TRR 181 Annual retreat

We held our annual retreat at Hotel Waldschlösschen from September 16 to 19. It started on Monday with a one day workshop for the PIs on “Gender awareness in personnel selection” that was held by Jun.-Prof. Brooke Gazdag (LMU Munich).

This year we started on time. No delay due to a late bus. Nearly all PIs gathered on Monday, September 16 for a workshop on “Gender awareness in personnel selection”. We decided on this topic for the workshop since our next phase hopefully starts in 2020 and there will be many new positions that need to be filled. Jun.-Prof. Brooke Gazdag held the workshop from the LMU Munich, she already gave a “Gender awareness” workshop during our 2017 retreat in Jesteburg. During the workshop, we talked about unconscious biases and subtle gender discrimination. We watched some interesting videos that showed typical situations of gender discrimination in science and although they seemed exaggerated, in the end everybody had similar stories to tell from their personal experiences. After all, we got some insights on how to handle applications and how to adapt our webpages to seem more appealing. With this input, we like to create an even more divers and inclusive atmosphere in our project.

In the evening, we further discussed the TRR movie idea that came up during the winter school in Ratzeburg. However, we still had to insist on hiring Helen Mirren and Meryl Streep, so it may continue being a dream.

On the second day, the PhDs and Postdocs joined the PIs in Schleswig. Next program point were three extensive poster sessions. Each subproject presented at least one poster on the highlights and “loose ends” of phase 1. All participants had plenty of time to go around and discuss the results or issues that need to be fixed until the end of the first phase. In the evening, we organized a very German activity: Kegeln (bowling/skittles). Most of the Germans had not played since they were kids and our foreign colleagues did not knew the game. The common résumé was: Kegeln is much harder than you think.

The third day program was split: the PIs and everyone interested in the second phase had a whole day of presentations regarding the proposal, the PhDs and some of the Postdocs attended a workshop on “Make the most of your presentations” held by Dr. Jean-Luc Doumont. The outcome at the end of the day was positive on all sides. The PIs saw that the proposal comes together very nicely and just a few issues need to be sorted out. The workshop by Jean-Luc had an overwhelming response: every single participant gave us positive feedback and thought the workshop was helpful for their own presentations.

In the morning of the last day, our external guests Kevin Lamb (University of Waterloo) and Richard Greatbatch (GEOMAR) gave us feedback on the proposal. Luckily, they found our project to be very important for the whole community and encouraged us to continue our good work. The PhDs also gave feedback on some communication issues in the project. It will help us to further improve in the future.
Afterwards, we split into break out groups on data management, highlight and loose ends of phase one, outreach and gender/early career to discuss issues and ideas for these topics.

Overall, the retreat was a full success, the location in Hotel Waldschlösschen was well received with excellent local food and unusual decorated rooms and we are excited about the last months of phase 1 and hopeful of the continuation in phase 2.

You can find the pictures of the retreat on our internal webpage.