On June 20, 2013, the first event of Junges Wissenschaftsforum Dahlem was held at the Seminaris Conference Center in Berlin Dahlem. Fifty-one junior researchers affiliated with Freie Universität Berlin and its partner institutions attended the event to discuss interdisciplinary topics from the areas of academia and research. The attendees included representatives from every step of the academic career ladder, including junior professors, heads of junior research groups, research assistants, postdocs, and advanced doctoral candidates.
To start off the event, the university’s president, Professor Peter-André Alt, presented measures for supporting junior researchers within the institutional strategy of Freie Universität Berlin. Then, at the Round Table Forum that followed, attendees had the opportunity to get involved themselves and talk to experts at nine tables, each focusing on a different topic. The discussions centered on individual aspects of scholarly work and research, such as the effects of new media on teaching and publishing, but also on academic career paths in general, from questions of advanced training to issues of international positioning.
The discussions covered more than just professional topics pertinent to the research conducted in Dahlem; they also served to introduce the participants to one another. From the feedback received, it is clear that even though participants came from different qualification levels and academic disciplines, their interests and needs were similar. For instance, everyone shared a desire to get to know colleagues at similar career stages within their departments, but also across different disciplines, in order to talk talk about current issues in academia.
The wide range of topics covered during the roundtable forum was well received. From starting a business to balancing family and work, from research collaboration to advanced training—the evening offered something for everyone.
The event finished with a summertime barbecue where participants had the chance to continue their discussions and get to know each other better. The next event of Junges Wissenschaftsforum Dahlem is scheduled for the winter term 2013/14.