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Helmholtz Data Science Career Day #2

Artificial intelligence and the broader data sciences have gained great attention in recent years. Accordingly, students’ and young professionals’ interest in starting a career in this field seems to be greater than ever – and they are drawn to the Helmholtz Association. The overwhelming response from around the world to our second virtual Helmholtz Data Science Career Day proves the point.

600 participants from 75 countries took part in the one-day-event on September 22nd, 2021. The vast number of career opportunities the Helmholtz Centers offer together easily explains this high level of international interest. At the career day, 22 Helmholtz Centers and international partner institutions jointly presented their over 150 current job openings and career paths for data scientists at all levels in six research areas: energy, earth and environment, health, aeronautics, space and transport, matter and information.

Live and online valuable career info for Data Science talents: Andreas Kosmider, Head of HIDA, in conversation with the President of the Helmholtz Association Otmar D. Wiestler. Photo: HIDA

Looking for brilliant brains

In a broadcasted interview at the Career Day, Prof. Dr. Otmar Wiestler, the Helmholtz Association’s president, stressed the importance of data science talent to the association: “Data Science has become a key skill. We depend on brilliant brains to solve grand challenges in all of our research fields.”

The Helmholtz Information & Data Science Academy organized the career day with many opportunities for data scientists on the job hunt to connect with over 100 of the centers’ hiring scientists and recruiters present and learn about possible career paths. In eight panels and keynotes, Helmholtz and partner scientists spoke about careers in data science and answered the audiences’ many questions what got them into the job. "You don't need to know and understand everything at the beginning, just start with one project and the rest will follow,” was keynote speaker and Helmholtz AI group leader Dr. Marie Piraud’s encouraging and well-received advice.

In the late afternoon, hiring scientists met with participants in short chat roulette-style video chats. In just under two hours, almost 455 conversations ensued. Participants then moved on to a virtual expo area to learn more about the centers and partners and – who knows – potentially meet their future employer. This has happened in the past: A number of participants in last year’s career day have found their way to Helmholtz. Now, we cannot wait to learn about this year’s participants new jobs at the 18 centers – please get in touch if that is you:

Facts and figures about the 2nd Helmholtz Data Science Career Day 2021

  • 592 visitors
  • 75 countries
  • 455 networking meetings 
  • 622 chat messages
  • 199 booth visits

… and 100.000+ online interactions regarding the Helmholtz Data Science Career Day.

Did you miss a panel or were you unable to attend the conference? Take a look at the conference program and find the individual contributions down below.


Opening by Dr. Andreas Kosmider (Head of the Helmholtz Information & Data Science Academy, Head Strategic Initiatives) introducing Helmholtz, the largest German research association, and partners.

Keynote and Q&A:Becoming the Master of Compute (and Data) by Prof. Dr. Achim Streit (Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Director of the Steinbuch Centre for Computing (SCC) & Professor of Computer Science)

Prof. Dr. Achim Streit became a professor at the age of 35. Today, he is head of the Steinbuch Centre for Computing and responsible for all big data an AI activities. He is the organizer of multiple large-scale projects, as well as deputy speaker in several Helmholtz programs about supercomputers, big data and engineering the digital future.

Interview: Key Skills for the Next Generation of Scientists by Dr. Andreas Kosmider (Head of the Helmholtz Information & Data Science Academy, Head Strategic Initiatives) with Prof. Dr. Otmar D. Wiestler (President of the Helmholtz Association)

How do we handle the amount of data, that is ever increasing in its quantities and complexity? Why are information and data sciences key topics of the strategic agenda of the institution? These are just some of the questions, Prof. Dr. Otmar D. Wiestler (President of the Helmholtz Association) answers in his interview about the skills, the next generation of scientists will need to succeed.

Panel: Strategic national data science efforts from around the world by Dr. Matthew Forshaw (The Alan Turing Institute National Skills Lead), Dr. Klas H. Pettersen (NORA Norwegian Artificial Intelligence Research Consortium CEO) and Johanna Bergman (AI Sweden Head of Project Portfolio) talk about the strategic efforts from their home countries to tackle challenges with data science on a national level.

Panel and Q&A:A PhD - Saving Lives and Earth with Data Science by apl. Prof. Dr. Ralf Mikut (Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), IAI Head of Research Area Automated Image and Data Analysis, Speaker of HIDSS4Health), Prof. Dr. Julia Kowalski (RWTH Aachen University Professor for Model-based Development of Stationary Power Units) and Dr. Marie Piraud (Helmholtz AI/ Helmholtz Zentrum München HMGUAI consultant Team Leader (Health))

How do engineers, computer - and health scientists work together to increase explainability and visualize data like CT & MRI scans? Can you improve the accuracy of diagnoses based on AI imagery and how do you learn algorithms without seeing private patient data to understand what’s going on from a medical point of view?

Panel and Q&A: Difference in Numbers - Women in Data Science by Alexandra Rosenbach (Helmholtz Association International Relations Manager) Prof. Dr. Alice McHardy (Computational Biology of Infection Research, Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research, Head of Department for Computational Biology of Infection Research), Prof. Dr. Sabine Attinger (Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research UFZ, Head of Research Unit Smart Models and Monitoring) and Dr.-Ing. Julia Hoxha (Zana Technologies GmbH CEO and Co-founder)

If data science is a tool, that gives people unlimited opportunities to build things and to understand the world better then why are the numbers still different? Why wouldn´t more women want to persue a career, that´s also a lot about teamwork and exchanging knowledge and making an impact on the world, society, and future?

Panel and Q&A: A PhD: Understanding Data from Single Cells to the Great Blue Sea by Dr. Alke Meents (Deutsches Elektronen Synchrotron DESY, Center for Free Electron Laser Science (CFEL), Group Leader FS-BMX (Biomedical Research with X-rays)), Prof. Dr. Arne Biastoch (GEOMAR Helmholtz-Zentrum für Ozeanforschung Kiel Researcher and Professor for ocean dynamics) and Dr. Laleh Haghverdi (Max-Delbrueck Center for Molecular Medicine (MDC) Principal Investigator)

We need data science to manage the drastic increase of data streams, that are getting more and more difficult to explain with traditional methods. Efficient and fully automated data processing is a way to achieve that and explain more complex interactions.

How far can we identify climate change in the ocean? How do cells interact and communicate? Those are just a few of the challenges and questions from genomics to ocean flows, that the teams from our Helmholtz Information & Data Science Schools are trying to answer.

Panel: Jobs that Solve Grand Challenges with Data by Dr. Stefan Kesselheim (Jülich Supercomputing Center Head of AI Consultant Team), Dr. Panagiotis Mandros (CISPA Helmholtz Center for Information Security Post-doctoral Researcher), PD Dr. habil. Annika Bande (Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin für Materialien und Energie GmbH / Theory of Electron Dynamics and Spectroscopy Research Group Leader), Dr. Christian Feiler (Institute of Surface Science, Helmholtz-Zentrum Hereon Scientist, Deputy Head of the Department of Interface Modelling) and Dr.-Ing. Uwe Konrad (Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf Head Information Services & Computing)

Every data science job contributes to solving challenges in society, science and technology, sometimes under extreme conditions. Learn from data scientists at our centers how they contribute to this mission and why your willingness to learn new things and to challenge yourself are some of the most important factors to success.

Interested in topics like cyber security, data mining or the creation of the next generation of antibiotics? Don´t miss out on this panel discussion and find out more about career paths that contribute to a better world in the future.


Helmholtz Data Science Career Day #2


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