NextGen@Helmholtz 2017: Between seals and science

by Selina Höckele

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).

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!

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



Save the date NextGen 2020 Conference

The NextGen conference will take place in Darmstadt from the 1st -3rd July 2020 download our flyer here!

Helmholtz Survey 2019

Starting on the September the 30 and lasting 6 weeks, the 2019 survey will take place. This year is particularly special because, it will be done in collaboration with he Doctoral Researchers of the IPP Mainz, Max Planck PhDnet and the Leibniz PhD Network on N2 level. Click here to download our press release and follow our social media accounts to stay informed.

N² Network Statement Paper on Power Abuse

Power Abuse is a serious issue that Doctoral Researchers may be confronted with during their PhD. We want to raise awareness, as well as, to find ways to prevent it and/or fight it. Please follow this link to read the paper position on Power Abuse and Conflict Resolution.




Unser HeJu-Flyer steht auf den folgenden Link zum Download

Hejus Flyer


Leitlinien zur Durchführung von Promotionsvorhaben in der Helmholtz-Gemeinschaft stehen auf den folgenden Link zum Download

Helmholtz-Promotionsleitlinien 2019