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Yearly Project

Each new YAG member cohort works together on a yearly project. They brainstorm together for ideas and present this project on the night of their inauguration. The cohort then works on this project together to make it come to life. Below you can find all yearly projects so far.







2021: Failing Forward

At their inauguration, the members of the 2021 new member cohort revealed their plans for their cohort project: Failing forward! More information to follow as the new members continue developing their cohort project.

2020: Humans of the RUG

Who are the humans that make a university flourish? When thinking about the faces of a university, professors and students may be the first people that come to mind. But there are so many more people: beadles, technicians, study advisors, secretaries, and many others. They all bring their stories with them when they come to study and work at the university, and they experience new stories together. Without them, the University would not be what it is.

“Humans of RUG” is a podcast series that showcases, in conversations with various guests, the many human faces of a large university such as the Rijksuniversiteit Groningen. It was developed by the 2020 cohort of the Young Academy of Groningen (Sonja Billerbeck, Julia Costa López, Marcos Guimaraes, Lisa Herzog, Casper van der Kooi, Lukas Linsi, and Hanna van Loo), with help from podcast producer Wim Brons. It looks at the history of the RUG, its students and professors, the support structure within departments , but also how the University is perceived by and interacts with the outside world, the city of Groningen. As such, it makes different parts of the university more visible to one another and to the outside. Listen to these conversations - with study advisers and academic prize winners, with a beadel, a Dutch champion in 800m track running and the Mayor of Groningen, and many others - which bring the human side of this time-honored institution to life!

The first episodes will become available on October 15th, 2021, and will be available at and through regular podcast channels.

2019: Connect Groningen

On the night of their inauguration, the yearly cohort of 2019 introduced their plans: In the Loop and SOCRATES. In-the-loop is an idea for an internal platform to keep or get young staff in the loop about the ins and outs of a career in academia, including topics suc has HR, funding, career paths, dual careers nd many more. SOCRATES is a plan to connect students in the region to scientists, who can offter them advice. More information on these projects to follow!

2018: Crossing Borders

The Proverbs Project

The Dutch language features a rich collection of proverbs, such as “Al is de leugen nog zo snel, de waarheid achterhaalt hem wel” and “Zoals de waard is vertrouwt hij zijn gasten”. Proverbs capture folk wisdom, and have been around for ages. But can we still trust them today?

The “proverbs” book aims to find out. Young researchers, applying state of the art knowledge of their respective disciplines, will discuss the validity of specific proverbs. For instance, social geographer Sander van der Laanen evaluated the proverb “Wie voor een dubbeltje geboren wordt, wordt nooit een kwartje”, and Nanna Hilton & Saskia Peels used the proverb “Een goed verstaander heeft aan een half woord genoeg” to explain how humans process language.

Up to now, we have been able to secure 12 draft chapters from researchers spanning various faculties of the UG. Another 8 chapters are planned. The YAG new members are currently in the process of writing additional chapters, inviting more authors, and editing so we can present the book during the Weekend van de Wetenschap 2019.

Noorderlichten: YAG at Noorderzon

Science is so much fun! Why not share your excellent research in a exciting manner.

To do this, the YAG hosted Noorderlichten: Universiteit van Noorderzon at the Noorderzon festival in Groningen, from 16-20 August 2019. The activities were a science fair during the day, and mini lectures during the night. The activities of the science fair were aimed at children 6 and up, who could browse the available activities, participate and get a diploma at the end. The mini lectures were aimed at an audience of 12 and up, and were extra special because the lectures were silent: the audience wore headphones to hear the lecturer in front of them.

Together with their own networks of scientist, YAG members used their expertise to create fun and educational activities from diverse disciplines. The day activities included 'Follow the Turtle by their DNA', 'Finding Greek Gods: puzzle, dig and decipher', 'Design your perfect garden', 'Magical Molecules' and 14 other fun and diverse activities. The mini lectures included topics such as 'Are criminals taking over the Netherlands?', 'The braincomputer', 'Lazy and Orgasmic', 'The beauty of Dunglish' and 13 other diverse and interesting topics.

The activities were very well received, and the YAG hopes to organize future Noorderzon events.

2017: Opening Up Academia

The yearly project from the year group 2017 focuses on “Opening up Academia”. In our project, we will explore ways in which we can improve communication and foster collaboration among researchers, between academia and industry, and between academia and society.

A first way in which we hope to “open up academia” is by focusing on how researchers can be more transparent in their workings to improve reproducibility. This also includes finding ways to increase viewpoint diversity within the academic world.

A second way to “open up academia” is to focus on the communication between academia and the industry. How can businesses and scientists mutually benefit each other, and what are the tools needed to make such partnerships fruitful?

A third way to “open up academia” is to showcase the entire scientific process to the general public by means of exhibitions, visual arts, dance, and theater. These will showcase that the scientific process includes many failures that precede success, and that creativity is always a driving force

Opening Up Science
Opening Up Science

2016: Talent Development

The yearly project from the year group 2017 focuses on "Talent Development". In this project, the YAG will organise a series of lunches for Early Career Researchers. We will invite inspiring speakers and have open discussions with those present.

The goal of these lunches is to form a basis to build up our peer network together and to improve the quality of science in the long term for all Early Career Researchers and the University of Groningen.

Find out more here.

Early Career Research Lunch
Early Career Research Lunch
Last modified:14 October 2021 1.52 p.m.