Dutch funding agency NWO has established five new awards, intended to reward scientists who develop special initiatives outside their research. The first Team Science awards were presented on Monday, November 30. One of the two winners is the Amsterdam Science Park Study Group of the University of Amsterdam.
Two research teams will receive the first Team Science Awards this year: Team Minnaard of the University of Groningen and the UvA Amsterdam Science Park Study Group. Both teams comprise researchers from a variety of disciplines and enable young talents to work alongside senior researchers. Each team will receive €10,000 towards the further strengthening of the team.
The Amsterdam Science Park Study Group is directed towards building up a community of computational biologists and bioinformaticians. Researchers from both UvA-SILS and UvA-IBED work together within this group. The team focuses on helping to solve data analysis problems, sharing the best working methods, and developing professional skills. The jury was impressed by the diversity of the team and by its attention to talent development. The initiative offers young researchers a safe environment in which to collaborate with others. The team members are Dr Marc D. Galland, Tijs Bliek, Zsofia Koma, Dr Like Fokkens, Dr Huub Hoefsloot, Dr Joachim Goedhart, Stacy Shinneman, Dr Johannes de Groeve, Evelien Jongepier and Dr Frans van der Kloet.
Marc Galland, who started the group, comments: 'In March 2017, I started the Amsterdam Science Park Study Group to bring computational biologists together. I had seen many isolated yet skilled bioinformaticians or data analysts embedded in experimental groups. Our community is composed of technicians, PhD students, Postdocs and assistant professors that are engaged daily into sharing data and bioinformatics skills, catering to an important need in Life Sciences. The Study Group brings together people from different fields, from different institutes and universities, with diverse backgrounds and expertise. Board members contribute on voluntary basis, organizing lessons and co-working hours and connecting people for collaborations and advice, all working towards the common goal to empower life scientists with solid data analysis skills. This award will be highly valued to support their future activities, allowing them to further invest in teaching, training and outreach activities as well as securing catering and computing cost of such events.'