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ECR summer school

The Early Career Researcher (ECR) Summer School, organized by the CRC/TRR 289 “Treatment Expectation” and preceding and connected to SIPS 2023 in Duisburg, Germany, combines theoretical lectures with active "hands-on" workshops and networking opportunities. The content has been closely coordinated with the ECRs wishes and preferences and was co-planned by the CRC/TRR 289 and the ECRs.

Alongside subject-specific basics of placebo and nocebo effects, the program will focus on practical skills such as statistics (Bayesian analysis), as well as meta-scientific skills such as open science, science communication and online presence as a scientist (e.g., social media, own website). In addition, a final discussion session will provide a framework to share issues and challenges in one's own research, both with peers and more experienced scientists. In this way, the summerschool will prepare the participants in the best possible way for participation in the SIPS and for their own scientific careers. Social events, e.g. a planned pub quiz, in the evening will round off the program and invite people to get to know each other.

Tuesday, 9 May 2023

Program overview

Session titleSpeakerTime
Arrival and welcomeUlrike Bingel14:30 - 15:00
Placebo/nocebo basicsLuana Colloca15:00 - 15:30
Translating science to practiceWinfried Rief15:30 - 16:00
Coffee break of 20 mins 16:00 - 16:20
Why does it not work?Christiane Hermann16:20 - 16:50
How to start using open science in your projects*Priya Silverstein16:50 - 18:20*
Bayesian analysis in JASP*Lukas Lengersdorff16:50 - 18:20*
Joint walk to the pub quiz location 18:30 - 19:00
Social Event – Pub Quiz
at Finkenkrug, Sternbuschweg 71, 47057 Duisburg
 19:00 - 21:30

*Parallel session

Wednesday, 10 May 2023

Program overview

Session titleSpeakerTime
Present your own research in 3 minutes to a lay audience*Barbara Schmidt 9:00 - 10:00*
Increasing your online visibility as an academic (virtual)*Rebecca Hirst9:00 - 10:00*
Coffee break of 30 mins  
Roundtable and discussion on "Failures and scientific nightmares"Winfried Rief, Christiane Hermann,
Julian Kleine-Borgmann
10:30 - 11:30
ClosingJana Aulenkamp11:30 - 11:45

*Parallel session

Talks and Speakers

Luana Colloca

Professor at the University of Maryland

Placebo/nocebo basics

Talk description

The first talk of the Summer School will give you basic knowledge about positive and negative expectations, and how they can lead to placebo and nocebo effects. By the end of the talk you will learn how and why these effects are driven and persist over time.



Luana Colloca is an MPower Distinguished Professor at the University of Maryland, Baltimore and Director of the Placebo Beyond Opinions (PBO) Center at the University of Maryland School of Nursing. She leads a research portfolio exploring endogenous pain perception, processing, and modulation in which expectancy of pain relief, which can actually activate a variety of endogenous systems. Her lab explores these phenomena through the lens of psychoneurobiological approaches from genetics to brain imaging and translates the knowledge into nonpharmacological clinical trials including virtual reality mechanisms and trials.

Winfried Rief

Professor at the University of Marburg and Psychological Psychotherapist

Translating science to practice

Talk description

The second talk of the Summer School will build on the basic knowledge about placebo/nocebo effects to inform you about how basic science can work together with applied and translational science in an interdisciplinary manner. What advantages do such approaches have and what can we learn from each other?



Winfried Rief is a Professor of Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy at the University of Marburg and a Psychological Psychotherapist. He is especially interested in investigating the role of positive and negative expectations in mental and physical illnesses such as somatoform or somatic stress disorder and depression, as well as the perception and coping with physical complaints. He is a project leader in the Collaborative Research Center 289 “Treatment Expectation”.

Christiane Hermann

Professor at the Justus-Liebig University Giessen

Why does it not work?

