“It made us feel like scientists again!”

For the first time since the beginning of the pandemic, the ORIGINS PhD Days could take place on site – this year from May 30 to June 2 at Ringberg Castle, a conference venue of the Max Planck Society. During the three-day workshop, the 18 PhD students got to know each other and exchanged ideas about their research in stimulating discussions.

Image: ORIGINS / M. Ha Minh

Interesting lectures, inspiring discussions, and a lot of fun sums up the  "ORIGINS PhD Days 2021". This year, they took place for the first time at Ringberg Castle. The three-day workshop served as an opportunity for the PhD students of the cluster to get to know each other personally and to exchange scientific ideas. Due to the pandemic, many met their fellow students in the Cluster of Excellence there in person for the first time. 

The workshop offered the students the opportunity to present their research and get feedback. The diversity of the presentations reflected the scientific diversity of the cluster and stimulated interesting discussions. The pleasant atmosphere allowed to give and receive constructive suggestions without pressure. 

In addition to the scientific program, observations of the night sky were performed in the evening – under lucky weather conditions. For this, the telescope of the ORIGINS Cluster was used under the guidance of Andreas Burkert, Stephan Paul, and Joshua Burkert. The workshop ended with a soft skill seminar on “productivity in times of home office and stress management” by trainer Harry Waterstone.  

Overall, we can look back on a successful workshop that strengthened the students' affiliation with ORIGINS. One of the PhD students aptly summarized: “After the long time in home office, this workshop made us feel like scientists again”.