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Workshop 2020

Virtual Event

dynaMENT from home – COVID-19, home office and other challenges

Talking, exchanging ideas, listening to what others experienced, hearing their advice: the central concern of the dynaMENT program continues, but under new circumstances. On 1 April 2020, 12 current doctorate mentees and alumnae gathered in a virtual meeting to talk about how COVID-19 changed their work and lives. The problems could not have been more diverse, starting from getting flights back home, beginning a new home office routine while taking care of children and not being able to work at all because of COVID-19 restrictions.

Lesson 1: Virtual meetings need getting used to. In the beginning it seemed strange to see everyone on the screen and in their home, some of them had set funny backgrounds – a blue beach, a desert and even the whole universe. But when everyone started talking about how they felt in this strange situation, the situation came closer to the usual dynaMENT experience of exchanging ideas and listening to what the others have to say. Some were lucky that they caught one of the last flights back home from the USA. One has already experienced Corona restrictions twice, once during her stay in China and later again here in Germany. Most were trying to get a routine into their home office days. Another one - well, she had trouble setting up a kitchen as IKEA closed some days ago.

Lesson 2: Most of them are lucky enough to be able to continue working on their research from home. One researcher, however, reports that she is not allowed to do research on patients until the end of the year because of COVID-19 and another was not able to do research on Corona because of regulations in her working environment despite being a virologist.

Lesson 3: Not surprisingly, as in the normal scientific daily routine children were a big topic – whether they were yet to be born or already jumping around longing for attention. One scientist reported that she had started her third official day as a new junior professor, unfortunately now only from home and with her daughter who needs her focus every few seconds. Sharing experiences of how to balance family life with a scientific career is a strong concern, with or without Corona.

Final lesson: Despite all the challenges the mentees seemed determined to make the best of their situations. This included seeing the chance to do things that were otherwise left on the desk for months, learning about online teaching methods or valuing freedom and family time a little more.

Meet & Greet at European XFEL

On Friday, February 14, dynaMENT was invited to the European XFEL for a tour and meet & greet. After an excellent presentation about the research at the European XFEL by researcher Christina Bömer, the scientists had the opportunity to visit the largest X-ray laser in the world, which is located 20 metres underground. Afterwards, there was the opportunity for a very personal and intensive exchange with the Administrative Director Dr. Nicole Elleuche and the Scientific Director Prof. Dr. Sakura Pascarelli. They exchanged thoughts and experiences on topics such as family friendly meeting times, leading a group as a parent, normalising paternity leave, and when gaining extra management qualifications might be useful. After a joint lunch, the dynaMENT scientists were invited to a reception in honour of the Woman and Science Day.

dynaMENT Networking Event: “Meet & Greet: Female leadership in a large scientific institute", 14.02.2020, 10:30-14:30
The Administrative Director Dr. Nicole Elleuche and the new Scientific Director Prof. Dr. Sakura Pascarelli of the XFEL invite dynaMENT to a Meet & Greet.
10:30 – 12:00 hours: tour at XFEL halls (tour guide: Christina Boemer)
12:00 – 13:00 hours: Lunch at Beamstop
13:00 – 14:30 hours: Talk with Dr. Nicole Elleuche (administrative director) and Prof. Sakura Pascarelli (new scientific director) at XFEL
14:30 Reception Woman in Science Day
Venue: European XFEL

Our Partners

Supported by
  • Logo CUI
  • Logo Quantum Universe
In Cooperation with
  • Logo XFEL
  • Logo UKE
  • Logo HPI
  • Logo MPSD
  • Logo BNITM