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NextGen@Helmholtz 2017: Between seals and science

From July 5-7, GEOMAR and Helmholtz Juniors hosted the second NextGen@Helmholtz conference. Around 120 doctoral researchers from 17 Helmholtz centers joined us for three days full of networking, learning and fun.

In Kiel, they had the opportunity to visit the seals at the aquarium, learn about submarines and their connection to space travel, how our planet is affected by climate change, learn about rocks and microorganisms, and much more.

Explore the highlights of the NextGen@Helmholtz 2017 below or simply listen to the podcast that was created by the conference participants.

Program Highlights

(Re)present Your Institute

In this session each center  had to (re)presented their Helmholtz research in one minute in a fun and comprehensive way to doctoral researchers from all Helmholtz centers. The two winners were HZI Braunschweig with an easily understood enactment of infection research and UFZ  with a video highlighting the joyful part of working in research.

Science Slam

Five scientists entertained us with their research subjects. The winner Joscha Knolle (DESY) used “Piggeldy und Frederick” (a well-known German kid’s cartoon) to explain particle physics.

Your PhD in one Photo

To put your PhD in one photo is quite a challenge. That it is possible showed the winners of the photo contest Sandro Dahlke (audience award) and Hanna Hennig (jury award).

by Selina Höckele

© Sandro Dahlke

© Hanna Hennig

Alumni session
From classical careers in academic research to founding your own mussel farm. In this session, doctoral researchers had the opportunity to talk to professionals, who conducted their doctoral project at a Helmholtz center, about their experiences and get insight into careers beyond the graduation.


In this workshop, doctoral researchers came up with ideas for a more sustainable world and thought them further. What are your target groups, how will you reach your customers and how will it make our society a little more sustainable? We are excited to see if we can soon use the app "Cookease". An app to arrange joint cooking events for sustainable use of food and energy. Or maybe young scientist will soon be able to share their teaching experiences via youtube thanks to the project “Seed of Science”.

Present your poster
How to explain your research to someone from a completely different field? And what is most important when preparing a poster or getting others excited about your project? Participants of the poster workshop can tell you!

Communicate science
In four small groups, different ways of communicating science were explored: Broadcasts, films, cartoon or theater are exciting alternatives to simple articles or blog posts to communicate your science. The podcast above is an outcome of the workshop. Another one is the this movie.

A big “thank you!” to…
We want to express our gratitude to the Helmholtz Association for the opportunity and support to organize the NextGen@Helmholtz, the Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel (GEOMAR) for hosting us and providing the structural framework, and to all speakers, workshop leaders, and participants for making the conference a great success!

The next NextGen
Keep an eye open for the NextGen@Helmholtz 2018 at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Potsdam-Deutsches GeoForschungsZentrum (GFZ) from 25 to 27 July 2018!

NextGen@Helmholtz 2017 Group Picture© Paulina Artinger

For more information have a look at the NextGen@Helmholtz 2017's program!

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