Hear from our travel grant beneficiaries

BioExcel Summer School 2018 in Sardinia

For each of our BioExcel training events we make a limited number of travel bursaries available. We ask the beneficiaries of the BioExcel travel grant to write a blog post for us, either about their experiences at the course, their research interests (in layman’s terms) or a relevant scientific topic.
The following posts are from travel beneficiaries from our recent summer school in Sardinia.


Saheen Shehnaz Begum

Department of Chemical Sciences, Tezpur University

Getting selected for the BioExcel Summer School held at Sardinia, Italy from June 17-22 2018 was exciting. Attending the school and learning first hand from people who are currently developing the software has become an experience of a lifetime.

Although I had to cover a distance of about 7700 km and change between 9 flights during the journey, it was all worth it. Italy is a beautiful country and Sardinia an amazing place. The place of stay (Hotel Mare Pineta) was lovely and so were the people. The organizers really took care of every detail.

The school presented all the contents in a very interesting way. One software each day: It began with a lecture on GROMACS by Mark Abraham and team, which culminated with a tutorial for us to experience what we learned. The second day was dedicated to HADDOCK – theory and tutorial by Alexandre Bonvin, the third to CPMD and finally PMX. Somewhere in between, we, the participants were also given the opportunity to present a flash talk to learn about each other and our research interests, that lead to discussions and talks transforming into friendships 🙂 . The schedule had a perfect balance between learning theory, hands-on experience of using different software, food and of course beach-time!

Before winding up the event, there was a “Get your answers” sessions, where the giants of the field gave answers to all our questions (that we could write in a designated place, whenever we had one) and they even asked for our suggestions, this made us feel like an integral part of what they are planning to do.

Personally, I felt lucky to have had the opportunity to talk to the experts of the field that I am currently working on. I discussed a few problems that I stumbled upon while working with CNT on GROMACS with Mark Abraham and all I can is he has put me in the right direction.

Plus, I met the researchers from different countries who had similar concerns and wonderful ideas that I could delve upon. This Summer School has given me very good friends from different countries, whom I may not have known otherwise.

As of now, I am patiently trying to implement all that I could learn in those 5 days, in my research. I am hoping for BioExcel to continue flourishing and helping researchers all around the globe. I will surely be waiting for my second chance 🙂

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