International Women’s day: ‘TheyForShe’ Networking and Skill-Building Event

Malvika Sharan   2019-02-18   Comments Off on International Women’s day: ‘TheyForShe’ Networking and Skill-Building Event

We invite you to attend the International Women’s day event taking place on March 7 and 8, 2019, at EMBL Heidelberg. We acknowledge the valuable contribution of the brilliant women researchers like you and our colleagues at EMBL, and we want to celebrate this day by creating opportunities for you to learn about each other while exchanging ideas and gaining new skills.

March 7: Inspirational Seminar by Edith Heard

EMBL Director General Edith Heard will speak at the next Inspirational Seminar event on March 7 at 14:00 at Large Operon, EMBL Heidelberg. Talk title: "Life with two X chromosomes", Host: EMBL Equality & Diversity Committee, Chair: Cristina Viéitez

This event is open for everyone to attend and will mark the beginning of our Women's Day Celebration. Live stream of this seminar will be available for everyone in different EMBL sites: EDC-Seminar.

March 8: Registration and Program

Registration form:

You can register for one or multiple sessions organized within this event by indicating your participation appropriately in this registration form.

What is 'TheyForShe'?

TheyForShe is a non-binary take on HeForShe, which is a solidarity campaign for the advancement of gender equality, initiated by UN. This is to imply, that even though the event is to show appreciation for our female colleagues, we invite everyone interested in joining one or multiple sessions at the event.


  • This event will take place in Room number 202 from 09:15 to 16:00.
  • The evening round table networking at 16:00 will take place at staff lounge
  • Movie screening will be at 17:00 in Large Operon (LOCATION UPDATED)
Time Title Speakers/Chairs/Trainers
09:00 - 09:15 Registration & Coffee Organizers
09:15 - 10:00 Opening and guided discussion on Ally Skills [1] EDC members
10:00 - 10:30 Open Day Networking [2] Sponsored by EDC
10:30 - 12:00 Transferable Skill: Project Management [3] Trainers: Ulrike Trojahn & Simone Bell
12:00 - 13:30 Women in Science Lunch [4] Speaker: Paola Picotti, Chair: Sofya Mikhaleva, Sponsored by EDC
13:30 - 15:00 Technical Skill: Developing collaborative documents (Using GitHub to work on different versions of documents with collaborators) [5] Trainer: Malvika Sharan, Bio-IT
15:00 - 16:00 Break-out discussion: (a) Open Science for gaining visibility and credits for your work, (b) Storytelling in Science [6] Moderators: (a) Tobey Wenzel, Ioanna Ydraiou, Malvika Sharan. (b) Adam Gristwood
16:00 - 17:00 Evening round table networking [7] Co-sponsored by Staff Association
17:00 - 19:00 Movie screening of Hidden Figures Organizers

This event is supported by the members of the Bio-IT community, EMBL Equality & Diversity Committee and Staff Association.


For more information, please contact the event organizer Malvika Sharan by emailing

Please contact Sofya Mikhaleva for more information on Inspiration Seminar and Women in Lunch series.

Notes on the sessions

[1] Ally Skills Session will aim to have open discussions with people interested in learning how to step up and use their societal advantages to support others in your workplace and communities. For more information see here and here.

[2], [4] & [7] Networking events and the Women in Science Lunch are sponsored by EDC. There will be finger food and drinks, please indicate your participation so we can plan accordingly. Networking events will allow you to have informal exchanges, share interests, and potentially collaborate with each other. At the round table meeting in the evening (co-sponsored by Staff Association), take chance to talk to your colleagues at EMBL who organize various events/projects on campus that you can benefit from.

[3] Project Management: 'Project management is the practice of initiating, planning, executing, controlling, and closing the work of a team to achieve specific goals and meet specific success criteria at the specified time'. This session will be conducted by the professional project managers Simone Bell (Huber Group) and Ulrike Trojahn (Bork/Zeller). This will be a hands-on transferable-skill session to introduce you to the main principles and practices of project management that you can use in your work.

[5] Collaborative Document Development: 'One of the main challenges in working with many people on a single project-- whether it’s planning and running multi-institution research initiative to collect and analyze data or the process of co-creating, sharing, and updating learning materials for your group-- is “version control,” the task of managing the many contributions your group makes to shared working documents.'( Reference Mozilla Science). In this session you will learn how you can use GitHub, a web-based application, to create documents related to your projects, involve your collaborators, record their contributions, track all the versions of documents and make your resources available for public/publications.

[6] (a) Open Science for visibility: This discussion will focus on the practical ways of making research outputs more publicly visible and independently assess-able, in order to make researchers less dependent on reference letters. We will discuss how open research improves scientific visibility and fair acknowledgments/credits of researchers (such as citations, media attention, potential collaborators, job opportunities and funding opportunities). We will use an evidence-based approach to discuss if open research practices can bring significant benefits to researchers relative to more traditional closed practices. For more information see here and here.

[6] (b) Storytelling in Science: In this session Adam Gristwood (EMBO) will lead a discussion on how each of us can become a storytellers of our work by using some key techniques that engages our audience. 'Scientists often struggle to communicate the findings of research. Our subject matter can be technical and not easily digested by a general audience. And our discoveries have no meaning until that meaning can be defined and agreed upon. To address this, we are often advised to use the tools of narrative. It is our responsibility to become at least literate, if not masterly, in storytelling about our work. Our audiences need stories. So we must tell the right stories about our findings, if we are going to treat those findings with the respect they need.' (Quote from Guardian Article)

Event Sponsors:

  • EDC is sponsoring the lunch and morning networking sessions.
  • Bio-IT is sponsoring the technical skill-up and discussion sessions.
  • Staff Association is sponsoring the evening round-table networking session.

About Malvika Sharan

I am a Community Outreach Coordinator for Bio-IT and Training Coordinator for ELIXIR Germany. Find me at EMBL-HD office 101 or at Bio-IT drop-in Sessions on Tuesdays 10:00-12:00 at the EMBL staff lounge. Contact Details: email -, Twitter -, GitHub -