Talk description

The third talk of the Summer School will present methodological lessons to be learned when experimentally investigating placebo and nocebo effects. In what ways is experimentally inducing placebo/nocebo effects susceptible to several rather fundamental design features? Sequence effects, subtle effects of instructions, stimulation parameters (e.g., rate of heating, target temperature) and, most importantly, the role of perceptual anchors impact obtaining placebo/nocebo effects. This talk will be accompanied by the roundtable on Wednesday where you can discuss and exchange your own experiences with failures and scientific nightmares.



Christiane Hermann is a professor of clinical psychology. Her research focuses on pain in children and adults, emotional learning and pathological anxiety, and placebo and nocebo effects across the lifespan. Currently, she is president of the German Association for Psychological Pain Therapy and Research (DGPSF) and vice-president of the German Pain Society. She also is acting Dean of the Faculty of Psychology and Sports Science, Justus-Liebig University Giessen, Germany.

Workshops and Speakers

Priya Silverstein

Postdoctoral researcher for the Psychological Science Accelerator

How to start using open science in your projects

Workshop description

This workshop provides a roadmap to assist ECRs to engage in open science practices. Priya will introduce (and workshop participants will try out) eight open science practices that novice ECRs could begin adopting today. The topics we will cover include journal clubs, project workflow, preprints, reproducible code, data sharing, transparent writing, preregistration, and registered reports.



Dr. Priya Silverstein is currently a postdoctoral researcher for the Psychological Science Accelerator — a globally distributed network of psychological science laboratories with members from all populated continents that coordinates data collection for democratically selected studies. They are working on “Examining the Big Questions in Big Samples” — a project investigating generalisability (and researcher predictions of generalisability) in psychology. As well as this, they continue to work on a variety of side projects across developmental psychology and metascience.

Lukas Lengersdorff

Psychologist, statistician, and PhD candidate at the University of Vienna

Bayesian analysis in JASP

Workshop description

Do you want to know why it is suddenly „all about that Bayes“? In this workshop, Lukas will give a short introduction into the theory and practice of Bayesian inference, or how we can use data to find evidence for (and against) our research hypotheses. We will look at practical examples coming from the world of placebo research, using the free softwares JASP and R.



Lukas Lengersdorff is a psychologist, statistician, and PhD candidate at the University of Vienna. His research is focused on the use of Bayesian cognitive models in social neuroscience and psychology, and he is always excited for all things statistics and research methods.

Barbara Schmidt

Psychologist and postdoctoral researcher at Jena University Hospital

Present your own research in 3 minutes to a lay audience

Workshop description

You want to be prepared and immediately get to the point of what you do next time when anyone like a family member, a friend or a person on the train asks you what you do? In this workshop, you learn about the strategies of science communication and how you get in the right mindset to be enthusiastic and convincing. When you implement that in the future, you will experience more immediate positive feedback that encourages you to go further with your exciting research!



Dr. Barbara Schmidt is an enthusiastic psychologist doing research on hypnosis at the Jena University Hospital. To spread the great news of her therapeutic techniques both to practicioners and patients, she uses science communication and presents her research in TV documentaries like Terra X, Quarks and Einstein.

Rebecca Hirst

Chief Science Officer at Open Science Tools and postdoctoral researcher at Trinity College Dublin

Increasing your online visibility as an academic

Workshop description

Online visibility is an important aspect of academia, it acts as a way to network beyond conferences and enables other scientists to reach out, connect and open additional opportunity (e.g. talk invites). In this workshop we’ll cover tips for increasing online visibility, including use of social media platforms and creating an academic website. We’ll walk through the basics of creating an academic website – so that hopefully you will leave with your very own site!



I am Chief Science Officer at Open Science Tools (creators of PsychoPy and as well as a postdoctoral researcher at Trinity College Dublin. My research focuses on multisensory perception across the lifespan. In my Science Officer role I help scientists to create experiments through delivering workshops and training as well as creating experiments through consultancy projects. 

Recent updates as of 05/05/2023