Research Tumor Biology - Summer School!

Workshops, conferences, talks... Always a great moment to learn and network!

In continuation of the last post, where L. had the opportunity to attend a workshop on teaching in academia, this time we bring you some insights about the summer school on tumor progression that R. participated for 4 days.

The summer school took place in Caparica (Portugal) in a hotel with a great view of the beach. This event was organized by the ReTubi consortium members, which include iMM (Portugal), Institut Curie (France) and DKFZ (Germany), with the aim of sharing the most recent research on tumor biology, promote more collaborations between the labs from each institute and also researchers' exchange. Besides the SCIENTIFIC TALKS, the participants had the opportunity to attend 3 workshops on LEADERSHIP, ENTREPRENEURSHIP, and ETHICS, as well as a TEAM BUILDING ACTIVITY (slide) and JOURNAL CLUB SESSIONS!

For the science part, everyone has its particular tastes so we're not going to bore you with signaling pathways, cancer metabolism and so on... (Although it was indeed veeeeery interesting! If anyone wants to know more about the talks, please ask us!)

However, the workshops on leadership, entrepreneurship, and ethics can be very useful for us to apply in our way to deal with our science, our bosses and colleagues and ourselves. So, we're going to share with you some driver-questions and answers:

  • What is a servant leader?
It seems a paradox combining servant and leader together, but the driving force is the key: the why, the purpose. Some characteristics: Empowerment, Standing back, Accountability, Stewardship, Humility, Authenticity, Forgiveness. 

Do you recognize all, or at least some of these traits, in your leaders, PIs, managers? Unfortunately, in science, it can be difficult... It's mainly because an amazing technical person (with lots of knowledge and papers, and very good on the hands-on) in order to be promoted often leave the technical skills behind and it is the soft skills that matters, especially people relationships!

  • What are the drivers of engagement?
This is related to the previous question. The golden circle involves the WHY, then HOW and finally WHAT. "People buy why you do, not what you do." (Simon Sinek, TED talk WHY) - and this is not only when you actually sell something, but it is also when you work in a team for a final goal when the leader is actually leading you and everyone turns to have the same GOAL. The drivers are IMPACT (recognition), AUTONOMY (responsibility/creativity) and NEED FOR BELONGING (bigger than ourselves). Do you agree? If you are working for a goal with impact, but having autonomy and feel that you are a member of the team and you matter, aren't these things that drive you to be with your team?

FreshBiz Game:"Changing the way you play life" - Leadership workshop.

  • What are the values for a good research?
Research integrity is also an essential key for science to move on. What is the point of sharing your results if they aren't answering a question (question-driven research!) or if anyone can understand or even reproduce them? Some values that we came up with brainstorming were: reproducibility, transparency, good design, solid story, innovation, collaboration, reliability, discussion, feedback, honesty, critical, clarity, trust,... Do you agree? The list could be infinite!

  • What makes you an author?
There are four items that should be respected in the journals when you are submitting a paper and you have to indicate the authors. Which are: having a substantial contribution to the work (doing the experiments, guiding, experimental design conception), drafting the work, final approval of the work and agree to be accountable for it. But fake authors are still being inserted on papers 😞

And FRAUDS happen many times too, unfortunately. Do you know that journals are investing in more and more software and algorithms to detect them? Here, there's an example for detecting western blot bands that were used more than once in the same figure panel - How can researchers do this?! If you detect something, you can use PubPeer to anonymously report it, it's very important!!!

Hands-on exercise on article fraud with EMBOpress editors.

Hope you liked and learn something new! Please if you don't agree with something or have anything to add, tell us! It would be great to start a discussion on any of these topics!

Stay tuned for more on OH MY SCIENCE! 👍