Report iBBA retreat 10th-11th October 2019

Report iBBA retreat 10th-11th October 2019

By: Berno Bucker, PhD (Programme manager IBBA)

Amsterdam, October 18th 2019

The retreat of the institute of Brain and Behavior Amsterdam (iBBA) on the 10th and 11th of October 2019 at holiday resort Eigenwijze in Bant (NL) was a great success. With around 80 members we enjoyed two full days of symposia, talks, social activities, typical Dutch food and typical Dutch weather. Thursday around 9:00 most of us gathered at the VU to take the arranged bus to the up-to-then secret location. As a proper retreat is supposed to be the location was remote and we stayed in picturesque little houses that were arranged around a circular pond in the middle of the meadows (see Figure 1). For many people, the highlight of day one was the iBBA retreat grant proposal activity during which randomly assigned groups of 3-5 researchers from different disciplines had the opportunity to put together a grant proposal on a poster. The winning team (democratically voted for) received 5000 Euro to organize a symposium about OPM-MEG, that will be held in 2020. It was good to see that researchers from different iBBA departments were working together, inspiring each other and talking about potential collaborations. Of course, it helped a lot that there was a nice dinner, super fun pub quiz and dancing later that evening. Friday morning started early with a Tai Chi class for some followed by breakfast and several symposia. Before the final keynote lecture and the bus ride back to the VU, there was more time for bonding by playing typical Dutch games (e.g. sjoelen and jenga). Altogether, the iBBA members that joined the two day retreat had a relaxing, inspiring, bonding and fun time together. 

Figure 1. iBBA retreat 2019 at Bant (NL).