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SPP 2299 2nd Early Career Researcher Meeting March 2024

During March 2024 the Early Career Researchers gathered once again in Bremen to participate in the 2nd ECR Meeting of the DFG Priority Programme ‘Tropical Climate Variability & Coral Reefs’ (SPP 2299). The meeting was held at MARUM – Center for Marine Environmental Sciences, University of Bremen over the week of the 12-14th of March, and allowed the community to get together and continue developing connections across the programme both internationally and within Germany.

Participants of the SPP 2299 “Early Career Researcher Meeting” at MARUM. Photo: MARUM – Center for Marine Environmental Sciences, University of Bremen, T.Felis

The purpose of these meetings is twofold, firstly they provide a space for early career scientists to share experiences, discuss similar challenges both scientific and personal, and reduce the isolation often associated with academic work. Secondly, they allow us to focus on key skills and discussions relevant to this particular group. This year for instance there was lots of focus on presentations, and how to ‘pitch your science’ to various audiences. One of the workshop sessions focused on developing skills in structuring short talks, and tailoring these to your audience thinking about talking to your neighbour, a political group, your faculty or your fellow scientists.

These skills are of particular interest as they progress throughout their careers. Communicating scientific principles to varying audiences, whether these are the general public, scientists, policymakers or even family members, is an essential tool for any future field.

This year we had an invited speaker come to Bremen, providing fascinating discussions around coral reconstructions and climate interpretations and her insights into how Science and Art combine to create unique experiences. Sujata Murty, from the University at Albany, New York, joined us for the whole week and provided invaluable discussions.

Another highlight of this meeting was the workshop on “Women in Leadership”. This workshop allowed the development of skills essential for the future careers, for instance dealing with conflict, building our own leadership styles, and discussing resilience. It was a great opportunity to learn off the other fantastic women in this programme.

Guest lecturer Sujata Murty (University at Albany, New York) at the SPP 2299 “Early Career Researcher Meeting” at MARUM. Photo: MARUM – Center for Marine Environmental Sciences, University of Bremen, T.Felis

As always these ECR meetings are centred around developing connections and further scientific discussions, and it was great to see these discussions continue to happen during coffee breaks and during dinners held all across Bremen. For now, all the members are back at their institutes working away and grateful for the tips and tricks we got from sharing our challenges, and staying across everyone’s work at the regular ‘shut up and work’ online sessions that started from this ECR meeting.

After this great week we are looking forward to the next SPP 2299 Topical Meeting, where we will get a chance to see the entire Priority Programme, and show off our new presentation skills and results of our new collaborations!

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