Fortunately - unlike last year’s Hybrid Retreat -- this year’s Retreat took place at the Comprehensive Pneumology Center on September 23 and 24 as an onsite event only. This gave the presenters and chairs the chance to meet in person and to present in front of a live audience. The Ph.D. candidates had the opportunity to chair the scientific sessions themselves and therefore train their communication skills and gain confidence to talk in front of an audience. The teaching faculty provided everyone with valuable insights on their presentation style and scientific content during subsequent individual feedback rounds. And last but not least, each PhD student was given the opportunity to practice scientific discussion and networking in the context of the two inspiring keynote lectures on “Mesenchymal Cells in Lung Development and Regeneration” given by Prof. Dr. Elie El-Agha (Universitätsklinikum Gießen) and on “Epigenetic Landscape of Chronic Lung Diseases” given by Prof. Dr. Soni Pullamsetti (Max-Planck-Institut für Herz- und Lungenforschung, Bad Nauheim).
GeoCaching as an outdoor activity provided a welcome distraction during this two-day communication and presentation skills workshop. On Thursday afternoon, all participants teamed up in small groups and went out on this special scavenger hunt which uses coordinates to find and hide caches at the identified location. Everyone enjoyed looking out for hidden caches in the beautiful sunny weather. The day ended with a get-together with dinner in a nice Bavarian restaurant.
Overall, this year’s Research School Retreat was a great opportunity to meet each other in person and spend some quality time together. It was also a great success with very valuable feedback from the teaching faculty, effective discussions and inputs and a lot of fun. Many thanks to all participants for their contribution and everybody who supported this year`s Retreat. A special thanks to the organizers Dr. Claudia Staab-Weijnitz and Karin Herbert, the teaching facility who made it a very positive and notable experience. The Retreat was sponsored by HMGU and DZL.
By Ceylan Onursal, Student Representative, CPC Research School