Connecting European Neuroscience

ENCODS 2017: An interview with participants and organisers

Maria Luz Montesinos, FENS Communication Committee, had the chance to attend the conference and talk with participants and organisers about this new platform where students have the chance to start new collaborations and improve their skills in neuroscience.

ENCODS - the European Neuroscience Conference by Doctoral Students - is a relatively new conferences series, organized by and for PhD students. It was launched in 2013 in Bordeaux (France), and continued in Sesimbra (ENCODS 2015, Portugal), and Helsingor (ENCODS 2016, Denmark). This year it took place in Alicante, Spain with a mixed programme of student talks, poster presentations, workshops and round-table discussions, as well as a series of invited lectures from Howard Eichenbaum, Peter Somogyi, Orly Reiner, Nikolaus Kriegeskorte, Mara Dierssen, Tim Vogels and Sonia Garel.

Is ENCODS successful? Feedback from the Alicante meeting suggest it is.

José María Caramés, organizer, Instituto de Neurociencias de Alicante:

Every year ENCODS gets more and more attention from the PhD neuroscience student community. Everything about the event was high quality – from the work presented to the students and speakers. Maybe we don't have many years of experience, but I think during the congress we could breathe in our eagerness to learn about neuroscience, to grasp the takeover of the previous generation and to keep working in this area of the knowledge. Having in one place the most motivated student in neuroscience is a wonderful idea.

Sara Ferrando, participant, University Clinic Bonn, Germany :

ENCODS 2017 was an exceptional experience. We met outstanding researchers and students from all around the world, whose talks were of the highest level. We argued about issues of current interest in neuroscience and we could help and be helped with our day to day lab complications.

I enjoyed in particular openness of lecturers and workshop speakers, most of whom stayed for the whole meeting. This gave us a lot of opportunity to discuss, for instance, project-related questions or challenges we will face during our scientific career. Moreover, ENCODS 2017 organizers made an exceptional effort to create an interactive programme and entertaining social activities. That relaxed atmosphere was perfect to get to know other PhD students and different aspects of Neuroscience.

Next appointment? ENCODS 2018 in Berlin. Stay tuned!

To know more about ENCODS, please visit the page on the FENS website.