interest in olfaction, nutrition/gut microbiota, and university student learning & well-being. My teaching covers methods, statistics and cognitive concepts in these fields and I am developing VR tools for education. Further, I am also the Specialisation Coordinator of the Medical Neuroscience Specialisation of the Biomedical Science Master at the Radboud University and member of the local committee that assesses and supervises university teachers wanting to get their university teaching qualification. I’m co-project lead and supervisor of the Healthy Brain Study, a big effort to establish a deeply phenotyped cohort of participants to enable researchers to unravel what makes a healthy brain healthy. I’m involved in a EU-consortium on AI in health and a public private partnership on stress and the brain. I further have 3 PhD students working on different projects around emotion and memory.

Dr. Anita Rasmijn. I work as a consumer insights analyst at Dorel Juvenile where I focus on analyzing market trends and consumer needs for different juvenile product portfolios while also tracking the performance of internal and competitive brands. I hold a PhD in cognitive neuroscience from Maastricht University, where I explored the underlying mechanisms of neurofeedback using ultra-high field fMRI. During that time, I also worked as a researcher at Brain Innovation, where I mainly helped with medical device certification and testing of tools for neuroimaging data analysis.

After my PhD, I joined Philips as a Healthcare and market scientist, working on the value proposition creation for different solutions across various healthcare portfolios, ranging from sleep apnea devices to radiology and enterprise hospital solutions. By joining Dorel Juvenile in 2023, I made a transition from early research and development to product launches and market performance.

Dr. Peter Verkoeijen. In 2000, before I completed my master’s thesis at Maastricht University, I already was accepted on a PhD-position at the Department of Methodology and Statistics at the same university, which would start as soon as I received my master’s degree. Six months after I had started my Phd-project, I was asked to move to Rotterdam to become an assistant professor. There, together with a small, and highly dedicated and enthusiastic team we built a new academic psychology program at the Erasmus University Rotterdam. In addition, I completed my PhD thesis on a new project. A few years later I got promoted to associate professor, and in 2015 I became a professor of applied sciences (lector in Dutch) at Avans University of Applied Sciences. Since June 2023, I have combined this position with an endowed professorship at the Erasmus University Rotterdam.

Academic Transfer: Career Opportunities

Audrey Peters. For years, Audrey Peters worked at the University of Amsterdam in several managing positions at different faculties. After doing HR-projects at universities of applied sciences for a couple of years, she started to work at Academic Transfer in 2019. At Academic Transfer she is responsible, among other things, for the project ‘making the labor market transparent for young researchers’.

Taking the next career step after your PhD

Discovering life beyond your PhD or postdoc can be an exciting journey, with a vast array of career possibilities awaiting exploration. Did you know that approximately 70% of PhDs and 80% of postdocs in the Netherlands venture into non-academic career paths? If you’re curious about where your skills can take you outside academia, this workshop is for you!

In this workshop we introduce six career paths tailored for researchers in the Netherlands. Moreover, we’ll showcase how Academic Transfer’s tools can support you on your career journey, and we’ll dive into transferable skills. These skills aren’t just beneficial for today—they’re the keys to shaping a fulfilling career journey for years to come.

Workshop Science Communication

Dr. Liza Cornet. Liza is a PhD researcher with a background in Neurocriminology. After working as a researcher for 10 years, she founded ‘Studio Wetenschap’ in 2021.Through her company, she assists scientists in making their knowledge accessible to a broad audience. Liza has extensive experience in science communication, having given interviews to among others the Volkskrant, Trouw, and Radio1, as well as many public lectures, including a TEDx talk and an online lecture for the ‘Universiteit van Nederland’.

Science communication workshop

In this workshop, we delve into the wonderful world of science communication. We’ll discuss what personally motivates you to share your knowledge with a non-scientific audience, what barriers you might face as a researcher, and then we’ll get to work on creating an accessible text version of your research. You’ll learn how to quickly get to the heart of your research. Following that, you’ll receive several powerful tips on how to make this text version even more appealing to your audience.

Panel Discussion on Team Science

Team Science Panel

We will host researchers from brain, cognition and behavioral scientific fields who have experience with conducting team science, as well as experts on team collaborations. In an interactive discussion, we will find out what team science means for academics, hear diverse perspectives, learn about best practices, and discuss what it means for recognition and rewards in academia.

If you have any other questions, you can also contact Desiderio Cano