brainhack Speakers


Keynote Speaker // Tools for reproducible workflows
Dr. Stephan Heunis is neuroscientist, software engineer and open-science tools enthusiasts. He has an M.Sc. in Biomedical Engineering and Robotics from Stellenbosch University in South Africa. He worked as a commercial and software engineer for four years in two industries (Industrial Automation and Enterprise Mobility) before moving to the Netherlands with the goal of conducting research in neuroscience. His doctoral research at the Eindhoven University of Technology and in collaboration with Philips Research focused on developing new acquisition and signal processing methods for functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) that allow improved tracking and visualisation of brain activity in real-time. Stephan is passionate about brains, accessible education, and making scientific practice more transparent and inclusive. Throughout his doctoral research, he has been active in the Dutch network of Open Science Communities and he founded OpenMR Benelux, a community working on wider adoption of open science practices in MRI research through talks, discussions, workshops and hackathons. Stephan has since continued this passion as a Research Data and Software Engineer at the Forschungszentrum Jülich in Germany, where he works on software solutions for neuroinformatics and decentralised research data management. He also holds post-doctoral positions in the SYNC developmental neuroscience lab at Erasmus University Rotterdam and Leiden University in the Netherlands.

Ideally, our scientific outputs, i.e. the data and results from which we draw our inferences and influence decisions, should be reproducible. Reproducibility allows replication and verification of our work, fosters public trust in science, promotes collaboration, and underlies scientific progress. Practically, however, reproducibility is much easier to talk about than to achieve. While challenges stem from various origins, a key challenge relates to the complexity of our data, how we choose to process it (and there are many possibilities!), and the high variance in terms of the infrastructure used by researchers globally. This talk covers some of these practical challenges, and will provide an overview of common tools available to researchers for addressing these challenges. Highlights include git and GitHub, requirements files for software scripts, containers, myBinder and DataLad.

Natalia bielczyk, PhD

Workshop #2 / The Landscape of Post-PhD Career Tracks
Dr. Natalia Bielczyk is an entrepreneur, researcher, and author. She graduated from the College of Inter-Faculty Individual Studies in Mathematics and Natural Sciences at the University of Warsaw, Poland, with a triple MS title in Physics, Mathematics, and Psychology. Thereafter, she obtained a PhD in Computational Neuroscience at the Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behavior in Nijmegen, the Netherlands. In 2018, she launched a public foundation, Stichting Solaris Onderzoek en Ontwikkeling, aiming to help early-career researchers find new careers in industry. In 2019, she launched Ontology of Value, a company developing new tools and practices to help professionals in navigating in the job market. She also authored the book "What Is out There For Me? The Landscape of Post-PhD Career Tracks," she runs a YouTube channel dedicated topost-PhD careers, and she blogs about careers in general. Recently, she developed The Ontology of Value Test, the only career orientation tool that helps professionals and students in finding an optimal working environment in the job market. Even though she chose to work in the open market, she is still a researcher in her free time and has a strong belief in the compatibility of science and entrepreneurship.

About workshop:
The "The Landscape of Post-PhD Career Tracks" workshop is an intensive and entertaining group training focused on introducing the job market for PhD graduates. In the workshop, we go through the various ways of creating value in the job market and the 8 main types of working environments (a.k.a., tribes) and their characteristics. We also review the strategies for how you can land a job in these tribes.
The workshop is highly interactive, dynamic, and contains quizzes and live discussion with the audience. Next to the interactive class, as a participant of the workshop you will also gain access to the Ontology of Value Test which will help you discover your competitive advantage in the job market and help you choose the optimal career path.
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