Junges Wissenschaftsforum Dahlem on the 2nd of December, 2014 was dedicated to the subject "Shaping Academic Cooperation: Research, Coordination and Application", a topic that addresses the chances and challenges of coordinated projects. Prof. Dr. Brigitta Schütt, Vice President for Research of Freie Universität Berlin, and Prof. Dr. Michael Meyer, spokesperson of the Cluster of Excellence TOPOI, opened the night by discussing the adventures of interdisciplinary cooperation. The physical geographer and the prehistorian demonstrated that there are certain parallels between exchanges in research and encounters with other cultures: Respect and openness for new approaches, the willingness to learn a “foreign language” and a strong determination. Both speakers encouraged junior researchers to accept this challenge. Not every coordinated project is a successful one; however, researchers are certain to gain new inspiration for their work. Developing a profile in your own discipline and, at the same time, exploring a foreign field is not an easy task. That is why senior researchers should support and offer advice to junior researchers.
Support and funding of junior researchers, academic networking and participation in cooperation were discussed in more detail at the round-table forum later on. It gave the guests a chance to learn about different coordinated projects and funding opportunities at Freie Universität. The five tables were led by members of the Focus Areas DynAge, NanoScale and Dahlem Centre of Plant Sciences, the Collaborative Research Centers „Episteme in Motion“ and „Governance in Areas of Limited Statehood“, the research funding support service and the Center for Research Strategy. The result was a lively discussion between different disciplines and career stages, lasting until and beyond the reception at the end of the evening.