Fellows, Mentors and coordinators meet to celebrate the 3-year hallmark of the ELIXIR-UK Fellowship

On 15 September 2023, the ELIXIR-UK Fellowship reached a significant milestone, celebrating three years of extraordinary accomplishments at a unique retreat. The event, which united 20 dedicated participants, including Fellows, Mentors, and the coordination team, reflected on the journey so far and was a platform to unveil exciting plans for the future. During this retreat, participants actively collaborated to map out the next steps for the Fellows in ELIXIR-UK and tackled challenges head-on, collectively searching for solutions.

Reflecting and planning for the future

A highlight of the retreat was an engaging working session featuring presentations from prominent figures within the ELIXIR-UK community. Carole Goble, Joint Head of Node, Robert Andrews, a co-lead and Krzysztof Poterlowicz, the Principal Investigator of the ELIXIR-UK DaSH project, started the second day with a set of engaging presentations. They explored the future roles Fellows will play within ELIXIR-UK and provided a glimpse of forthcoming projects, notably the anticipated BioFAIR initiative. 

“I am proud of the achievements of our Fellows and their impact. The three-year mark is not just a celebration of the past; it’s also a launching pad for the future, with initiatives like BioFAIR on the horizon. Other ELIXIR Nodes and organisations are looking at our fellowship model as a successful initiative towards professionalising data stewardship in the life sciences.”

Carole Goble, Joint Head of Node

Sharing voices from ELIXIR-UK Fellows: impact and learning

Furthermore, Xenia Perez Sitja, Community Manager, brought about a working session to review the remarkable activities and achievements of ELIXIR-UK Fellows over the past three years. Some of these included creating RDMbites, training courses or delivering engaging sessions across different UK organisations.

Statements from Fellows show that the programme has brought together life sciences professionals from diverse disciplines, fostering conversations and providing an invaluable learning experience. Several Fellows appreciated the impact of one of the induction activities, the ELIXIR Train the Trainer. Some of their statements echo the impact it will have in their work beyond the Fellowship:

“The Train the Trainer course at the start was incredibly useful. This was my first time attending a course of such a kind, and it will reshape how I teach. Thank you!”

An ELIXIR-UK Fellow looking at the activities achieved at the Fellows Retreat 2023
ELIXIR-UK Fellowship people looking at the activities achieved at the Fellows Retreat 2023
ELIXIR-UK Fellowship people listening to Robert Andrews at the Fellows Retreat 2023
An ELIXIR-UK Fellow discussing their future at the Fellows Retreat 2023
An ELIXIR-UK Fellow looking at the activities achieved at the Fellows Retreat 2023
ELIXIR-UK Fellowship people listening to Krzysztof Poterlowicz at the Fellows Retreat 2023

Strengthening community and fostering collaboration

Together with Catherine Knox, Node Coordinator, and Katarzyna Kamieniecka, Lead Data Stewardship Trainer, the coordination team created an engaging event for all participants. Attendees participated in team-building exercises designed to strengthen the sense of community, which is at the heart of the ELIXIR-UK Fellowship. These exercises fostered connections and emphasised the importance of collaborative efforts.

Fellows also expressed their appreciation for this sense of community. They have found inspiration in other Fellows, the coordination team and the mentorship program, which has guided them through challenges and propelled their fellowship activities. As one Fellow aptly put it:

“I gained influencing power at my institute for RDM. It gave me more authority. I’m no longer a single voice saying we should care about RDM. Instead, I have the ELIXIR-UK community behind me. Don’t underestimate that value!”

This event highlights the journey of ELIXIR-UK Fellows. While their individual accomplishments have been remarkable, acting as ambassadors of FAIR data and RDM, the bonds they have formed and their collective impact reflect a sense of community that will last beyond the programme.

For more information, visit the ELIXIR-UK Fellowship webpage.

Additional resources

DOI

Presentations from Carole Goble, Joint Head of Node, Robert Andrews, a co-lead and Krzysztof Poterlowicz, the Principal Investigator of the ELIXIR-UK DaSH project.

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