The CECAD PhD student/PostDoc committee is a group of young researchers at CECAD that organizes various events like talks, get-togethers and scientific outings to improve communication and help PhD students and PostDocs to define their future careers.
From March 15 to 16, 2018 the committee organised the annual CECAD PhD Student and PostDoc Retreat for the seventh time. This year, the event took place in the Dutch city of Eindhoven, known as centre of technology and design. Funding by CECAD, the Max Planck Institute for Biology of Ageing, the Max Planck Institute for Metabolism Research and the Cologne Graduate School of Ageing Research allowed 80 participants from all three research institutes to enjoy this scientific get-together at the Sandton Eindhoven Centre hotel.
The two-day program was arranged as a mixture of talks and round table discussions. All presentations were given by young researchers with different levels of experience and covered manifold topics: proteostasis in tissue and disease, scientific innovations – software and method development, stem cells and cell cycle, transcriptional changes during ageing. The special set up of the retreat with only young research fellows participating especially encouraged addressing of open research questions and interdisciplinary discussion.
To give all participants the chance to get constructive feedback on their projects, two round table discussions are fixed elements of the retreat. These are highly appreciated, since everyone has the unique chance to present his or her work to a smaller group. Debates with people from the same field during the first round allow to get deeply into specific research topics, while the second round table set up with people from various disciplines broadens the research perspective and often leads to unexpected insights and ideas for collaborations. These discussions were further continued in conversations during breaks and after the official end of the program.
This year’s career orientation event on the retreat was the PHILIPS Campus Tour, which was a highlight of the program. PHILIPS, one of the world’s largest electronic companies, originates from Eindhoven and offered the unique chance to visit their high-tech campus. After an introduction to the company’s history and insights into the dynamic research environment the guided tour at the PHILIPS Innovation Centre allowed visiting three unique research facilities engaged in different aspects of healthcare and medical technology. For example, the participants were introduced to PHILIPS’ strategy to better connect different clinical units and procedures such as diagnostics, imaging techniques and surgical methods to maximize the outcome for prostate cancer patients. Furthermore, an innovative neonatal unit was presented in which PHILIPS tries to implement optimal medical care for children by reduction of the stress level in hospitals. The two-hour tour gave interesting insights into PHILIPS’ research activity and future job perspectives.
The participants of this year’s CECAD PhD Student/PostDoc retreat responded with highly positive feedback to the committee for content and organization of the event. It is a valuable component of the committee’s effort to foster scientific communication in the research cluster and to create space for hands-on experience in professional scientific presentation and discussion.
By Magdalena Kremer, PhD Student
March 13-14, 2017
The 6th CECAD PhD student/postdoc retreat took place in St. Goar on March 13 - 14, 2017 and offered a unique opportunity for interaction and networking among PhD students and Postdocs of the CECAD Cluster of Excellence. The program included round table sessions to foster informal, fruitful face-to-face discussion about the individual research projects and a series of short talks given by selected PhD students and Postdocs. This event provided the chance for valuable feedback, but also served as training for future professional scientific communication opportunities.