Success story of DATAETHICS Pilot School 2021


This April Pilot School was the first course developed within the framework of DATAETHICS project, co-funded by the Erasmus+ program of the European Union and supported by the project’s associate partner, the Franco-German University.

The DATAETHICS Pilot School gave 28 students from 9 European countries a unique opportunity to attend the 5-day program to debate on the significance of coupling ethical with scientific considerations of the curation and handling of Biomedical Big Data in learning structures and learn about the latest trends in data science and bioinformatics.

The pandemic has prevented us from meeting  in person, though the school proved an amazing event despite the virtual environment

A program with a transnational and interdisciplinary approach

The 28 students – Bachelor, Master and PhD – attended daily lectures by 14 leading and established cross-disciplinary experts in ethics and biomedicine and were offered the opportunity to discuss the topics with the experts following each session.

The expertise of the speakers covered a broad spectrum of research and application interests from bioethics, health policy and social studies of medicine, to cutting-edge genomics and analysis of large heterogeneous high-throughput data-sets.

Gabriele Werner-Felmayer, Innsbruck, AUT     Tim Beißbarth, Göttingen, DE      Karim Lekadir, Barcelona, ES 

 Zlatko Trajanoski, Innsbruck, AUT     Mirjam Pot, Vienna, AUT     Thanasis Tsanas, Edinburgh, UK     Silke Schicktanz, Göttingen, DE

Alexander Silbersdorff, Göttingen, DE      Sara J M Laurijssen, Leiden, NL      Laszlo Bencze, Budapest, HU     Gert Helgesson, Stockholm, SE 

Francis Megerlin, Strasbourg, FR        Julien Godet, Strasbourg, FR         Blanaid Mee, Dublin, IE

Practice-based approach with guidance of the Values and Knowledge Education (VaKE) experts

Grouped in 7 transnational teams, for 5 days of the course students elaborated the dilemma story they were presented with on Day 1 of the school. From many real-life and hipotetical case study ideas developed by students, who took part in DATAETHICS virtual project prior to the Pilot School, the DATAETHICS academic jury selected one of them for the Pilot School as dilemma story. The story was submitted by Jamie Webb from the University of Edinburgh.

Through the matrix of excellent presentations, interactive and hands-on exercise sessions, students were offered a flexible environment for acquisition of knowledge framed around a dilemma story. This approach allowed students the application of newly-gained knowledge in true-to-life scenario of the dilemma story.

Under the guideance of the VaKE moderators, each team developed ideas with regards to the dilemma story, based on their research and discussions, right up until the final pitch on Day 5 of the course. The school offered students the opportunity to further enhance their ability to convey knowlegde and develop efficient presentations.

The final pitch on the 16th of April was a great opportunity for all the teams to pitch in front of the expert panel, composed of academic and industry experts in the theme of the school:

Gabriele Werner-Felmayer, Innsbruck, AUT

Argyris Papantonis, Göttingen, DE

Jean-Luc Patry and Prof. Sieglinde Weyringer, AVaKE, Salzburg, AUT

Jelmer Pieters, DPO Consultancy, Leiden, NL

Rebecca Reynolds, University of Edinburgh, UK

Joern Pütz, Strasbourg, FR

Orsolya Péter, Budapest, HU

All presentations were impressive and we are excited and extremely proud of the high engagement and learnings from the very first DATAETHICS course.

Slide from the presentation of the winning group, group 4
Slide from the presentation of group 1

At the closing session of the Pilot School, a book prize “The Ethics of Medical Data Donation” was presented to the best presentation. Winners included:

Monika Vilmova from the University of Strasbourg, Yehor Horokhovskyi from the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry (Göttingen Campus), Ilva Noa Stellingwerf from Karolinska Istitutet and Aleix Noguera-Castells from the University of Barcelona.


Watch the video testimonials of the participants to see what students have to say about the DATAETHICS Pilot School

(video will be uploaded soon)

If you wish to join the DATAETHICS courses, please follow our calls – the next one, to DATAETHICS Summer School 2021 opens soon.

Follow us on Twitter @DataethicsEL

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