Casimir Spring School 2020: 'Sun, Sailing, Science' in Grou



3 full days


Grou, the Netherlands, Herberg Oer 't Hout


Through the form at the bottom of the page.
On the form you can indicate which workshops you would like to follow and let us know what you would like to learn so the workshop host can make adjustments to tune the contents to your requirements.

The Casimir Research School and the Casimir PhD Platform invite you to join the eighth edition of the Casimir Spring School 'Sun, Sailing, and Science', which will take place on April 21, 22 and 23 in Grou, Friesland in Herberg Oer 't Hout . It is a great opportunity to present your research to your peers and there is plenty of time to get to know your fellow Casimir PhD students and postdocs better!

The focus of this event is to learn, not only through the keynote presentations and workshop but most of all by sharing your experiences with your fellow students. One way is of doing this is through presentations and posters / pitches. These should focus not only on your research results but foremost about how you have arrived there. Which difficulties did you encounter and how did you solve them or got around them.
To reward your extra efforts we award a total of Euro 1500,00, divided into three grants of Euro 500,00*;  for the best presentation; the best poster (not the pitch) and for the presentation that best solved the hurdle that was faced. *(to be invested in your career e.g. workshop, conference, course)

Keynote speakers

21 April:  Luuk Simons, Health Coach program,
Become your ‘best version’
Practical tips for your ‘battery’ and your performance. Your ‘battery’ is composed of both a physical and a mental part.  It fuels your energy and performance. What can you do to enlarge your battery capacity and how can you make smart use of your battery so it depletes gradually. Because, your actions at the start of the day have impact on how you feel and perform later that day.

22 April:  Ewine van Dishoeck, Professor of Molecular Astrophysics at Leiden University,
One of the most exciting developments in astronomy is the discovery of thousands of planets around stars other than our Sun. But how do these exo-planets form, and why are they so different from those in our own solar system?  Which ingredients are available to build them?  Thanks to powerful new telescopes, astronomers are starting to address these age-old questions scientifically.  Stars and planets are born in the cold and tenuous clouds between the stars in the Milky Way, and the new ALMA array now allows us to zoom in on planetary construction zones for the first time and analyze the physics involved.  Water and a surprisingly rich variety of organic materials are found, including simple sugars.  Can these pre-biotic molecules end up in comets and ultimately new planets and thus form the basis for life elsewhere in the universe? What did the Rosetta mission find when it landed on comet 67P?

22 April:  Petra Rudolf, Professor at the Zernike Institute for Advanced Materials, Groningen University
Molecular Motors and Switches at Surfaces
Molecular motors and switches form the basis of many important biological processes. In contrast to these solutions chosen by Nature for achieving complex tasks, mankind's present day technologies function exclusively through their static or equilibrium properties. One can therefore easily anticipate that the controlled movement of molecules or parts of molecules offers unprecedented technological possibilities for the future. In this presentation I shall show how to build molecular engines that allow movements at the molecular level to be coupled to the macroscopic world, e.g. to transport macroscopic objects like drops of liquid over a surface. I shall also discuss self-assembled monolayers of switches that can be addressed with light and charge transfer and demonstrate how such systems can be employed for “read and write” functions.

Workshops, 8 in total from which you can choose 3.
Please indicate in the form below which workshops you would like to follow and let us know what you would like to learn so the presenter can that into account.

21 April
In the evening we have two rounds of five parallel sessions. Choose two of the following:

Scientific Publishing: speaker tba
The ins and outs of scientific publishing

How to solve conflicts with your supervisor? Job van Luyken (Interim Ombudsman TU Delft)
Nearly every PhD student experiences some sort of conflict with his/her supervisor. This can be difficult to solve, because of the major influence the supervisor has on the success of the PhD: the (financial) resources, the publications, the approval of the thesis, a reference for future job, etc. The PhD student however has little ‘power’ over their supervisor, and there is not always a safe external party to consult. Whether minor or major, how do you solve these conflicts?

Data-management: Esther Plomp (Data steward TNW TU Delft)
Proper Research Data Management (RDM) is beneficial for quality of scientific practice, can be time and cost-efficient, and provides recognition for all research outputs. It is therefore important to familiarise yourself with information and tools that are available to manage your data during various stages of your research. In this workshop, you will be introduced to RDM concepts, such as FAIR principles, Data Management Plans (DMP) and data archiving.

How to build your own confocal microscope: Kirsten Martens (Leiden University)
The process of building a confocal microscope has many angles. Kirsten would like to tailor the content of her workshop as best as possible to what you would like to learn. Please give your input in the form.

