The I-DireCT partners met for their annual meeting on December 3, 2019, in the De Ruwenberg Hotel in Sint-Michielsgestel, the Netherlands. For the first time, they were accompagnied by the Early Stage Researchers (ESRs) of the project. After the arrival and a joint dinner on the evening before, the meeting day was dedicated to the presentation and discussion of the ten ESR projects as well as management-related issues.
During his introduction, I-DireCT coordinator Prof. Edwin Bremer not only warmly welcomed the project partners and PhD students but also the External Advisory Committee members, Dr Camilo Colaço (ImmBio, Cambridge, UK) and Prof. Andre Skirtach (University of Gent, Belgium), who participated in this meeting to give valuable feedback on the project’s progressing. After, the ESRs had the opportunity to present their projects to the consortium and their fellows. All students had started their work at the hosting institutions between July and November 2019 and consequently, some were already able to report first results. The partners confirmed that conference presentations and publications are therefore in the planning for the year ahead. For an overview of the ESR projects, click here.
The second part of the meeting day was dedicated to the ESR Assembly Meeting, which is the project’s forum to discuss the specific interests and needs of the ESRs. Ghizlane Choukrani was elected as the student’s representative in the project’s Supervisory Board to ensure constant exchange between these two bodies. After, the Supervisory Board, which consists of the beneficiaries, the external advisors and the ESR representative, came together. The Management Team (Coordinator and EURICE) gave an overview of the milestones achieved so far and gave an outlook on management-related activities planned in 2020. In particular, the partners discussed the training and meeting plan for the upcoming year as well as further communication and dissemination activities. One major milestone will be the I-DireCT Summer School.
After the meeting, the participants highlighted the productive atmosphere and team spirit within the project. The consortium and students are looking forward to progress with the project in 2020 and to meeting again during the next training activities and meetings. Following this meeting, the students participated in their first training event within the project, a 3-days workshop conducted by the partner Learning By Simulation (LBS) and focused on drug development simulation.