Education will emerge stronger than before COVID-19 at the FEBS 2021 Congress (and onwards…)

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Have you considered presenting a poster on teaching, training and learning in the molecular life sciences at the FEBS 2021 Congress?

If your answer is ‘I didn’t think about it’ or ‘No, probably not’, please read on and see why you should.

If your answer is ‘Yes’, please read on to see that you have the right focus.

And if you are asking me, I would say ‘Why not? Certainly I will!’

Because… surely the pandemic brought many unexpected challenges in many areas, but one positive thing about this period is a much greater appreciation of the importance of life sciences research and education. There is a broad recognition of the central role of these two areas nowadays. FEBS Congresses, for many years, have already been successfully standing on these two pillars. And FEBS 2021 Congress will continue to do so. However, for FEBS 2021, we believe that educational research should be powered up and presented more in our meeting.

Necessity is the mother of invention, and COVID-19 created a landslide of need where we all should contribute with educational research. Not only research but good practices, experiences, innovations, trials, mistakes, etc. all count to build a new educational era together. Many of us are envisioning education emerging from the pandemic stronger than before. So why not also come together to create initiatives for actions to guide the transformation of education systems after the pandemic?

Therefore, the FEBS Education Committee and FEBS 2021 Congress Organizing Committee extend an invitation to those involved in teaching and training in the molecular life sciences to discuss and share what they tried, what worked, what did not work, how can it be better, and what is in the future for training of young researchers.

To enable this, FEBS has put into action the possibility that every participant can submit an education abstract in addition to a scientific research abstract without an additional registration fee at the Congress. So every researcher can bring one scientific and one educational poster to FEBS 2021 without an additional cost.

The abstract topics for general aspects of education are given on the Congress website here (after the research topics). Within these broader themes, some specific suggestions of timely subjects on education for the FEBS 2021 Congress are:

  1. How have educators and students coped with emergency remote teaching?
  2. What are the comparative advantages and disadvantages of technology vis-a-vis traditional instruction?
  3. What were some good practices for online content creating, conducting classes, assessment, etc.?
  4. How can we deliver quality and accessible education online?
  5. How can we engage students during remote learning?
  6. What happened to laboratory practicals during COVID-19? What are some solutions?
  7. How has switching to online instruction during COVID-19 affected undergraduate students’ motivation and their desire to remain in the life sciences field?
  8. How has postgraduate student research and training been affected and what are some solutions?
  9. How can artificial intelligence/deep learning tools help postgraduate teaching and training?
  10. How have institutional responses to COVID-19 influenced students’ well-being, motivation, sense of belonging, and other sociocultural factors of identity?

Our invitation is clear! Do not limit your presence at the FEBS 2021 Congress only as a researcher and bring in your educational work as well.

The pandemic crisis has abruptly moved remote learning and educational technologies from the backstage to the main stage. We believe this move presents an enormous potential and opportunity to transform education, so that young people will be equipped better for our changing times. As educators, we need rapid sharing of early insights and testing of potential transformation ideas as well as educational research and rigorous reviews. This is the only way for better training of young researchers so our community and scientific research grow stronger.

Further information:
FEBS 2021 Congress homepage
Call for abstracts
Education poster prize: one poster will be selected for an Education Poster Award of free registration to the IUBMB–FEBS–PABMB Congress in 2022.


Top image of post: GoodStudio/Shutterstock.com

Ferhan Sagin

Chair, FEBS Education Committee, Ege University, Faculty of Medicine

Atherosclerosis, inflammatory diseases, biomarkers