Vacuum in the lab : Pumps Dirk van Langeveld  ((NEVAC) – Dutch association for Vacuum)
Vacuum pumps and vacuum systems are used in many labs. Whether you are a beginner or a vacuum expert, this workshop offers you the possibility to ask questions about your vacuum system. Please let us know your questions on the registration form.

23 April
In the morning another round of three parallel sessions, from which you can choose one from the following topics:

"Communicate your value for a career outside academia": Lisette Spoelder (People in Science)
In this workshop you are supported to define and communicate your unique value and to speak the language of the industry. You will receive a toolkit to develop your competences already during your PhD, what helps you to obtain your dream job after your PhD. The workshop is fun, practical and gives you the lead in application procedures.

Animated science: Bruno van Wayenburg (Leiden University)
In this workshop, you get to know the (im)possibilities of animation to clarify science that is complex, spatially involved, or both. Think of an effect, phenomenon, concept or experiment that is hard to explain. You will write a short storyboard: a voiceover text, sketches and a description of what happens during a (very short) animation. Then, we will work on a (standard) example animation in Adobe's After Effects software, the industry standard, to make moving images. After the workshop, you will know how animations are made, how you can plan for one, and have an idea of how much time it will take.
One of the results of the Casimir Research School Course Animated Science.

How to start your own company: Jelmer Renema (Quix)
In January 2019, Jelmer Rennema co-founded QuiX, a company which produces integrated photonic solutions for quantum information processing. He will give an overview of my experiences from the first year of this company. With the focus on the differences between an academic environment and one of industrial research, and on the practicalities of life in a tech start-up. This talk will be of interest to those considering the choice between academia and industry, as well as those contemplating starting their own business.

Student presentations and Posters / pitches

Both presentations and posters should focus not only on your research results but foremost about how you have arrived there. Which difficulties did you encounter and how did you solve them or got around them.
Therefore the presentation/poster should contain 3 elements:
•    A clear motivation and goal of the research understandable to a broad audience
•    Results (can be positive or negative, or not finished yet)
•    But most importantly: how did you get there:
o    what hurdles/issues did you encounter
o    how did you solve them
o    if not, what did you do
o    if not yet, what do you think you should do

We also would like to invite first or second year students to talk about their work. You will be in a different phase of your research so you might have not (yet) met many hurdles, so the balance of elements can differ.
Regardless of what your research is about, overcoming difficulties is something which everybody will recognise and that makes every presentation interesting for the whole audience.
Please send your abstract and an introduction slide which is “grandparent” proof to: before April 7th.

If you are not doing a presentation, please present your work in a poster and do a poster pitch, keeping in mind that like the presentations, we would like you to focus on the road as well as on the result.

Pre-Spring School workshop presentation skills by Julia Cramer:
A Pre-Spring School workshop presentation can be organised in Leiden and/or Delft if we have enough participants, please indicate if you are interested on the registration form.

Social program, meeting your Leiden and Delft colleagues
On the afternoon of the 22th, we will go sailing on the nearby lake. If you are already an experienced sailor and feel comfortable sailing a small (max. 5 persons) boat, please sign up as skipper. There are on-land activities for those who are not fond of sailing. In the evening there will be the famous Casimir pub quiz and later on opportunity to show off your dancing and karaoke talents. Specially for students who have just started their PhD, the Spring School offers plenty of opportunities to make new friends.
There is a piano in the hostel so please bring instruments and have a jam session!

Registration, costs, cancellation policy, and credits
•    The maximum number of participants is 120 so please register in time. Registration will close when we reach the maximum number of participants or at April 7th. Afterwards you can be put on the waiting list, please send an e-mail to the interim Casimir Coordinator Jacqueline van Krieken
•    The costs for the Spring School, the bus trip and the accommodation, including all meals and drinks with the meals (expenses at the bar at own costs), are arranged by and covered for by the Casimir Research School.
•    It is possible to cancel your registration until April 15th 2020, by sending an e-mail to the interim Casimir Coordinator Jacqueline van Krieken. Cancellation after this date without finding a replacement for your spot, or a 'no show' means that you have to shoulder the costs made for you (up to € 200,- per person)!
•    For attending the school you will receive 1 GSC (Graduate School Credit), for presenting a paper or poster presentation you will receive an extra 0.5 GSC.

(fields marked with * are required)
Your contribution
please for presentation also send outline (max 50 words)+ grandparent proof intro slide to Before April 7.
Presentation Workshop* Will be held in March before the Spring School
Leisure on Wednesday*
Can you swim?*
Volunteer as skipper ?*


29 March 2011 - 1 January 2021

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