First winter retreat 2016

From the 7th to the 9th of December, 2016, the PhD students of π³ went on their first of the annual winter retreats. It took place at Gut Ankelohe near Bad Bederkesa.
The goals of this winter retreat were twofold: On the one hand, it offered the members of the RTG an opportunity to get to know each other. On the other hand, the self-organisational and project-managerial aspects of doing a doctorate were worked out with a coach.
The group arrived at the site of the workshop after a short 1-hour bus ride. Gut Ankelohe, a former farm which is now used as a site for conferences and workshops, offered beautiful accomodations and excellent catering to its visitors.
On the first day, the PhD students presented their research projects to each other. This was done with short 15-minute presentations, which lead to interesting discussions among the participants. This way, the members of π³ had the opportunity to become acquainted with the scientific backgrounds of their new colleagues. The day was concluded with a big dinner, where they were able to connect with their fellow PhD students on a more personal level. They were joined by several of the principal investigators and post-docs of the RTG, who came from Bremen for this occasion.

On the next day, Dr. Jan Stamm from impulsplus began his 1.5-day seminar “Getting Started” on self-organization and project management. The freedom of academia makes these aspects particularly important for aspiring scientists. As Dr. Stamm specializes in coaching for scientists and PhD candidates, he was able to respond to questions specific to the research environment. It quickly became clear that many of the participants were highly interested in improving the way they work, so that this workshop may have a lasting impact on the research training group. After discussing next year's winter retreat, the group headed home.
All in all, the winter retreat was successful in bringing the members of π³ closer together as well as sharpening their organisational skills.