Categories
Soft skills development

Scientific storytelling for grant writing by Marieke Hohnen

Writing grant proposals is challenging. Your readers are not specialists in your topic, you have to show why your research is interesting, and you have limited space. This requires specific writing skills. 

In this 2.5-hour workshop, Marieke Hohnen from Hakuna Matata taught participants how to engage readers by writing memorable introductions and avoiding common pitfalls. Together with the group, Marieke talked about the aspects of grant writing that they need to keep in mind, such as avoiding technical concepts or being direct and concise when expressing ideas. After this, PhDs and Postdocs from different disciplines worked in pairs sharing what motivates them about their respective research topics. Finally, Marieke gave individual feedback to each person. In the last section of the workshop, participants worked on integrating these comments into their documents to develop stronger proposals.

You can read more about Marieke Hohnen at: https://mariekehohnen.com/en/

“I liked that it was personalized (we got to practice right away / feedback) and overall information and tips were very clear and useful!”

Anonymous participant

“Exchange with other peers from different areas of research. Tips to improve the story for a grant application. I now see myself closer to be able to do so :)”

Anonymous participant

“It was very clear that Marieke has experience on grant application, and her practical approach made it much more useful compared to theoretical approaches”

Anonymous participant

Categories
Soft skills development

Science Communication: how to effectively blog? by Marieke Hohnen

As PhD students and postdocs, we have to be able to present our research to different audiences. While we are used to talking about our projects to peers in conferences, sometimes we are faced with the challenge of discussing our findings with the general audience. Many questions appear in this process: How technical should we be? How in-depth should we go? The goal of this workshop was to learn the basics to write an effective blog post. During the 3-hour session, Marieke Hohnen from Hakuna Matata, presented the advantages of scientific outreach. Researchers from various disciplines learned about the multiple options on the web to write about their project. 

After the introduction, Marieke introduced the benefits of blogging. Relevant aspects, such as the audience (who are you writing for?) and the content of the post (what are you going to write about?), were discussed through group activities. Participants were asked to write the first lines of their post and provide feedback to each other. Finally, Marieke gave tips for starting (or continuing) their writing journey.

You can read more about Marieke Hohnen at: https://mariekehohnen.com/en/

“Very structured, nice balance between instruction and exercises in break-out rooms”

Anonymous participant

“I liked that we needed to actively participate and that we started to actually write short paragraph”

Anonymous participant

“Marieke has a lot of knowledge and she was able to keep my attention!” (translated from Dutch: “Marieke heeft erg veel kennis en ze kon goed mijn aandacht vasthouden!”)

Anonymous participant

Categories
Soft skills development

Presentation Skills by Marieke Hohnen

Speaking in front of an audience is an essential part of being a scientist. Presentations can be formal or informal, the amount of time that you are given can vary, or, especially in these times, you might have to speak in front of a computer screen. Regardless of the setting, talking in public can be scary. But it is also a skill that you can practice and improve, and even learn to enjoy!

During this 3-hour workshop, Marieke Hohnen presented some of the tips and tricks to prepare and give a convincing (online) presentation. Participants from different disciplines worked in breakout rooms to practice different exercises. They also gave each other feedback to create strong openings and closings for their presentations.

You can read more about Marieke Hohnen at: https://mariekehohnen.com/en/

“I really took very important tips with me”

Anonymous participant

“Dynamic, engaging, well facilitated”

Anonymous participant

“I liked meeting and talking to other people than the ones I usually talk to”

Anonymous participant