Notes from FEBS Education Ambassadors' Meeting

I attended FEBS Education Committee, 6th Education Ambassadors’ Meeting on May 19-20 in Izmir, Turkey. Here I will discuss the event as well as the initiative.
Notes from FEBS Education Ambassadors' Meeting

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What is Education Ambassadors' meeting?

FEBS education ambassadors from 28 constituent societies from all over Europe gather under the roof of the FEBS education committee to discuss education in this annual event.

This initiative which was brought to life by Gül Güner Akdoğan and other members of the FEBS Education Committee (Ed Com) in 2016, brings education enthusiasts together and creates an international network of educators to support one another. Besides annual meetings, ambassadors also organize education-related activities in their constituent societies. 

Who are the FEBS education ambassadors?

FEBS education ambassadors  appointed by constituent societies act as bridges between the FEBS (Ed Com) and the constituent societies when it comes to education related events and activities. They are expected not only to promote and advertise FEBS Ed Com activities but also organize them. Consequently they are enthusiastic about and actively involved in education, familiar with FEBS and its education-related activities and willing to commit time and energy to promote and organize educational activities.  

 Here is the list of current ambassadors:

 In 2021, three educational activities are organized by the ambassadors and their constituent societies (Biochemistry Education and Training – 360 Degrees by Turkish Biochemical Society, Excellent Lab Book For An Excellent Career by The Croatian Society of Biochem & Mol Biology and Evidence-based teaching in your classroom: catalysing student engagement by Portuguese Biochemical Society).

How was the 6th FEBS Education Ambassadors’ Meeting? 

The first morning of the two-day event was reserved not only to brilliant talks and stimulating discussions about education, but was also a reflection on the past of the Ed Com and the ambassadors initiative thanks to the excellent talks of Ed Com chair Ferhan Sağın (@Ferhan Sagin) , former Ed Com chair Gül Akdoğan (@Gül Güner Akdogan) and former FEBS Secretary General Israel Pecht.

All of us in the audience felt encouraged and motivated by the talks of

Francesco Malatesta (@Francesco Malatesta)"Virtual Congress Education Session Reflections", Nino Sincic (@Nino Sincic) "Better Skills for Better Jobs Series - Excellent Lab Book for an Excellent Career", Aylin Sepici Dinçel (@Aylin Sepici Dincel), Yannis Karamanos (@Yannis Karamanos)and Manuel João Costa (@Manuel João Costa) where they discussed the success of educational activities they have designed and run.  The titles of the talks are listed below:

  • SIB 2021 Virtual Congress Education Session Reflections (Francesco Malatesta-İtaly)
  • Better Skills for Better Jobs Series - Excellent Lab Book for an Excellent Career (Nino Sincic-Croatia)
  • 360 degrees Education p (Aylin Sepici Dinçel-Türkiye)
  • A Competency-based Approach for Biochemistry Lab-work for Third Year Students (Yannis Karamanos-France)
  • Joint FEBS/SPB/UMinho Symposium on Evidence Based Teaching in Your Biomolecular Classroom: Catalysing Student Engagement (Manuel João Costa-Portugal)

After the lunch it was the time for two intense workshops facilitated by Ed Com members (and myself):

  1. Let’s Organize An Educational Event!  by Ferhan Sağın, Jerka Dumic (@Jerka Dumic), Néstor Torres Darias (@Nestor Torres Darias)  

  2. Let’s Develop Creative Strategies For Promotion Of Education!  by Luciane Vieira de Mello (@Luciane Vieira de Mello), Nino Sincic, Ali Burak Özkaya

These workshops were designed to help participants strengthen the primary skills of an ambassador. All ambassadors worked on these 2 activities consecutively in small groups and  designed drafts of educational events and created newsletters to advertise FEBS activities. The sessions was concluded with a general group discussion. 

On the second day after an illuminating talk on educational research by Luciane Vieira de Mello, the team has moved on to a brain storming session in which various topics ranging from "education evaluation" to "education guidelines" and "postgrad programs" were discussed by the ambassadors. Facilitator reports were discussed and a general group discussion was carried out. 

Frank Michelangeli delivered a talk on ‘Accreditation of molecular bioscience degrees in Europe’ and the session as well as the meeting came to an end after collecting feedbacks from the participants. 

And we had some fun too

The meeting was held in stunning Club Marvy hotel and we had a chance to enjoy the sun, the food and the drinks. Ed Com members and the ambassadors are socialized in a warm, friendly and welcoming environment. 

Personal take

I was enlightened by the brilliant talks and stimulating discussions and felt encouraged to reach out to others sharing similar interests in education. As a bonus I made some new friends and had the chance to chat and spend some time with the old ones. 


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