Photo: Maciej Czekajewski/Fotolia.com

Testimonials: HIGRADE-funded Activities

SENSE/HIGRADE course "Stable Isotopes Applications in Microbiology and Environmental Studies", 11-14 December in Wageningen (NL)

Washington Logrono and other HIGRADE PhDs

Stable Isotopes Course HIGRADE SENSE 2017. Photo: Xin You, UFZ.

What was the most interesting thing you learned during the trip about science?

I have grasped the main concepts of stable isotopes and how to apply them in the field of microbiology. Different case studies were presented and that was a great asset for the course. The presentations covered different areas, and that was very important check whether some of the approaches could be applied to my research or not.

Stable Isotopes course HIGRADE SENSE 2017. Photo: Xin You, UFZ.

What was the most surprising thing you learned about the country/region?

The massive utilization of bicycles was astonishing. We usually find parking zones for cars in the underground of buildings; however, the same parking zones were observed but for bicycles. It was surprising that almost no walls were found in the interiors of the buildings. The concept of a continuously developing and sustainable building of the campus was very interesting.


N² Science Communication Conference, 6-8 November 2017 in Berlin

Susann Birnstengel and other HIGRADE PhDs

N² Conference 2017

The joint event of N² – the PhD networks Max Planck PhDnet, Helmholtz Juniors and Leibniz PhD Network – was meant to give an insight into state-of-the-art science communication as well as a possibility to explore new avenues without neglecting the past.


What was the most interesting thing you learned during the trip about science?

The conference was about science communication. The important thing for me was the aspect that people that are talking about science communication often don’t mean the same thing. That came out clearly during the conference. Whether we are talking about science communication to public or about science communication to a scientific audience needed to be sort out many times…

What was most valuable about the trip for your personal life?

How important clear messages are, core points and a good way of presenting what I am interested in. And the point that teaching is important because it makes you realize what you haven’t understood yet.

Would you recommend this event to other PhDs?

Yes. I think it is important to share our science and our knowledge with non-scientists, and this conference gave a little insight to the ways and possibilities of doing so.


NextGen@Helmholtz 2017 at GEOMAR/Kiel

Several HIGRADE PhDs

NextGen @ Helmholtz

The NextGen is a conference organised by the Helmholtz-Juniors to allow the doctoral researchers from all over the Helmholtz society to meet once a year for a scientific and personal get-together to get to know each other and their work and find partners and friends for the future.

"We had some days of fresh air that gave me new impulse and enthusiasm for doing research. It was a great opportunity to rediscover and rethink our task as the workforce of the scientific community. The organizers did a great job and it's remarkable that they voluntarily took time of their lives to do so. Such events are extremely important to share with people that can deeply understand what implies being a Ph.D. student nowadays. It was also great because the content of the workshops was about science but not only about science."


Aberdeen Catchment Science Summer School 2017

Larisa Tarasova

What was the most interesting thing you experienced during the trip about science?

I got some insights on evolution of our understanding about hydrological processes and how to transfer our knowledge of these processes from smaller to larger scales. I would definitely recommend this summer school to PhDs in the field of catchment hydrology and catchment science.

What was the most surprising/interesting thing you learned about the country/region?

Scottish landscapes are breathtaking and a perfect place to “see” variety of runoff generation processes with your own eyes.

Participants of the Summer school in the Dee River catchment. Photo: Jan Seibert
Participants of the Summer school in the Dee River catchment. Photo: Jan Seibert

ASLO 2017 Aquatic Sciences Meeting "Mountains to the Sea", Honolulu, Hawaii

Xiaoxing Liu

ASLO Meeting 2017, Field trip. Photo: Xiaoqing Liu/UFZ
ASLO Meeting 2017, Field trip. Photo: Xiaoqing Liu/UFZ

  • What was most valuable about the trip for your personal life?

1. It was my first experience to be involved in such a royal academic issue and give an oral presentation. The presentation was not perfect and even too short because of my nervousness, but it was whatever the moment I should cherish.
2. After my talk, a scientist from Canada came to me and showed her great interest to my work, and she offered the possibility to cooperate in the future.
3. On the flight back to Germany, my neighbour was a Spanish marine scientist. He shared his feeling and scientific experience with me which was quite valuable for me.
4. Get to know some famous scientists that I knew from the literature, it actually excited me.
5. The last thing I have to refer is that I finally gathered the courage to initiate an academic talk with the other scientists.

ASLO Meeting, Fish species. Photo: Jana Greuer ASLO Meeting, Fish species. Photo: Jana Greuer

Would you recommend this event to other PhDs?

I definitely recommend the ASLO Meeting to all the PhDs who work on aquatic science, and if possible, go for a second time. But, I have to emphasize, we have to think about how to take the full advantage of the conference before we decide to join.


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 2017 in the Harz mountains. / Photo: Matthias Koschorreck, UFZ

Individual trips 2016/17

  • 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 (Denmark)
  • Sommerschule "Qualitätssicherung in der Analytischen Chemie", Berlin (D)
  • "Phytoplankton pigment analysis course", Horsholm (DK)
  • Fortran Workshop HLRS, Stuttgart (D)
  • ...