Every year, the CPC Research School Retreat is organized to give PhD students an opportunity to present their own research to their peers, enabling scientific discussions and networking. This year’s situation posed a certain challenge of course as gathering all participants in one room was not feasible. The organizers – knowing that the students were still wishing for a more personal retreat than sitting at home alone in front of their computers – came up with the completely new format of a Hybrid-Retreat. The idea was to combine bringing together a couple of people for the presenters to have a live audience and chairs with an online meeting platform for everybody else to follow and take part in the discussions as well. After one session there would be a rotation enabling everybody to participate both, personally and online. With this, the framework was set and the first ever CPC Research School Hybrid-Retreat could take place on June 25 and 26, 2020 (program).
The students introduced the audiences to their latest findings. They had the possibility of chairing the sessions and discussing the projects of their peers. The teaching faculty could provide the PhD candidates with further valuable insights during individual feedback rounds on their presentation style and content.
One of the highlights during this year’s retreat for sure was GeoCaching as a breakout activity from all the mental endeavors. Teaming up in small groups all participants combed through whole Munich and looked for hidden treasures with the most beautiful weather.
Despite or just due to the circumstances it was a really interesting experience, learning how to address both an onsite and an online audience at the same time. This year’s Hybrid-Retreat was a great success with fruitful discussions, helpful feedback, improvement of important skills for a scientific career, a scavenger hunt, not even one technical flaw and a lot of fun as well. A big thank you to the organizers Dr. Claudia Staab-Weijnitz and Karin Herbert, the teaching facility and all participant who made it a somewhat different but very positive experience.
By Sabine Behrend, Student Representative, CPC Research School