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“Research in Germany” at the virtual APS March Meeting

(03/24/21) After the American Physical Society (APS) was forced to cancel its annual March Meeting at short notice last year due to the coronavirus pandemic, the event was able to take place securely online this March. From 15 to 19 March, researchers from all over the world had the opportunity to come together virtually for a meeting which, with over 11,000 participants, was the largest APS meeting to date in terms of numbers.

Virtual banner

Virtual banner “Research in Germany”

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Digital exhibitor page

The virtual conference was very clearly set out as a mixture of scholarly sessions and networking options for physicists as well as an exhibitor area. Registered conference participants were able to select the individual areas via different tiles. The “Research in Germany” initiative offered extensive information for international researchers with its own digital exhibitor site. Visitors to the site were able to use digital information materials and videos to find out about doctoral and research opportunities in German physics and research funding in Germany. Those seeking further information and person-to-person dialogue could get in touch directly with representatives of the institutions involved in the presentation via a group chat function and an additional networking platform. As in previous years, numerous German graduate associations, research organisations and funding institutions were involved in the virtual “Research in Germany” presentation at the APS meeting:

Online Workshop: “Doing Physics in Germany”

International early career investigators were invited to take part in an online workshop on potential career paths in the field of physics in Germany. The physicists Emma Brambila Tamayo (Max Planck School of Photonics, University of Jena), Amanda Young (Cluster of Excellence Munich Center for Quantum Science and Technology, TU Munich), James McIver (Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter, Hamburg), Kristen Burson (Hamilton College, Clinton, USA) and Alexey Chernikov (University of Regensburg) gave workshop participants from all over the world an impression of their personal career paths in an opening statement. They reported on why they came to Germany and which funding programmes they benefited from and invited others to compare notes. Workshop participants took the opportunity to ask questions. One asked about the importance of contacts in the research community, for example, and how these could be obtained, thereby highlighting the importance of international conferences.

Afterwards there was an opportunity to put more in-depth questions to the “testimonials” in additional breakout sessions, and consultations were held with representatives of the relevant research and funding organisations. The individual breakout rooms covered the following institutions and topics:

  1. PhD Opportunities at the Max Planck School of Photonics
  2. PhD and Masters Funding Opportunities – German Academic Exchange Service
  3. Research within the Quantum Alliance
  4. Research Life at Universities
  5. Research at Max Planck Institutes
  6. Applied Research at Fraunhofer Institutes and Physics in Industry
  7. Postdoctoral Funding Opportunities – Alexander von Humboldt Foundation
  8. Postdoctoral Funding Opportunities – DFG

The smaller breakout sessions were especially enriching for the international researchers and the German institutions. This somewhat smaller-scale setting created a pleasant atmosphere and allowed for lengthier, more personal dialogue: these are elements that are often neglected in times of the pandemic and were much appreciated by all those involved.

More information on the conference