17 June 2021
Photo: CUI, Graduate School
The PhD students were directly involved in the implementation of the series as speakers and as moderators.
With a series of "Young Researcher Meetings" that has just ended, the Graduate School has found a way to mitigate some of the disadvantages of the long lockdown. Based on 39 short presentations spread over five dates, the PhD students were able to get an overview of the research status of their colleagues in the cluster and discuss new ideas.
"The long lockdown has severely reduced opportunities for formal and informal exchange," says Prof. Peter Schmelcher, who is one of the speakers of the cluster's graduate school. "Important events such as the beloved Winter School unfortunately had to be canceled. Yet the exchange of junior researchers across the boundaries of the Research Areas is of immense importance for scientific progress and also for the overall atmosphere in the cluster."
In order to at least partially fill the gaps, the Graduate School offered the "Young Researcher Meetings." Designed as a series, the five online meetings were spread throughout the spring with the goal of maintaining contacts, fostering knowledge exchange across disciplines, and generating new ideas.
Doctoral students from each research area presented their work
In the first part of each of the two-hour meetings, doctoral students from each area presented their research in five-minute talks. One of the requirements was to explain the work in a comprehensible way and to highlight key aspects so that researchers from other areas could also follow. Afterwards, the speakers answered questions from their colleagues in breakout rooms. It was completely up to them and their interests which room they visited.
"It was important for us to give everyone a good overview of the research and, with the help of the breakout rooms, to facilitate a dynamic and informal exchange," says Dr. Christian Morfonios, who has coordinated the graduate school since spring. Short talks and the diversity of topics set varied accents.
PhD students volunteered to moderate the individual meetings and were thus involved in the organization and implementation - a concept that has also proven successful in other contexts. The series ended with an informal feedback session and positive response directly after the last talks.