The conference started with the greetings of Dr. Miklós Kellermayer, Dean of the Faculty of Medicine. He addressed a special welcome to the students participating on behalf of the European University for Well-Being (EUniWell), which is an important consortia for well-being with a number of European universities that Semmelweis is part of. With the participation of international students, there was a satellite meeting as part of the conference as well, focusing on talent support and early career issues.
Essentially, Dr. Kellermayer advised the audience of PhD students on what it takes to become a researcher, and how to motivate themselves. According to him, there are three main aspects that enables one to become a good researcher: selfishness, inspiration, and courage.
There is a good aspect of selfishness, which is benevolent and useful, and can drive processes in life which otherwise would not happen spontaneously. I encourage you to dare to enjoy science for its own sake; be selfish enough to make it an enjoyment
– he said.
„As for inspiration, it is not easy to have such in the age of burnout, so one has to use every moment in life to inspire oneself. Watch nature through your experiments, not on paper but in real life. “The imagination of nature is far, far greater than the imagination of man,” he said, quoting the famous physicist Richard P. Feynman. Dr. Kellermayer also raised attention to the significance of reading – not only scientific articles, but all literature. „Scientists are proud to publish more and more, but they should read more as well, in order to get inspired,” he noted.
Being the third important aspect of becoming a good researcher, the dean highlighted courage.
Professionals are supposed to have the boldness to think independently and critically, to criticize even their peers and themselves too. Don’t take things for granted, think twice, and become a critical thinker
– he stressed.
As a conclusion, the dean encouraged the participants not to be afraid of making mistakes, keep their eyes open, and be modest in everything except their aims, because that is what results in original thoughts.
After Dr. Kellermayer’s inspirational words, Dr. Zoltán Benyó shared some thoughts and information with the audience. He too welcomed the representatives of the EUniWell partner universities, thanking them to participate in the event. He drew attention to the range of lectures, two of which was presented by recipients of the Excellent PhD Supervisor award, a prestigious prize at Semmelweis University. They not only spoke about their scientific achievements, but also shared their thoughts on current issues of science, and career development during PhD studies. Dr. Zoltán Benyó highlighted the second plenary session by Péter Szkula, leader of the university’s Central Library about publication strategy and follow-up of publications, calling this a very important and current issue to discuss with many challenges.
Besides the above, PhD Scientific Days included a plenary session about the cardiometabolic effects of polycystic ovary syndrome and also about changes in PhD studies at Semmelweis University. The third plenary session was titled „The Fourth Musketeer – Secretagogin, a Calcium-binding Protein Typifies Distinct Cell Populations and Functions in the Mammalian Brain” and was presented by Dr. Alán Alpár. The parallel lectures featured a whole range of topics, namely lectures on clinical sciences, molecular sciences, pathology and oncology, pharmaceutical sciences, neurosciences, mental health sciences, theoretical and translational medicine, and health sciences.
Photo: Bálint Barta – Semmelweis University