Interdisciplinary colloquia

Virtual Spaces for Networking – Colloquia 4.0

„Extraordinary situations need extraordinary solutions“ – this was the credo of the virtual welcome reception for young researchers on January 26th, which opened this year’s series of interdisciplinary colloquia. 

Scientific curiosity, appreciation and openness – this is at the core of the series of events by DAAD Alumni & Friends Ruhr for doctoral students and post-docs. In 2016 the regional chapter of our association started co-organizing four interdisciplinary colloquia per year. DAAD scholars and other young (international) researchers currently working or studying in the region have been invited to present their projects and take part in discussions. 

Colloquia 4.0

„Corona turned into a caesura for the format“, explains team member Anneka Esch-van Kan. The colloquia could not take place in person in Dortmund as usual and in a first instance it was decided to first postpone and then pause the sessions. „Creativity and innovation are what the colloquia are about,“ adds Esch-van Kan,“so of course, we soon started to search for positive impulses and ways to not only continue, but take the format a step further.“ 

Welcome Reception 2021

More than 150 international researchers participated in the virtual Welcome Reception for Young Researchers on January 26th. A key note by Anke Stahl (Head of DAAD Division for Project Policies, Research and Internationalisation, University Networks) addressed the challenges of the current times for international mobility and the ways in which DAAD is responding. Many participants expressed their honest gratitude for the flexibility and support they experienced from DAAD and its staff in the last months.

In break-out sessions participants engaged in dialogue and developed ideas, how the situation could further be improved and how each individual researcher could actively shape the future and use the current chances of digitization. A podium discussion on „Academic Cultures in transition“ rounded the event off. Dr. Christian Bode, chairman of DAAD Alumni & Friends, found optimistic words: He tackled the question what we all might learn from the current Corona crisis. Emphasizing the importance of science and science communication, he also encouraged everyone to continue to engage in international exchange – both virtually and by travelling the world and getting familiar with different academic cultures. Great impulses for the graphic recording created by Volker Voigt (figure above), which visualizes the highlights of the event.

Contest: „Letting It Grow“

The reception closed with a little ritual which started a contest: planting kits were sent out in care packets and participants were invited to collectively plant seeds. In each of this year’s colloquia participants can win prizes with creative and hopeful pictures of growing plants. Of course, anyone can take part in the contest – just get yourself seeds and some potting soil and get started. 

The colloquia will also grow in 2021: All sessions will be virtual – thereby allowing young researchers and DAAD fellows from far beyond the Ruhr area to join. Invited guests will, as a new component, present new solutions for digital collaboration and networking. 


Be Part of It – Challenge Your Way of Thinking 

All DAAD fellows and alumni are welcome to join the upcoming sessions of the colloquium on March 4th, June 10th, September 2nd and December 2nd 2021. What could a designer add to the project or way of presentation of a postdoc in chemistry? Why is it intriguing to follow a discussion on methods between a mathematician and an expert on grounded theory? Come, and find it out. 

If you are interested in joining the colloquia or if you wish to present your research (there are free slots in September and December), please send an e-mail to