When Dr. Miguel Arbesú Andrés first came to Berlin, PostDoc Day was one of his first opportunities to discover the local scientific environment. “Direct communication with colleagues at various institutes, research groups, and companies is special. It helped me to get my bearings and build up a network,” says the postdoc in the Department of NMR-Supported Structural Biology at the Leibniz-Forschungsinstitut für Molekulare Pharmakologie (FMP).
This opportunity is back again this year, open with no registration fee to all postdocs in and around Berlin. All topics are welcome, and that’s partly what makes the event special. PostDoc Day 2021, hosted by the FMP and MDC Joint Postdoc Association, will take place on November 4 from 9 am to 5 pm at the MDC.C on Campus Buch. This year, PostDoc Day is also part of Berlin Science Week. Those interested can present a poster, give a talk, or drop by and share their experiences. Abstracts can be submitted until October 7th.
“It’s great to get insight into the work being done in other disciplines,” says Dr. Nele Warmke, a postdoc in the MDC’s Integrative Vascular Biology Lab. The exclusion of “big names” takes the pressure off, and the absence of novices allows conversation to take place on a higher level. The talks and poster presentations will provide an impetus for discussing research topics, methods, and technical problems. Hence this year’s motto, “Communicating Your Science.”
Exploring unknown terrain – detours welcome
Discussions of a technical nature seamlessly develop into conversations about everyday problems and leadership duties. How can conflicts between colleagues be resolved? How can tasks be meaningfully assigned? Informal chats may even lead to the development of new project ideas, or they might revolve around what happens after the postdoc phase.
Creativity and the courage to continually explore unknown terrain are mainstays of the research process. One scientist who has taken this to heart is physicist and systems biologist Uri Alon, professor at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel. His work analyzes circuits in biological systems. In addition to standard experimental and theoretical methods, he applies techniques from improvisational theater to arrive at new perspectives on old problems and thus to discover the unexpected. When his lab team is lost in a “cloud,” he sees it as an opportunity for something new and exciting, as a path into the unknown and not as a dead end. Providing motivation is not just an added bonus for him but rather an important aspect of his role as a leader. And if you’re wondering what kind of “cloud” he’s talking about, register for PostDoc Day 2021 today. For a sneak peek at our keynote speaker, watch his TED Talk from 2013.
Text: Dörte Lodka
- Abstracts can be submitted until October 7th