13. Nov. 2023

Our annual PhD retreat has taken a new shape this year: our CEITEC PhD students have joined forces with their more senior colleagues from the Postdoc community for a massive intellectual exchange and collaborative synergy. This way, almost a hundred scientists spent two days together in the heart of Vysočina mountains. They enjoyed an intense programme with invited lectures held by the foremost scientists in life and material science coming from both the Czech Republic and abroad, a series of student talks and a poster session.

At the core of this conference were the distinguished contributions delivered by scientists and experts from both the Czech Republic and abroad. Those included scientific presentations, TechTransfer talks and workshops and were followed by lively discussions which showcased the breadth and depth of scientific inquiry pursued by the young generations of researchers. The speakers were chosen to present their most interesting projects and inspire younger colleagues in their own work.

As many as 96 people joined the retreat, most from CEITEC but also from Czech universities and scientific institutions as well as foreign places, most notably the University of Edinburgh within the Twinning Project. Pavel Payne, the chairman of CEITEC Masaryk University Postdoc Committee, praised the diverse programme covering topics from AI to technology transfer and transgressing the confines of individual scientific disciplines. Scholars from diverse backgrounds thus found common ground, engaging in debates, and making useful new connections.



The Retreat was held on October 26th and 27th at the OREA Resort Devět Skal in Milovy and offered space not only for cutting-edge science but also fun! The programme included common meals, a pub quiz, and karaoke. It was supposed to end with a hike in the mountains but that had to be cancelled due to rainy weather. Instead, the participants visited the New Generation Museum in Žďár nad Sázavou, a multimedia exhibition covering the history of the Žďár castle and its surroundings.

It was the first time this retreat was organised as a common PhD and Postdoc retreat, and it looks like it may not be the last time it is done this way. The overall success of the event will be evaluated according to the results of a questionnaire which will be distributed to participants; nevertheless, Kateřina Linhartová from the PhD Committee expressed positive reactions from the community saying, “The retreat provided a good opportunity for members of the PhD and Postdoc community to come together. Initial feedback from the participants indicates that this year’s retreat was generally well-received.”

We are very grateful for the inspiring talks and presentations and for all the connections that have been established. The success of the joint PhD & Postdoc Retreat 2023 was made possible by the unwavering support of our sponsors for which we would like to express our thanks. Let’s meet like this more often!

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