Warm-up for the new term

After the General Assembly in September, the new steering group met for a kick-off meeting at the TU in Berlin on 23rd and 24th November to get ready for the upcoming term. With the upcoming events of 2019 of the Leibniz PhD Network and N2 – the Network of Networks, the publication of the results of the PhD survey or the finalization of a draft PhD agreement – just to name a few topics – a lot of material for discussion was on the table for the Network’s third year of activity.

The steering group 2018/2019, Katharina Willenbücher and Jonathan Stefanowski (Spokespersons),  Bastian Sommerfeld (Financial Officer), Anja Jahn (Section A), Tim Rottleb (Section B), Lukas Heiberger (Section C), Pablo Lia Fook (Section D) and Aman Malik (Section E) met for the first time in person after the General Assembly in Jena.

Meet all members of the steering committee here.

The committee started with a round of introduction as well as updates of the respective sections and working groups (WGs) and a collection of ideas. The multidisciplinary profile of the participants was a great chance to share and discuss the nuts and bolts of each PhD Network section and how these fitted together.

During the first hours of the meeting, the committee also discussed the finances for the coming year and how it will be distributed for the main events already scheduled: the 4th General Assembly of the Leibniz PhD Network on September 2019 (to confirm) and the N2– Network of Doctoral Researcher Networks Event “From Research to Application” in November 2019.

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A short break during the meeting. From left to right: Anja, Pablo, Bastian, Lukas, Aman, Katharina, Tim and Jonathan.

After lunch, the participants had the pleasant and acknowledged presence of Dr Sabine Mueller (Leibniz Head Office). She presented the structure of the Leibniz Association and how the PhD network is inserted on it. Sabine Mueller emphasised the importance of the network after and before the career as a doctoral researcher.

Steering Group 2018/2019 and Sabine Mueller (Leibniz Head Office).

The preliminary results of the PhD Network survey 2018 were presented by Meike Weltin (WG communication and WG survey). The resulting implications for various fields of action such as the situation of internationals, work-life balance, the financial situation of doctoral researchers or academic mentoring filled the agenda for the next months.  The final report will have open access in January 2019!

The first day ended with a nice dinner at the restaurant Tiergartenquelle!

The second day of the meeting was focused on ”power abuse and conflict resolution” matters, the lack of robust and trustworthy mechanisms to report and resolve these conflicts as a structural problem of the academic system and how the Leibniz PhD Network can stand and support preventing these cases.

The kick-off meeting of the steering group 2018/2019 finished very positively! It ensured that everyone is engaged, understands the goals, scope, and risks, and actively takes responsibility for their roles.

Text: Pablo Lia Fook

Pictures: Jonathan Stefanowski

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