yDiv Welcome Week



Course Dates

Maximum number of participants / Credit Points

Please register via email

iDiv Leipzig (Puschstr. 4), room Beehive (ground floor)

11-15 July 2022



The yDiv Welcome Week provides new doctoral researchers with useful information and tools to successfully start their PhD career in integrative biodiversity science at iDiv - of course this is also a great opportunity to meet other new doctoral researchers.

The week contains an introduction to iDiv's research and goals. Participants will get to know the yDiv offers and requirements and the doctorate examination regulations at the universities. They will also learn tools to manage their PhD project and to communicate with their supervisors.

Please find here the complete agenda.

We are planning to hold the complete week in-person. However, the agenda depends on the Covid situation and we will switch to an online format if necessary.

    Day 1: Introduction to iDiv (11 July, 1-5 pm)

    The first day of the Welcome Week starts with an introductory talk about iDiv and yDiv. Then you will get the chance to get to know each other. We are planning to offer a guided tour through the Botanical Garden Leipzig and/or the canopy crane.

    Schedule day 1

    Lecturer: Nicole Sachmerda-Schulz (yDiv coordinator)

    Day 2: Introduction to Integrative Biodiversity Science (12 July, 9:30 am - 4 pm)

    In this course, you will learn about the iDiv missions and research questions. Together with several iDiv research group leaders, you will discuss and evaluate different approaches to overcome the integration challenges (Integration across time and space, Integration across complexity levels, Integration across disciplines). Every participant should present their project and discuss the integration challenges in their project with the other participants and teachers.

    Preparation for participants

    • Read parts of the iDiv proposals on integrative biodiversity science and the iDiv challenges (will be sent to you via email)
    • Prepare elevator talks, time per elevator talk: 3 minutes
    • Structure:
      • Name and Research Group
      • Main research question of your PhD project
      • How your project is related to the respective challenge (if you think your project is not connected to the challenge, please also explain this)

    Schedule for day 2

    Day 3: Introduction to yDiv (13 July, 9:30 am - 3:15 pm)

    In this event, you will learn about the yDiv regulations, PhD advisory committees and the doctorate examination regulations at the universities. There will be also a round of talk with the PhD representatives about pitfalls during the PhD time and how to deal with them.

    Schedule for day 3

    Lecturer: Nicole Sachmerda-Schulz (yDiv coordinator)

    Day 4 & 5: Managing your PhD (14-15 July, 9:30 am - 4:00 pm)

    Stepping into the PhD candidate level of your career comes with a new set of challenges. After finishing your master’s degree, you are now responsible for your own research project! While it is certainly thrilling, the workload and scope of such a project may be overwhelming. Besides the hard facts about your field of research, which you learned about during your university education, excellent research also requires soft skills like project management and good communication with your supervisor and peers. Furthermore, balancing the workload with your private life is important for your mental health. In this interactive workshop, you will learn how to use the most important tools that help you cope with this new set of challenges.

    At the end, you will have gained skills like:

    • time management basics
    • project management basics
    • dealing with crisis
    • don’t lose track: know the bigger picture of your project
    • feedback: how to thrive from it and how to give it effectively
    • communication with your supervisor
    • structuring a great meeting with the supervisor
    • team dynamics
    • importance of mentorship during your PhD


    Dr. Juliane Handschuh

    Dr. rer. nat. Juliane Handschuh is a certified trainer who supports scientists in their personal development. With a background in neurobiology and more than 10 years of experience in research, her focus is on strengthening key competencies such as communication, leadership, career development, time and self-management as well as the presentation of one’s own science in written and visual form.

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