24 November 2017

Linking minds at Veterinary Science Day 2017

On 16 November 2017, the annual Veterinary Science Day was held at De Landgoederij in Bunnik. The theme of this year’s faculty science day was: ‘Mind your links – Link your minds’. The VSD focuses on the connections between the faculty’s research programmes, as researchers are not always familiar with who is working on what research. ‘Mind your links’ was the overarching concept to raise awareness of these connections, while the theme ‘Link your minds’ focused on the practical applications of one another's’ knowledge.

The day was divided into two sessions. During the first session, researchers from all eight departments presented inter-faculty cooperative projects. This gave an excellent impression of how to approach a research question from a variety of perspectives. Fundamental approaches alternated with clinical ones, along with technical and applied techniques, all geared towards answering questions common to all fields of research. The second session mainly focused on projects that have considerable potential for collaboration.

Networking with colleagues

The breaks between the sessions offered plenty of opportunities to network with colleagues, browse through more than 70 posters or stroll through the market. This market had previously been used to present the facilities on offer at the faculty, but this year the focus was mainly on obtaining financial support (RSO, vriendendiergeneeskunde.nl, and microcredits), research support (Research Data Management and ITS), and information about existing networks (ULS, VetPhD and PostdocNL).

Charlotte de Wolf receives the Roelen-Penning medal

One of this year’s innovations involved people asking questions online. Many people took advantage of the opportunity, and their input was used in the discussions after the presentations. It also served as input for the now-legendary Roelen-Penning medal, which encourages up-and-coming researchers to ask questions. Charlotte de Wolf (dept. I&I) won the medal to display in her trophy case.

Breathtaking story

The event concluded with a guest lecture by Olympic champion long distance swimmer Maarten van der Weijden, who told a breathtaking story about his tense stay in hospital and the road to Olympic gold. The choices he and his coach made, and the experiments they conducted, were a perfect fit for the theme ‘Mind your links – Link your minds’.

“The event was extremely successful, and we are more than satisfied with the results”, says co-organiser Frank van Steenbeek (Dept. of Clinical Health of Companion Animals). “The VSD committee presented our faculty with a challenge: look for existing and potential scientific links between departments and other researchers. We hope that everyone will take up that challenge.”