yDiv Welcome Week



Course Dates

Maximum number of participants / Credit Points

Please register via email


9-13 November 2020



The yDiv Welcome Week introduces doctoral researchers to all the information and tools needed in order to successfully start their PhD career in integrative biodiversity science at iDiv. The week contains an introduction to the iDiv research and goals. Participants also get to know the yDiv offers and requirements, the doctorate examination regulations at the universities, learn tools to manage their PhD project and to communicate with their supervisors.

Please note that the yDiv Welcome Week is mandatory for all new doctoral researchers.

Please find the programme here.

For more details, check the daily programme below:

Day 1: Introduction to iDiv (9 November)

The first day of the Welcome Week starts with an introductory talk about iDiv and yDiv and you will have a slot to get to know each other. Unfortunately, the planned tour through the Botanical Garden Leipzig had to be cancelled. We will try to offer a new date soon.

Schedule day 1

Lecturer: Nicole Sachmerda-Schulz


Day 2: Introduction to Integrative Biodiversity Science (10 November)

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.

Find the course programme and information on your preparation here.

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

Location: Online via Zoom

Day 3: Introduction to yDiv (11 November)

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

Schedule day 3

Lecturer: Nicole Sachmerda-Schulz

Location: Online via Zoom

Day 4 & 5: Getting Started: Managing your PhD Project (12-13 November)

As a doctoral candidate, you see yourself confronted with high expectations from both yourself and your supervisor. To achieve a fine balance between these demands without endangering your health or your private life, self-organization and a good time management are crucial.

During the workshop, you will learn approaches and methods to help you succeed in this challenging task. The workshop consists of a balanced combination of theoretical input, practical exercises and first-hand experience relayed by the trainer. You will learn:

  •     To develop appropriate objectives and to divide complex tasks into manageable units.
  •     To set priorities and focus on key tasks.
  •     To identify ’time sinks’ and to organize your workflow in a productive way.


1st Day (12th November 2020)

Module I: Motivated for Your Goal
Webinar (09:30 - 11:15)
Introduction, working effectively, motivation
(duration: 105 min.)
Follow-up work (11:30-12:30):
Exercise on goal-setting
Module II: Proactively Building the Relationship with your Supervisor
Webinar (14:00 - 15:45)
Managing mutual expectations & conversations with your supervisor
(duration: 105 min.)
Follow-up work (approx. 60 min.):
Self-reflection exercise on your results from the last month and your planning for the upcoming month
Total duration: 5:30 h

2nd Day (13th November 2020)

Module III: First Things First
Webinar (09:30 - 11:15)
Goal-setting, planning and prioritizing
(duration: 105 min.)
Follow-up work (11:30-13:00):
Worksheet on guiding principles and values in life; trying out a daily planning approach.
Module IV: Some other things you should know . . .
Preparation (approx. 30 min.):
Exchange of experiences in the online forum
Webinar (14:45 - 16:30)
Hints for a successful PhD
(duration: 105 min.)

Total duration: 5:30 h


The training consists of an online course in the open-source learning management environment “Moodle” (GNU GPL) including live webinars given in the open-source webinar system “BigBlueButton” (GNU GPL). The Moodle course will provide all necessary information for the preparation and follow-up exercises of every module, as well as a platform for discussions among and feedback from all participants and the trainer. Prior to the course an account on moodle.gyger-training.de will be created for every participant using first name and last name and an email adress.
All participants are kindly asked to log in into the Moodle platform at least a day before the start of the first webinar. Please enter the webinar sessions via Moodle 10 – 15 min. before the beginning of every webinar in order to handle potential technical problems and allow us to start in time. 


Dr. Markus Gyger

Markus Gyger holds a doctorate in biophysics and has been an independent trainer and coach in the field of communication and rhetoric in science since 2011.

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