Workshops & parallel sessions

through the eyes of the participants

Workshop: CV of Failures

Dealing with failure

‘In this workshop by Veronika Cheplygina, we played a bingo-game that required us to ask each other whether or not we had experienced a particular failure in our careers. For instance: “worked when I was ill”, “lost a computer”, “missed a submission deadline” or “didn’t help somebody in need”. It was a safe and fun way to think about our personal failures. Next, we made a list of failures in our careers, and the lessons we learned from them. Of course, failing isn’t fun, but it can be useful.

‘One important outcome of our discussion was that we tend to think of failures as something personal, whereas quite often they are the result of circumstances that are out of our control. Competition in academia is intense – look at the huge number of grant applications that are being rejected. Contextualising your own experiences helps to avoid taking failure too personally.’

Natascha van der Zwan

Assistant Professor in Public Administration at Leiden University

Parallel session: Make your Tools, Scripts and Analyses Open and FAIR

Open your code

Hugo Quené

Professor in Quantitative Methods of Empirical Research in the Humanities at Utrecht University

‘The Netherlands eScience Center and the Data Archiving and Network Services have recently launched a website with five practical recommendations that help researchers make their software FAIR, an acronym for Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable. During the session “Make your Tools, Scripts and Analysis Open and FAIR”, we received custom advice on how to improve the openness of our software.

‘This session was very helpful for me. The eScience Center has developed a five-point checklist you should think about when sharing your software and code; I had thought of only two of these on my own. During this session, people from the eScience Center were able to give me some great pointers of what to study, where to find more information and what choices I have to make.’

Workshop: Involving your Target Group through User-Centred Design

Human-centred design

‘In this workshop, we learned about human-centred design. User-centred design focuses on the experiences, needs and wishes of users. It takes into account multiple perspectives and methods to define and solve problems, such as co-creation sessions, storytelling and (serious) games.

‘There are several steps you can take to ensure that the people who are involved in the project form the centre of your design process. This allowed me to evaluate a project I’m working on at the moment, and we found a couple of possible improvements. We plan to create artistic interventions in public spaces, and today we realised that before designing our interventions we could study and interview the people using the public spaces we want to use.’

Sylvia Mannaerts

Research coordinator Project IJsbrekers

Parallel session: Breaking Down the Ivory Tower with Citizen Scientists

Working with citizens

Claudia Uberhuaga Candia

PhD Madrid University

‘This session explored the role of collaborating with citizens in science. Are citizens only subjects of social science and humanities? And is research only published in specialised journals? Or can citizens actively contribute to research, learn from the results and do something with them? It became clear that working with citizen scientists has a lot to offer, but that there are limitations as well.

‘We were divided into three groups: researchers, citizens and policymakers. We discussed the benefits of involving citizens in science from these three perspectives. Policymakers want results that they can use for decision making, but research is often nuanced. Researchers may want to contribute to society, but they also must find results that are relevant from a scientific point of view. And citizens could get useful insights when working with researchers, but it might be new for them that they have to be actively involved.’

Workshop: Productive Interactions. How to Work Together in Interdisciplinary Consortia

Interdisciplinary research

‘NWO has a lot of calls for interdisciplinary research, but this doesn’t always go as smoothly as you’d want. What does it mean for social scientists and humanities scholars to collaborate with partners from various disciplines, also outside of their own domain? How can we make sure that research questions in the social sciences and humanities are seriously addressed?

‘These questions were addressed in this workshop. Lotte Krabbenborg spoke about her collaborations with people from different disciplines in public-private partnerships. It was inspiring to hear about her experiences as a social scientist in a faculty of natural sciences. Her field – science and technology studies – is, in a way, the ultimate interdisciplinary field. I think we can learn a lot from this field in shaping interdisciplinary collaborations.’

Daniel Oberski

Associate Professor in Data Science, Methodology and Statistics, Utrecht University