Report - Annual Retreat 2023 in Bremerhaven

From September 26-28, 2023, the Annual Retreat of our TRR 181 took place in Bremerhaven.

Text: Paula Bäurich, Research assistant

For this year's Annual Retreat, we met on Tuesday morning at the ATLANTIC Hotel Sail City in Bremerhaven, located with a nice view at the Weser. Project speaker Carsten Eden welcomed everyone and gave an overview of the plans for phase 3 and the agenda of the Retreat. Afterwards new project leaders Claudia Stephan, Mikhail Dobrynin, Janin Jäger and Han Wang (who attended online) introduced themselves in short presentations. After the lunch break Gender awareness trainers Lisa Horvath and Sabine Blackmore held a workshop on “Gender and Diversity Competencies for Academics” which consisted of a lecture, a self-reflection part and group work where TRR members developed suggestions for future measures regarding personnel selection, career development, events and teamwork in the TRR. The day ended with the first PICO session of postdocs and PhD candidates who mastered the challenge to present their work in 2 minutes with 1 slide with bravery. In the following poster session lively discussions about the work of the presenters concluded the first day of science. Of course discussions continued during a delicious dinner at the Deck, that had a great view of the Weser with ships passing by.

The second day of science started with presentations of new project leaders Katja Weigel and Evridiki Chrysagi and new subprojects S3 and T5. Then the second PICO and poster session took place, again with brilliant performances by our early career scientists and lively discussions during the poster session. In the afternoon the group divided into two sessions: the project leaders and interested scientists attended the discussion and subproject presentations for the third phase. For PhD candidates and interested postdocs a guided tour in Alfred-Wegener-Institute (AWI) in Bremerhaven gave insights about the Arctic and Antarctic, research vessel Polarstern and challenges of ice expeditions.

In the morning of the third and final day of the Retreat, new project leader and future deputy speaker of the TRR Anke Pohl presented herself, followed by appointed chairs of each area who presented summaries of the subproject talks in each area. This was followed by a discussion about the RTG’s plans for the third phase. Before lunch break, different topics that are important for the third phase, e.g. update of website, career development, data management, were discussed in breakout sessions. Our Retreat ended with a presentation of internal feedback from PhD candidates and postdocs on their supervisors, the atmosphere in the TRR and mental health issues, followed by a lively discussion on how to implement the feedback in the third phase and by the annual General Assembly where new Vorstand members and TRR members were elected. In the evening, a last dinner ended the Annual Retreat and hopefully everyone came home with a good idea of the work in TRR and plans for phase 3.

A big thank you to everyone for participating and helping to make this Retreat again an interesting and rewarding conference.