Community building  @ Oncode Institute

Oncode Institute aims to drive innovation through collaboration, fostering a culture of openness and sharing, in which researchers can engage in cross-disciplinary collaborations. Not only with other researchers but also with clinicians, industry partners, patient representatives and other stakeholders.

We provide our community with multiple platforms to establish interactions, ranging from institute-wide annual meetings to small-scale technical masterclasses and clinical workshops. Needless to say, the COVID-19 pandemic had a huge impact on our research community and the way we organized our meetings. We succeeded to keep the interaction going via online and hybrid meetings. In this overview we’ve summarised the highlights of 5 years of community building.

Launch event Oncode Institute 

Date: February, 2018
Location: Royal Tropical Institute, Amsterdam

During a festive launch event, we brought together funders, researchers, patients and many others. They witnessed Queen Máxima officially opening the Institute.

Clinical workshops 

Date: Organised a few times a year
Location: Jaarbeurs, Utrecht

To facilitate the connection and collaboration between researchers and clinicians, Oncode Institute organises clinical workshops focused on a specific tumour type. Participants discuss how fundamental research and new technical developments can address unmet clinical needs and identify topics to work on together.

Annual Scientific Meeting 

Date: Organised every year, last meeting was in July 2022
Location: Rijtuigenloods, Amersfoort in 2022

Every year, the Oncode community is invited for a two-day Annual Scientific meeting to indulge in hot-of-the-press science conducted by their colleagues. Junior researchers specifically get the chance to present their work. Participants have the opportunity to listen to scientific talks spanning all the Oncode research fields, gather around posters and discuss the latest findings and enjoy each other’s company.

Oncode Science Art Prize 

Science doesn’t just bring forward important findings, it also creates exciting images. Since 2020, we organise the Oncode Science Art Prize, together with pArt of Science. We asked the research community for their best images in 2020 and 2022, in 2021 the contest focused on storytelling.

Annual Conference 

Date: Every year in November
Location: Royal Tropical Institute, Amsterdam

Every year, Oncode brings together world-class speakers from different parts of the globe for a two-day conference. This two day event comes from a long tradition (‘the KIT-meeting’) and Oncode makes it available for the wider Dutch academic community. The two days are always packed with excellent presentations on exciting new insights in cancer research, with ample time to connect with the research community. During the COVID-19 pandemic we adjusted the meetings to a hybrid setting.

Patient perspective program meeting

Date: December 2022
Location: NKI

Patients and researchers can truly inspire and learn from each other - that was the shared conclusion from the Patient Perspective Program meeting. The day was packed with interesting presentations by passionate young researchers, in-depth dialogues on optimal collaboration between Oncode researchers and patient partners, and last but not least: a tour at The Netherlands Cancer Institute labs.

Mentor meetings for Junior Investigators 

Date: Organized2 times a year
Location: Alternating locations

Oncode provides Junior Investigators with specific trainings, where they can talk about influencing, leadership, team management and work-life balance. During these sessions, they are equipped with practical tools and team management methods to implement within their labs. In addition, Oncode gives them the opportunity to couple up with a Senior Investigator – outside their institute – to provide them with support and advice.

Technical Masterclasses

Date: Organized several times a year
Location: Alternating locations

The Oncode Masterclasses are organized by Oncode researchers with the goal to take a deep dive in a specific topic or technology. Technical experts on a specific subject give participants an overview of the subject and the possibilities. There is always room for researchers to discuss these possibilities for their specific research project.

Joint meetings with partners 

Date: Organized several times a year
Location: Alternating locations

Since collaboration is at the heart of Oncode Institute, we find it important to organize meetings together with organisations. In the past years, we’ve worked together with HollandBio, TU Eindhoven, Pivot Park and many other organisations from industry and academia to inspire our research community and give them the opportunity to broaden their network and start new collaborations.

short video of a robot shown during a tour at the Pivot Park meeting

Postdoc Retreat

Date: September 2021
Location: Lunteren

The postdocs of all Oncode groups were invited for a two-day event where they could present their work, debate, listen to key notes, and immerse themselves in science. And, most importantly: meet new people from outside their labs and institutes. This event was organised with a postdocs from different labs.

Advanced workshops and topical meetings 

Date: Organized several times a year
Location: Alternating locations

Goal: Together with Oncode researchers, Oncode Institute organized several advanced workshop and throughout the year. These are specifically focused on researcher’s needs: to learn more about state of the art models and new techniques and research insights. Our junior scientists who have hands-on experience with the models and techniques, are particularly given a podium during these workshops and chair the sessions.

Dutch Artificial Embryo meeting

Date: April 2022
Location: Netherlands Cancer Institute, Amsterdam

The Dutch Artificial Embryo Meeting was organised by two young researchers who met during the Oncode Postdoc Retreat. They wanted to bring together and strengthen the community of artificial embryology within the Netherlands. They teamed up with Oncode, and together we organized a full day programme, open to the Dutch community with in depth discussions in this interesting and new research field.


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