‘To inspire, to connect, to improve on yesterday’s issues, those are the key missions of the Young Academy Groningen (YAG),’ declares Prof Diederik Roest, at the lively kick-off meeting last Monday of YAG, Academy Building, University of Groningen. Diederik Roest, Mathematics and Natural Sciences UG, is one of the 17 members of the newYoung Academy Groningen. On July 4th The Young Academy of Groningen was officially launched by Rector Elmer Sterken.
The Young Academy of Groningen is a club for the University’s most talented, enthusiastic and ambitious young researchers of all fields and disciplines. Operating independently within the University, the Young Academy aims to actively promote interdisciplinary research, develop viewpoints on science policy and talent development, and engage the University and the public by organise inspiring events to boost the relationship between science and society.
The first generation of the Young Academy Groningen consists of 17 members, including the four Groningen researchers who are already member of the Dutch Young Academy (DJA-KNAW). Alicia Brandt (Lammerts van Bueren), Research & Valorisation, is the programme coordinator of the new YAG:
‘All members areearly career researchers who have received their doctorates less than ten years before their appointment to the Academy.’
‘ The Young Academy Groningen brings researchers actively into contact with disciplines outside their own area of specialization. Members are open-minded and driven by curiosity. As members, they are closely linked with the Board of the University, giving them the unique opportunity to influence the academic landscape. In setting up projects, YAG members will be able to take advantage of the unique networking environment of the northern Netherlands, including collaboration with the UMCG, City of Groningen or Industry, and local schools, museums and community. Finally, the YAG is inclusive of all researchers and therefore conducts all communication within the Academy in English.’
‘ Every year up to six new members will be selected to join the YAG by a selection committee. The term of the membership is 5 years. In November the next interviews should happen for the 2017 round.’
Every member individually receives 1000 euros per year. The allocation can be used to initiate independent activities where members are free to develop their own strategy and projects that they see fit within the scope of the Young Academy. Additional funding is available to all members to develop events such as forums, conferences, or outreach active-ties.
Additionally, every academic year EUR 10.000 is available to the new YAG members to develop a Yearly project. Also, three interdisciplinary PhD projects will be chosen per year, each supervised between two YAG members. The funding is provided by the Ubbo Emmius Fund and the faculties.’
‘ We had the official inauguration event on July 4th where all founding YAG members were welcomed to the University community. In the Fall, the YAG will organize a forum to introduce their activities to the broader academic community. The YAG aims to target the University’s PhD students, post docs and early career researchers and the public at this event. Perhaps these events also can be used to scout new YAG members.’
'When YAG is a dynamic, vocal and progressive community of early career researchers from where excellent and novel ideas are being exchanged and we are making a difference. We hope to promote the University of Groningen as an academic hotspot in developing innovative solutions for the science and society of tomorrow.’
Brandt was born and raised in Canada. In addition to being the project coordinator of the Young Academy, she is a microbiologist at the University of Groningen.
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