Our 5th Solar2Chem training workshop at St. John’s College in Cambridge from 6th-9th December, hosted by Prof. Erwin Reisner and ESR Carolina Pulignani, touched upon various topics, including science policy, public engagement, networking, diversity, inclusion and leadership. Apart from that, all ESRs used the opportunity to update each other on research progress.
The first day started with two interactive lectures; Alexander John Cruz (Baker Hughes) gave insights into how research translates into societal outcomes and shared his experience and advice on networking in non-academic settings. Further, we assessed the impact of our research projects with the help of Steve Cross.
Another main topic of the workshop was communication and interpersonal skills: We learned about leadership expectations and gender balance in research from Andi Jarvis (Eximo Marketing) and Ineke Houtenbos (IHT&C), while Mariana Galvano Lyra (LUT School of Business and Management) introduced current diversity, equality and inclusion requirements in the academic world. Furthermore, Ian Williamson (HyEnergy) shared his experience on what is essential for negotiating successfully and how to respond to stressful situations. Finally, our hosts, Erwin Reisner and Carolina Pulignani, stressed the importance of public outreach and highlighted some outreach activities of their group.
Acquiring funding is a crucial skill for researchers’ success: that is why Verena Fennemann (Head of Fraunhofer EU) provided us with an overview on how the European Union and other funding agencies define their strategies. In addition, we were introduced to the funding strategy of the European Innovation Council and its translation for solar fuels and chemicals by Carina Faber (EIC-EISMEA). The final day of the workshop featured a visit to Johnson Matthey in Redding, where ESR Sebastiano Gadolini and Crina Corbos showed us the site and laboratories, and we were introduced to “Science and Innovation in a changing world” by Carmen Murphy – a perfect way to conclude our 5th training workshop.