For the first time in seven years, the Euroleague for Life Sciences (ELLS) student science conference will be held in Wageningen. There will be roughly 350 participants from seven countries, over a hundred of which will present their own research. Resource spoke with ELLS project manager Mirjam Troost.
© Guy Ackermans
Why would a student want to sign up for this?
‘It is an opportunity for students to gain scientific experience at an international conference. During the conference, you can present your own research and meet other students from different European universities who are working on similar research. The participating universities take turns hosting the conference, so it is only held on our campus once every seven years. It is great way to learn more about the scientific world. There is also a social programme, which includes a student party at SSR.’
How much does it cost? What do you get out of it?
‘Participation is free and lunch and dinner are provided, so it doesn’t cost a thing. If you want to present your own research, you have to submit an abstract by 30 June. There are a few monetary prizes for the best research studies, but this is more about the experience: familiarising yourself with scientific conferences and getting acquainted with students from different countries who are working on similar research.’
Can all students participate?
‘BSc, MSc, and first-year PhD candidates from various European life sciences universities are welcome. In practice, primarily MSc students attend the ELLS student science conference (65 per cent), but BSc students (25 per cent) and first-year PhD candidates (10 per cent) are well represented, too. The theme of the conference “looking across disciplines” is divided into five sub-themes: biobased solutions, from field to fork, global one health, humans & nature, and metropolitan solutions. Your research must be related to one of those themes.’
The registration period has been extended to 30 June. Why? Was there not enough interest?
‘There is room for even more students to attend this unique event. Extension of the registration period is common with scientific conferences.
I have submitted my abstract. What should I do now?
‘There will be a selection procedure. The students with the best abstracts will be invited to give presentations. If your abstract is not selected, you can still participate as part of the general public. You can come to see a friend’s presentation or that of other students.
Are there keynote speakers, too?
‘Yes, there will be two keynote speakers at the conference. Currently, only one of the two has been announced: Dr Lisa Becking, a young WUR researcher from the Marine Animal Ecology chair group. Becking will talk about her research and how she ended up where she is now. The other keynote speaker will be announced at a later date.’
In 2016, Nautilus made this amazing video about Becking's research into jellyfish lakes.
Would you like more information? Do you want to sign up? Please visit www.wur.eu/ells2018.