Omics@VIB: 6 dynamic, international years of breakthroughs

17 December 2018
Kicked off in 2011 to foster diversity and development of ‘omics’ expertise at VIB, the omics@VIB program has been a resounding success. To date, 81 publications in high-impact academic journals, 5 patent applications, plenty of enthusiasm and an institute-wide VIB postdoc community are products of this forward-thinking initiative. More than reason enough to have a chat with Lieve Ongena, program manager of omics@vib.

Valuable additions to our community
“The omics@vib program was created to attract 20 fellows to VIB over a period of 6 years. The program brought in fellows representing 12 different nationalities with a 3-year fellowship ahead of them. The fellows were quick to dive in at VIB, enthusiastically embracing training opportunities and integrating smoothly into their research groups and the wider VIB community – including every single one of our science, tech and core facilities.”

Fostering two-way development
In addition to dedicating their specialized skillsets to enriching VIB research, omics@vib fellows were invited to come up with their own ideas on how to make VIB an even richer institution – and the VIB Postdoc Commitee (PDC) was born. Several omics@vib fellows were inspired by VIB’s research environment and took the opportunity to join the PDC steering committee, gaining additional science policy skills in the process.

“The fruits of their efforts have been very valuable for VIB, and include community meetings on postdoc career opportunities and key science & tech topics and company visits. These activities extended to the
VIB postdoc population of 300+ people, and to the VIB Alumni Committee, with special attention paid to non-academic career options”, Lieve explains.

VIB also took special steps to maximize the fellows’ future career opportunities. During omics@vib program evaluations, the review board composed detailed invidual feedback reports – an effort that was greatly appreciated.

Enriching the global life sciences ecosystem
 With the program coming to a close last year, most omics@vib fellows have left VIB to pursue other opportunities in industry, academia and science policy. A few have stayed on to finish up important papers, further impacting their career options beyond VIB.

Lieve: “We’re proud of the excellent work they have done at VIB, which actively contributes to the growth
of the global life sciences ecosystem. And, of course, we sincerely wish them every success in the future.”

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

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