On Saturday the 28th of May 2016, the Campus of the German Science Centre (DWZ) opened its doors to outstanding PhD and Post-Doctoral candidates to meet representatives of German universities. The German Science Day, this year in its fifth edition, was a unique opportunity for the PhD and Post-Doc candidates to establish a first-contact with German professors, to present their proposals and get valuable insights and feedback.
The 300 attending guests had been invited after applying with their research proposals. More than 140 individual counselling sessions were offered by professors of the present universities. Following the German Science Day, the attendees will be able to use their established contact to further develop their research proposals and possibly find a doctoral supervisor.
The German Science Day was opened by the panel discussion “Meet German Universities” with representatives of the present universities: the Freie Universität Berlin, Technische Universität Berlin, Technische Universität München and Philipps-Universität Marburg and continued with sessions on different topics and from varying fields of research.
Amongst others, Prof. Dr. Christine Knaevelrud presented the Freie Universität Berlin’s project “Web-Based psychological intervention for traumatized individuals in regions of violent conflicts: a Berlin-Alexandrian cooperation.” The project is concerned with providing individuals without access to mental health care institutions, professional support through online diagnoses and therapy sessions. Prof. Dr. Jürgen Handke from Philipps-Universität Marburg, provided insights to “Teaching and Learning in the 21st Centruy”. He introduced different forms of online and computer based learning, such as Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) and talked about the implications of this growing field of education. Akram Abdellatif, currently a PhD candidate at the Technische Universität München, shared his story of perseverance in becoming the first Egyptian astronaut candidate assigned by NASA, and how he uses his knowledge of space science in order to develop a drug curing Hepatitis C in a prize-winning project called “Egypt Against Hepatitis C Virus”. Prof. Dr. Rudolf Schäfer and Dr. Hassan El-Mouelhi of Technische Universität Berlin presented the universities Urban Development Research in Egypt from both the German and the Egyptian perspective. In addition, Dr. Florian Kohstall, the Head of the Freie Ubiversität Berlin Cairo Office, gave a lecture on "Doing your PhD or Postdoc at FU Berlin".
Other representatives of the universities and funding organisations, such as the DAAD and the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, provided insights into scholarships, programmes, application procedures and financing models through information booths and sessions.
The heavy rush and the high demand of the guests for individual counselling sessions, demonstrated once again Egyptian’s interest in the German higher education sector and the importance of the DWZ’s work in providing outstanding Egyptian scholars with direct contacts to German research institutions.