IMPRS Retreat in Flensburg

60 doctoral researchers (DRs) enjoyed their first in-person retreat in three years

November 01, 2022

This year's IMPRS retreat took place in Flensburg from 4 to 6 October, which many of the participants took advantage of to travel by train. Instead of the usual presentation sessions, the organising team had put together a programme that gave the participants time for an informal exchange with each other, with the group leaders present and with the guest speakers Jens Krause from Humboldt University Berlin and Mathieu Groussin from CAU Kiel.

After their arrival in the afternoon, the participants were kept busy with fun "icebreaker" activities. The subsequent online talk by Hanna Kokko (Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz) gave an insight into her work and experience as a woman in scienc in an academic career. In the evening, all participants were divided into random groups, each headed by a group leader, to have the opportunity to get to know each other and discuss their current projects.

The second day began with an introductory speech on meditation and resilience by a monk from the Flensburg Zen group, followed by a practical meditation session. The subsequent talks by the two guest speakers on "The adaptive value of collective behaviour" and "Evolution of host-gut-microbiome interactions in the context of industrialisation" provided interesting topics for discussion for the rest of the day. The afternoon was filled with lively workshops conducted by group leaders. Topics were aimed at the different years: "How do I start?", "What can I expect?", "How do I work efficiently?", "Tips for presentations", "How do I write my thesis?" and "How do I defend it?". After a professionally guided city tour through the historic centre of Flensburg, the discussions about different projects continued in a bar.

On the last day, the IMPRS general meeting took place, where the IMPRS representatives presented their work and the results of their annual DR survey. The IMPRS coordinator also had the opportunity to address some questions and inform the DR about current organisational matters.

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