Summary and impressions

In 2021, the third NextGen Research Day took place. A dozen experts and more than 40 participants registered for the event. We expanded the event into a teaching series entitled “Triple Jump”. We continued the established format as Step I (Development) and added Step II (Leadership) in parallel, targeting researchers that are more advanced. In Step I, each participant selected two of six offered workshops from different topics. After a theoretical input of about 15 minutes by an expert, the participants were given a task and encouraged to participate in interactive discussions. The afternoon session was centered around the innovative format of “scientific speed dating”, which was introduced in 2018 and maintained due to the great success among experts and participants. The young researchers were divided into six groups of 3-5 and each participant presented his/her project to the expert and the other group participants, first seeking financial support, then finding collaborators. The evaluation of presentations focused on delivery and content and led to fruitful discussions between young researchers and experts.

In Step II, participants selected one of two workshops focusing on different leadership skills needed for researchers. In the afternoon, the new innovative format “scientific escape room” was introduced. The participants were challenged with several tasks within a research project. The participants had to solve the tasks in two groups of 8 participants and then presented their solutions to the other group. The day ended with a round table discussion focusing on “Career paths in the 21st century – I want it all and I want it now”, hosted by the journalist and established moderator Jennifer Khakshouri. The members of the round table were a clinician scientist, an epidemiologist, and a basic scientist and shared their paths to success with the audience.

The event was possible thanks to the financial support of Bayer, Eli Lilly, Novartis and Pfizer.