Growth at VIB: professional development opportunities abound

17 December 2018

Excellent science requires ever more diverse skillsets and collaboration between a variety of competencies. To maintain our position on the cutting edge of life sciences research, VIB offers diverse training programs to scientists and technicians. Joke Baute, learning & development specialist at VIB: “We want to actively contribute to the growth of our scientists and the life sciences ecosystem as a whole"

What does VIB’s training offering look like?
Joke: “Our training initiatives fall into four main categories: science, bioinformatics, skills and coaching. By participating in these courses and coaching sessions, scientists have the opportunity to gain insights into new fields and technologies, grow their skillsets in a wide range of areas, and develop as well-rounded professionals.”

Why does VIB invest so much in training, and who chooses training topics and domains?
Joke: “Providing plenty of training opportunities is a key strategic goal. It doesn’t just help people develop their careers and grow as scientists in the context of their work at VIB, but it also increases their employability. Another great side effect: our investment in training attracts fantastic scientists to our institute.”

“We believe that it’s no longer sufficient for scientists to stick to their narrow disciplines. It’s important to become a well-rounded researcher by combining wet lab activities with professional training in additional scientific and parascientific disciplines. As such, we ensure that our training courses and events meet the specific needs of our scientists through feedback surveys and by involving the postdoc and group leader communities in choosing the year’s science topics.”

How do you ensure that training creates value for researchers – and for VIB as a whole?
Joke: “We carefully curate the content of our training program to make sure that it is wellbalanced, flexible and personalized. With the four components that I just described, each PhD student, postdoc and everybody else at VIB has the opportunity to assemble a tailored personal training program that meets their learning needs, career functions and development goals.

“Even more, we expect VIB group leaders to guide our scientists in designing their personal training packages – the yearly feedback meeting is an ideal moment for them to sit down with their researchers and engage with them on the many training opportunities available.”

“It’s a fact that attending training events and courses stimulates interaction and networking. We invite a range of outside experts from academia and industry to speak, and external participants are allowed to attend a subset of the courses we offer – creating a networking forum that’s especially fruitful for young scientists. We also collaborate with doctoral schools on training initiatives, some of which students even receive academic credits for.”

Go back to the overview 
'Talent pool for young researchers'

Joke Baute
©VIB-Ine Dehandschutter