IRTG members at the 4th PhD workshop in July 2017. Image credit: Lisa Schürmann.
The PhD workshops are held once a year. They are designed to give the PhD students an opportunity to present their work and to discuss their findings and strategies with their peers. Each workshop is run by a committee of PhD students, which ensures a programme that meets the PhD student’s most urgent needs and interests. At the same time, the committee members gain experience in the organizing of academic events. The committee is supported by the IRTG coordinator.
The 1st PhD Workshop took place on 12 and 13 May 2015 at the Zuse Institut Berlin. In order to get to know each other and their respective fields of research, all participating PhD students held a 10-minute talk presenting their PhD projects as well as giving some information on their interests outside the academic research.
The 2nd PhD Workshop was held on 7 and 8 December 2015 at Haus Fläming in Dahnsdorf, Brandenburg. The program was organized by Sandra Döpking, Gottfried Hastermann, Jannes Quer and Katarzyna Ziółkowska. It comprised poster sessions and group work aimed at fostering interdisciplinary collaborations.
The 3rd PhD Workshop took place from 30 May till 2 June 2016 at Kurhaus am Inselsee in the historic town of Güstrow, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. It was organized by Lara Neureither, Maria Reinhardt, Christoph Ritschel and Robert Schulz. The presentations given by the PhD candidates were complemented with guest lectures from PostDocs of the CRC and a talk on “The science of crystal balls” given by special guest Prof. Yannis Kevrekidis from Princeton University, US.
The 4th PhD Workshop took place from 10 to 13 July 2017 in Heiligenhafen on the Baltic sea and was organized by Patrick Gelß, Tom Dörffel, Sandra Döpking, Joscha Podlesny and Jannes Quer. The main focus of the workshop was a training on interdisciplinary communication and collaboration conducted by Dr. Hanna Kauhaus and Sebastian Engelmann from the University of Jena. The program also included a poster session and a course on writing scientific papers held by Dr. Stefan Klus.
The central result of the 4th workshop was the creation of the CRC Dictionary, containing definitions of 24 concepts and notions appearing in the different cooperating disciplines. Particular efforts were made to identify and remove misunderstandings. The CRC Dictionary was subsequently launched as SCCS Wiki and presented to all CRC members at the SCCS Days in November 2017. PhD students will continue to work on the Dictionary at future PhD workshops, and other CRC members will contribute regularly to its further development. With this initiative, the PhD students made a very valuable contribution to overcoming scientific language barriers and strengthening interdisciplinary communication within the CRC.
For the 5th PhD Workshop taking place from 11 to 14 June 2018, the PhD students returned to Güstrow. The program was organized by Tom Dörffel, Christoph Ritschel and Gottfried Hastermann. PhD students continued to work on the SCCS Wiki and participated in two trainings. These were chosen to meet the needs of the majority of the PhD students who are currently finishing their theses. The presentation skills training conducted by the actor and trainer Ric Oquita served as preparation for the thesis defense. The assessment center training by Heike Rebel, a personnel recruitment expert and career coach, was especially interesting for those PhD students who are considering to apply for jobs outside of academia.
An annual, week-long CRC School offers advanced scientific courses in CRC-related topics, held by the PIs of the CRC as well as international guests. The program of the CRC Schools is conceived by the PIs and postdocs of the CRC, with the IRTG Coordinator providing organizational support.
The Fall School 2015 on Weather and Climate Modelling took place from 12 to 16 October at Haus Fläming in Dahnsdorf, Brandenburg. It was organized in cooperation with the graduate school GeoSim. 18 PhD students from the CRC 1114, GeoSim and the graduate school Natural Hazards in a Changing World attended lectures and training offered by the PIs and guests. Through a speed networking event and evening activities the students also had the opportunity to establish new contacts and explore the possibilities for interdisciplinary collaborations.
The Spring School 2016 focused on Molecular Dynamics. It took place at Burghotel Bad Belzig from 25 to 29 April. 14 PhD students with different disciplinary backgrounds received training from the PIs Prof. Bettina Keller, Prof. Petra Imhof, Prof. Carsten Hartmann and Dr. Marcus Weber as well as a special guest Dr. Gabriel Stoltz from CERMICS. By giving short talks and engaging in an interdisciplinary group work, the PhD students contributed actively to the program. The Spring School was particularly successful in creating a deeper understanding between disciplines.
The Spring School 2017 on Methods for Particle Systems with Multiple Scales was hosted by the Weierstrass Institute in Berlin and took place from 29 May to 2 June 2017. The PhD students received training by Joep Evers from Dalhousie University Halifax, Tiejun Li from Peking University and Ben Leimkuhler from the University of Edinburgh. The mini-courses were complemented by lectures given by the CRC PIs Bettina Keller, Robert Patterson and Sebastian Reich. The PhD students contributed by giving short talks on their projects.
The Crossover activities aim to increase exchange and cooperation across disciplines and projects within the CRC.
Based on an idea which emerged during the Spring School 2016, the CRC introduced the so called mini projects. The PIs propose projects on CRC relevant topics for PhD students from another research group which require one to two months of work. During the project the PhD student is integrated into the host research group. In 2016, the research group of Marcus Weber hosted two PhD students with mini projects: Marco Reidelbach in August and September, and Luca Donati from October to December.
In 2016, PhD student Jannes Quer initiated peer-to-peer seminars within the CRC. These seminars bring together PhD students and postdocs working on a similar subject in different CRC projects and create a space for discussions and sharing ideas. The participants are invited to give a talk about their recent research and discuss problems. The first peer-to-peer seminar on Molecular Dynamics and related topics was organised by Jannes Quer and ran on a two-weekly basis from January to April 2016. The second peer-to-peer seminar on Markov Chain Monte Carlo was held from December 2016 to March 2017, organised by Jannes Quer and Gottfried Hastermann.
Research Stays Abroad
To encourage academic mobility of the PhD students and the building of international networks, the IRTG offers funding for research stays at institutions outside Germany for up to 4 weeks. Funds are generally reserved for students in the advanced stages of their PhD studies.
The following research stays were supported through the IRTG Scheme:
In May 2016, Fabian Paul spent 4 weeks working in the group of Prof. Benoit Roux at the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the University of Chicago.
In June 2016, Jannes Quer visited the Molecular and Multiscale Modelling group of CERMICS at École des Ponts ParisTech to collaborate with Prof. Tony Lelièvre.
In January 2017, Michael Rudolf spent 2 weeks working in Olivier Galland's Fluid Earth Group at the Department of Geosciences at the University of Oslo.
In March 2017, Annette Müller visited the Faculty of Mathematics at the University of Vienna to collaborate with postdoctoral researcher Sabine Hittmeir.
PhD students in the IRTG are invited to attend regular university lectures and seminars which relate to their PhD project. They may attend courses at all three Berlin universities as well as at the University of Potsdam.
Soft Skill Courses
The soft skills courses offer opportunities for gaining know-how needed for a successful academic career. They cover a wide range of vocational skills such as giving presentations, writing academic papers, getting published, networking, leadership and management, applying for research grants and positions outside of academia etc. The PhD students can attend courses offered by the Dahlem Research School DRS, Potsdam Graduate School PoGS, Berlin Mathematical School BMS as well as GeoSim.
Diversity and Equality Workshop Series
The workshops aim to raise awareness of the issues of diversity and equal opportunities in the field of science. Combining input from science studies with practical know-how, the workshops address the social, organizational and individual factors shaping professional careers, show possible obstacles and propose strategies for overcoming them. The PhD students also gain knowledge and skills for leading teams and organizations in ways which foster openness and equal opportunities for people of different gender, familial, social and cultural backgrounds.