A scientific retreat up in the North
Group of Martin Wagner
What is the effect and importance of our research? How do we want to communicate with each other? What are our expectations and responsibilities? These were some of the central questions we discussed during our retreat on the island Stokkøya, a few hours north of our offices at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology. After almost falling several times on the slippery wooden walkway, we (four new PhD fellows) and our supervisors arrived at a quite luxurious cabin with a beautiful view of the ocean. Luckily the weather outside was horrible, so we had plenty of time to discuss all the questions above.
One of the exercises we did was to write a manual about ourselves to ensure good communication between each other. For example, we immediately discovered that some people were at their best in the early morning while others were… less amused with the idea of meetings before 10 am. Knowing each other’s preferences and personality will facilitate collaboration and help us communicate effectively.
Time for a 5-minute beach clean-up at the Norwegian island of Stokkøya. (©Martin Wagner)
We also took some time to discuss the current state of the science on microplastics. With that in our mind we had a brainstorm about how we will design our research projects to reduce the knowledge gaps still so prevalent in this area of research. All in all, it was very nice to get to know each other on this retreat and it gave us the right tools to make the start of our PhD projects a success. (Sarah Stevens and Gabriël Olthof)