50 PhD students from the HZB attended the PhD Retreat in Liebenwalde

From the 3rd to the 5th of June, 2015, this year’s PhD Retreat took place in Liebenwalde, with more than fifty PhD students from the HZB taking part. Among other topics, the programme included seminars on scientific writing, time management and learning intercultural competence. The practical workshop received great interest. The participants also found many opportunities in the venue’s idyllic setting to network with those from other departments and locations.

The PhD Retreat is the key event for those doing their doctorate at the HZB, and is organised by the students in cooperation with PhD student coordinator Dr. Gabriela Lampert. Each year, the PhD students attend the meeting as an opportunity to share their knowledge, ask questions and offer suggestions for improving the PhD programmes at the HZB. As part of this, for example, a question & answer session was held with scientific director Prof. Anke Kaysser-Pyzalla, commercial manager Thomas Frederking, and head of human resources Moritz Badel.

The programme furthermore offered outlooks on postdoctoral career paths. Antje Rabenalt of the Berlin Partners presented the industrial landscape in Berlin and revealed how there are many more industrial parks and companies than most people are aware of. She also gave the participants valuable pointers for submitting applications and looking for work.

“The PhD Retreat bestowed a great deal of valuable information and tips. Everyone has something truly concrete to take away from the workshops for improving their work. The intensive contact among all the people is also extremely important, especially for the doctoral students who have just started,” says Jan-Peter Bäcker, co-organiser of the event. He actively volunteered to organise the event this year. “Last year, I attended a seminar at the PhD Retreat on organising conferences. So, I was already able to apply that quite nicely this year at the Retreat.” Of course, Bäcker was not alone; he shared the organisational duties with PhD students Burcu Kepsutlu, Matthew Barrett and Christoph Pratsch.