Workshops and travel

In November 2022, Marieke conducted two workshops for the Autumn School of MoSaiQC on behalf of Hertz Trainings for scientists. The 14 PhD students of this European consortium are working on projects around optical atomic clocks.

During the scientific presentations workshop, we practised various presentation skills. Participants worked on their use of voice and body language. We also tried out different ways of grabbing the audience’s attention, and connecting with them.

The second workshop focused on the imposter phenomenon: the feeling that you know much less than colleagues, and could fall through. It is estimated that up to 70% of scientists recognise this feeling to a greater or lesser extent at some point in their careers. For PhD students in particular, it can be a problem: they are busy learning new skills, regularly receive negative feedback, and encounter substantive problems that they do not always know how to solve right away. The workshop gave participants tools to deal with the imposter phenomenon.

The workshops took place in Innsbruck.


Impact training for researchers

All scientists want to make a difference, whether in science or in society. Increasingly, scientists want to have an impact in both areas. But it can be a challenge to create enough room in your agenda and your mind to figure out which projects you want to focus on.

Hakuna Matata science & media supports scientists who want to achieve more societal impact, but don’t know how. This training will help you turn your abstract ideas into concrete plans, resulting in an impact plan. Writing an impact plan will help you make choices, describe your qualities, and structure your approach to achieving your goals.

Marieke gave the training, together with Jeanine de Bruin of Hakuna Matata science & media, in 2021 and 2022 for the VU and the Amsterdam UMC.

Read more about the training here (Dutch only).

Narrative CV

A narrative CV is increasingly one of the elements of a proposal. These narrative CVs are part of the “Recognition and Rewards” trend in science, to acknowledge a broader range of academic qualities. In a narrative CV, you can highlight not only your research results, but also, among others, your knowledge and experience in other relevant fields. But how do you approach writing a narrative CV? How do you make sure it becomes more than just an enumeration of achievements, and how do you highlight the right points?

Together with Hakuna Matata, we have developed a workshop to help scientists writing a narrative CV.

During this practical workshop, you will work on your narrative CV. Exercises will help you gain insight into how you can accentuate your strong points and show your individuality. You will learn to use the principles of scientific storytelling to write a compelling story. We will also discuss the do’s and don’ts of structure and writing style. At the end of the workshop, you will have a strong first version of your narrative CV.

The workshop can be given both live and online.

The workshop is aimed at scientists at all stages of their career.

Supervision of PhD students

As a supervisor of PhD students, you have a lot of influence on the progression of the student. But how do you supervise your students as effectively as possible? When do you give the student room, and when do you give them more guidance? How can you efficiently supervise the writing process? And what to do when things don’t go as smoothly as hoped?

During the course Supervision of PhD students of Hertz Training for scientists, we will focus on the coaching role of the supervisor. The course largely consists of practical exercises: participants learn by carrying out assignments, receiving personal feedback and applying the lessons learn in their work situation.

Marieke has given the course Supervision of PhD students at various Dutch universities, including the VU, the TU Delft, Tilburg University and the Radboud University.

Scientific Storytelling for grant applications

Writing grant applications can be tough. Your readers won’t always be specialists, you have to show why your research is interesting, and you only have a limited number of words to do this. It takes a different approach and different writing skills than writing a scientific article.

During this workshop you will learn to:

  • write a memorable introduction,
  • involve the reader by using and interesting storyline,
  • avoid common pitfalls,
  • stand out from the crowd.

This half day workshop is given in cooperation with Hakuna Matata science & media.

Workshop preparing grant interviews

You have reached the last obstacle before the grant you’d been hoping to get: the interview. But how do you prepare for that interview? Together with Hakuna Matata science & media we have developed a workshop to help scientists prepare for these interviews.

During the workshop we will discuss which topics you should address during the presentation, but also how you can grab your public’s attention, and defend your proposal. We will share practical tips and there is time to practice.

Since many interviews are currently taking place online, we will also discuss how to present yourself via a digital medium.

In September 2020 we gave the workshop for scientists who were preparing Vidi and ERC Consolidator interviews, but the workshop is also suitable for other categories of grant interviews.


The workshop can be given online, and lasts 3,5 hours.

What others say

Preparation for a Vidi interview:

I experienced the coaching trajectory as very insightful, not only for the preparation of the grant interview but also for more hands on tools on how to present myself better. The sessions gave me plenty of opportunity to practice my presentation and interview settings. This structure was really helpful to give me a clear picture of where we were in the process and whether I’ve been making progress. Marieke is very knowledgeable, professional, provided a lot of useful tips and tricks as well as constructive feedback.

Preparation for a Veni interview:

Marieke helped me preparing my Veni interview. With the help of a couple of colleagues, we structured and practiced the presentation, and practiced answering questions. Marieke made sure the preparations were organized smoothly, and gave constructive feedback. This made me feel comfortable, despite being nervous about the interview. She also helped with tips on how to come across during an online interview. I ended up going into the interview with the feeling that I had prepared everything I could, which gave me a lot of confidence.

Preparation for a consortium interview: 

Together with my colleagues, I was invited for a funding interview as part of the Dutch Research Agenda. We asked Marieke to help us prepare this interview. This turned out to be a good choice. To summarize: during the two mock interviews we weren’t able to communicate in a clear and concise way with the practice jury. During the real interview, we did succeed.

What worked very well was gathering questions during the practice sessions. During a third session, we formulated strategies to answer the questions we deemed important together with Marieke. We did this without loosing the spontaneity during the real interview.

Without the practice sessions, I don’t think the interview would have gone well. Now it did, and our proposal was funded. I don’t like preparing interviews, but this was useful.

Workshop presentation skills

Scientists regularly have to present their project or results to an audience. Longer presentations for colleagues during a symposium, or a 5 minute presentation for a wider audience. The last case in particular can be difficult: it’s not something you get the chance to practice very often, but it can be important for your career. What should you talk about? How should you structure your storyline? And how can you create a compelling presentation?

The workshop presentation skills can be adjusted to your needs and wishes: we can give a 2 hour introductory workshop, or a day long training. During the workshop, participants get tips but also plenty of time to practice and personal feedback from the trainer.