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Getting to know each other: kick-off meeting of the Research Training Group of our new Collaborative Research Centre

The PhD students of the new Collaborative Research Centre 1557 "Functional Plasticity Encoded by Cellular Membrane Networks" recently had plenty of time for exchanging ideas and getting to know each other. During a three-day kick-off meeting of the Integrated Research Training Group, exciting lectures and workshops as well as joint activities were on the agenda - including a visit of an alpaca farm.

The following report gives an impression of the proceedings of the meeting, which took place from 8 to 10 May 2023 in Frenswegen Monastery near Nordhorn:

„After all participants had moved into their rooms, the meeting programme started with a presentation on the German science system and the promotion of research and young investigators by Dr Marie-Kathrin Drauschke and Hannah Niedenführ (Osnabrück University). Afterwards, Prof. Arne Möller (Chair of Structural Biology at Osnabrück University) explained methods for cryo-EM based resolution of protein structures. Finally, all PhD students introduced themselves with a short pitch. The day was finished with an interactive visit of the Vechtetal Alpacas.

The second day of our kick-off meeting offered the opportunity to learn more about topics such as "Survive & Thrive in Academia" (Dr. Nadine Binder), "Planning and Writing Research Papers" (Dr. Sven Arnold, Schreibzentrum Berlin) and "Project & Time Management" (Dr. Jan Schmidt). We would like to take this opportunity to thank the external lecturers.

On the third day, lecturers from the biology unit of Osnabrück University spoke on the topics of data management, imaging techniques such as high resolution imaging, expansion microscopy, cLEM, volume TEM and lipidomic analyses. This day was arranged by Susanne Kunis, Rainer Kurre, Michael Holtmannspötter, Rico Franzkoch, Leonhard Breitsprecher and Joost Holthuis. Many thanks for the great contributions.

The staff at Frenswegen Monastery gave us a warm welcome and pastor Matthias Lefers explained the botanical features of the monastery grounds to us in a most sympathetic manner on Tuesday, despite the constant drizzle. We would like to take this opportunity to thank him for his great commitment. The kitchen team should also not go unmentioned: Thank you for the first-class supply of sustainably produced food, coffee and tea.

The commitment of our student representatives, Katharina Olschewski and Jan-Hannes Schäfer, as well as our new graduate school coordinator, Nadia Füllbrunn, who all put a lot of energy into planning and running our first meeting, was crucial to its success. Thank you very much!“

Report: Prof. Achim Paululat (Speaker of the IRTG of SFB 1557).