Photo: Maciej Czekajewski/

Testimonials: HIGRADE-funded Activities

4th Summer School on “Flow and Transport in Porous and Fractured Media”, Cargese (F)

Boyan Meng

Photo: Boyan Meng, UFZ

What was the most surprising thing you learned about the country/region?
The Institute of Scientific Studies at Cargese was initially established as a hideaway for research on theoretical physics (since it is remote enough from Paris).

Would you recommend this event to other PhDs?
I would definitely recommend this summer school to PhD students with a background and interest in flow and transport in porous media. It is a unique opportunity to meet and talk to so many renowned scientists in this field. If you take an active attitude and want to learn more, you will never be disappointed.

 GMP - Good Manufacturing Practice Course, Halle (D)

Johannes Lambrecht

GMP Kurs Logo

What was the most interesting thing you learned during the trip about science?
I was able to get a very hands-on insight into the fascinating real world of large scale biotechnological and pharmaceutical production. It was interesting to get a glimpse of the extra mile you have to take with every little detail when a small mistake could potentially harm life and well being of patients.

What was the most interesting thing you learned about the region?
You would think that Halle should be well known due the close proximity. But on my daily commute by bike from the station I discovered a lot of nice places, like the Dölauer Heide, I visited afterwards or am going to visit in the future. One of my best discoveries:“Fischer’s Heide Imbiss” does a dam good “Wurstgoulash” that you should definitely try the next time you are at the UFZ Halle which is also situated on the Weinbergcampus where the course was held.

What was most valuable about the trip for your personal life?
The numerous contacts and personal conversations with potential employers were a very helpful guide in the ever present struggle of academia vs. industry. They might turn out to be helpful for future job searches.

Course: Identification of Terrestrial and Freshwater Nematodes for Ecologists / Environmentalists, Wageningen (NL) 

Peter Dietrich

Predatory nematode Prionchulus spec. (microscope 40x magnification). Photo: Peter Dietrich (iDiv/UFZ)

In June 2018, I attended a two-week course focusing on identification of free-living nematodes organized by the Netherlands Institute of Ecology and the Wageningen University and Research centre.

Our small and international course group gained various experiences and insight into identification as well as the right soil sampling, functional groups and indices, food webs and community analysis.

Thus, the course not only increased our knowledge of nematology, but also how to use community information to assess the state of soil, pollution, nutrient enrichment and plant diversity changes.

Netherlands Institute of Ecology (NIOO-KNAW) / Photo: Peter Dietrich (iDiv/UFZ)

The course was extremely well organized, very professional and understandable for everyone. I recommend the course to all PhDs interested in soil and plant ecology.

Course: Einführung in die qualitative Sozialforschung (Institut für Qualitative Forschung, Berlin)

Julian Richard Massenberg

I was able to learn a lot about the diversity of methods and which ones I may use for my PhD project in addition to quantitative methods.
The course widened my scientific scope and motivated me to further improve my knowledge about qualitative methods. In addition it was nice to discuss the topic and my PhD project in a quite diverse group which is always a bit challenging but sometimes delivers new insights due to the completely new perspective on the topic.
I would definitely recommend the course for anyone interested in qualitative methods.

Advanced Lecture Course on Systems Biology, Innsbruck (A)

Fabian Bonk

Innsbruck, Austria. Photo: Fabian Bonk, UFZ

What was the most interesting thing you learned during the trip about science?
The most interesting thing for me was to learn the modeling tool for biological systems COPASI in a workshop by very competent and motivated lecturers.

What was the most interesting thing you learned about the country/region?
As a social event, we went to the ski jump arena and talked with ski jumpers about their sport which was pretty interesting.

What was most valuable about the trip for your personal life?
It was a great motivation to think about staying in science because of the high scientific quality and interesting topics of the presentations and workshops as well as the excitement of both participants and lecturers.

IONTOF User´s Training Course 2018, Münster (D)

Pietro Benettoni


What was the most interesting thing you experienced during the trip about science?
During this experience my scientific horizon got broadened by meeting many different other researchers that use this instrument for completely different purposes and applications.
Often you are limited in your way of thinking due to your education or personal experience and thus, it was very interesting for me to get to know other point of views and possible use of this instrument.

IONTOF Training Course 2018 participants. Photo: IONTOF

What was most valuable about the trip for your personal life?
During this course we were often accompanied around the city by the R&D and application employers of ION TOF, so I had the opportunity to get to know them outside of their working place. It was very interesting and inspiring to learn about their personal stories and growth within the community and the company.
I would say that I aspire to become as experienced and successful as they are. 

Seminar: DGG AK Seismik / AK Hydro- und Ingenieurgeophysik (Neustadt an der Weinstraße, D)

Susann Birnstengel

Deutsche Geophydiaklische Gesellschaft e.V. /

What was the most interesting thing you experienced during the trip about science?
The LIAG (Leibniz-Institut für Angewandte Geophysik) proposed a workshop on NMR technique and we could establish a cooperation to use this method during field campaigns and experiments belonging to my PhD.

I recommend the workshop to all PhDs working in Seismics or Engeneering Geophysics.

Other Events & Activities Funded by HIGRADE

Field trips/ Courses 2017

  • Paperwriting Workshop with Dr. Matthias Koschorreck, February 2017
  • Trip to Federal Environment Agency (UBA), September 2017
  • Field trip "Mapping Ecosystem Services", September 2017
  • HIGRADE/WIMEK course: Stable Isotope Applications in Microbiology and Environmental Studies, Wageningen, December 2017

Paperwriting Workshop in the Harz mountains. / Photo: Matthias Koschorreck, UFZ
Paperwriting Workshop 2018 in the Harz mountains. / Photo: Matthias Koschorreck, UFZ

Individual trips 2016-...

  • 4th Summer School Biotransformations 2017, Hannover (D)
  • Course "The FEM for Deforming Porous Media", Dublin (IRL)
  • iDiv Summer School 2017 – Synthesising and modelling biodiversity data (D)
  • Summer School 2017 "Sense making of GPS Data in a GIS Environment", Utrecht (NL)
  • Course "CFF with OpenFOAM", Stuttgart (D)
  • Summer School: Dynamic Modeling of Toxic Effects", Holbaek (DK)
  • Course "Age and Anatomical Structure of Plants", Kloster Dorf (CH)
  • Summer School "Spatio-Temporal Data Analyses Using Free Software", Matera (IT)
  • Summer School "Advanced Course on Metabolomics for Microbial Systems Biology", Delft (NL)
  • Course "Dynamic Modeling of Toxic Effects", Copenhagen (DK)
  • Sommerschule "Qualitätssicherung in der Analytischen Chemie", Berlin (D)
  • "Phytoplankton pigment analysis course", Horsholm (DK)
  • Fortran Workshop HLRS, Stuttgart (D)
  • ...