More than 260 young researchers from 51 countries met during the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation’s network meeting that was held online from 21 to 22 April 2021. They are currently in Germany as researchers sponsored by the Humboldt Foundation and are working with German colleagues at research institutes throughout the country. The event was organised with the aim of acquainting the new Humboldtians with one another and with the University of Rostock which is exemplary for Germany as a location for conducting research. In addition, the event included various chat rooms where the group had the opportunity to talk with Foundation staff members and receive tips regarding living and conducting research in Germany.
On Wednesday, 21 April, Wolfgang Schareck, the rector of the University of Rostock, and Enno Aufderheide, Secretary General of the Humboldt Foundation, welcomed the attendees at 2 p.m. in a virtual meeting room.
This was followed by the Humboldtian Inna Sokolova who delivered the keynote speech on “Understanding Coastal Ecosystems under Pressure: How to Use Bioenergetics to Study the Effects of Multiple Stressors on Marine Organisms." The biologist began her international career in Germany in 1998 with a Humboldt Research Fellowship and continued her research in Canada and the USA. She returned to Germany in 2016 and has held a chair for marine biology at the University of Rostock ever since. The lecture was followed by a discussion via chat.
At 3 p.m. participants had the opportunity to ask questions of the Humboldt Foundation’s Secretary General using the chat function.
The guests also had a chance to share information during “brain dates” (virtual coffee gatherings) and chat groups with a regional focus.
On Thursday, 22 April, participants received insights into selected research areas at the University of Rostock during breakout sessions and a subsequent live discussion. The day’s focus was on lectures and digital poster sessions from 3:15 to 5:30 p.m. when fellows presented their research work. In between there was time for networking and sharing information during “brain dates”.
The majority of participants came from the natural and life sciences (59%), followed by the humanities and social sciences (29%) and engineering (12%). Most of the guests from abroad came from China (25), the USA (19), Brazil (15) or Italy (15).