yDiv Welcome Week



Course Dates

Maximum number of participants / Credit Points

New doctoral researchers will receive an invitation

iDiv Leipzig (Puschstr. 4), room Beehive

3-6 June 2024

12 / 2


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 the programme here.

    Day 1: Introduction to iDiv (3 June, 1:00 - 5:00 pm)

    The first day of the Welcome Week starts with an introductory talk about iDiv. You will then get the chance to get to know each other. The day ends with a tour of the Leipzig Canopy Crane Facility with Ronny Richter (Coordinator Leipzig Canopy Crane Facility, ArboFUN).

    Schedule day 1

    Lecturer: Beate Horn und Hannah Apitz (yDiv team)

    Day 2: Introduction to Integrative Biodiversity Science (4 June, 10:30 am - 4:00 pm)

    In this course, you will learn about the iDiv missions and integration challenges. Together with several iDiv researchers, 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 (elevator pitch).

    Lecturers: iDiv scientists from different research groups

    Preparation for participants (more information see pdf below)

    • Read about the iDiv challenges on the iDiv website
    • Prepare your elevator talk, time per elevator talk: 3 minutes (you can choose your challenge slot here)
    • Content of the elevator talk:
      • 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)

    Preliminary schedule and information for course preparation for day 2

    Day 3: Introduction to yDiv (5 June, 9:30 am - 4:30 pm) & PhD BBQ

    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 iDiv PhD and Postdoc representatives about pitfalls during the PhD time and how to deal with them.

    There will be a PhD BBQ in the iDiv courtyard after the seminar.

    Schedule for day 3

    Lecturer: Nicole Sachmerda-Schulz (yDiv coordinator)

    Day 4: Start-up your PhD (5 June, 9:30 am - 4:30 pm)

    Content and goals
    Entering your PhD program is like entering a whole new world. After years and years of course work, sitting in classrooms and chasing ETS credits you are probably thrilled at the prospect of finally applying what you’ve learned to a real project that is entirely yours – your PhD. And rightly so - doing a Phd can be great! You will come up with creative ideas to answering questions nobody has asked before. You will create something nobody has created yet. And you will be the main responsible for the shape and success of your project.
    At the same time, all this can be pretty overwhelming. A PhD project is so huge it is often hard to know where to even start. How do you break the immense workload into manageable tasks and milestones? How do you manage available time and resources so you can finish on time and without risking your mental health. How do you manage yourself and how do you build a support network?
    In this interactive workshop, you will learn how to use the most important tools that help you cope with this new set of challenges.

    In this workshop we will cover:

    How to find your mission
    • What do you want to achieve with your PhD?

    Managing a multi-year project
    • What is a project?
    • Component of a project
    • From big-picture planning to daily to-do lists
    • SMART targets
    • Planning backwards
    • Prioritizing tasks: Eisenhower Matrix
    • Planning your day: timeboxing and the 60/40 rule
    • The pomodoro method
    • How to manage perfectionism: the pareto principle
    • What to do when nothing works out – pivoting and adapting to changes

    The human factor:
    • What strengths do you bring to the project?
    • How to know when you need support?
    • Communication with your supervisor
    • Creating a peer support network
    • Becoming visible as a researcher

    Dealing with crisis:
    • What kind of crises may arise during your PhD and how you can deal with them
    • Knowing when to quit: the sunken cost fallacy


    Dr Andrea Perino

    Andrea Perino did her PhD at iDiv and the Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg. She then worked as a Science Policy Coordinator at iDiv and is now a freelance coach and trainer for doctoral and postdoctoral researchers.

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