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News #56 // Graduate Center News / Titles / Career Perspectives / Intro Tidyverse / Intro R / Power Dynamics / Deutschlandsemesterticket / Love Data Week / What´s next, Doc? / BUA Career Day / Open Science Mission Statement / Retreats for Newbies




Staff increase in the Coordination Office of the Graduate Center


The Graduate Center has a second coordinator J

Simone Schlender started working in the Coordination Office of the Graduate Center as of 1.1.24.

She is a biologist and has many years of experience in graduate education and degree program coordination.


Information on our areas of responsibility and our contact details can be found here.



Good to know …! News & Information from the Doctoral Office at BCP


(English version below)


Der Titel “Ph.D.” ist nicht die englische Übersetzung des Titels “Dr. rer. nat.“

Auf Basis der Promotionsordnung verleiht der Fachbereich Biologie, Chemie, Pharmazie bei Individualpromotionen den akademischen Titel „Dr. rer. nat.“. Der Titel „Ph.D.“ wird nur auf Wunsch an Promovierende von Graduiertenprogrammen verliehen. Es handelt sich dabei nicht um eine mögliche Übersetzung, sondern um einen anderen Titel.

Bitte beachten Sie beim Verfassen Ihrer Dissertation, dass Sie auch in der Danksagung oder bei anderen Kapiteln nur „PhD studies“ o.ä. schreiben, wenn Sie auch den Titel „Ph.D.“ anstreben. Andernfalls verwenden Sie bitte Formulierungen wie „doctoral studies“ o.ä.



The title “Ph.D.” is not the English translation of the title “Dr. rer. nat.”

Based on the doctoral rules, the Department of Biology, Chemistry, Pharmacy awards the academic title "Dr. rer. nat." for individual doctorates. The title "Ph.D." is only awarded to doctoral students of graduate programs on request. The title "Ph.D." is not a possible translation, but a different title.

When writing your dissertation, please note that you should only write "PhD studies" or similar in the acknowledgements or other chapters if you are also aiming for the title "Ph.D.". Otherwise, please use formulations such as "doctoral studies" or similar.



Career Perspectives with a PhD in Natural & Life Sciences // 8 Feb, 5 – 6 pm


Looking for career options after your doctorate? And not sure what is “out there”? With the series "Career Perspectives with a PhD in Natural and Life Sciences", we would like to offer an opportunity for interactive and informal exchange about career-related topics. You will meet former PhD candidates who will share with you their experiences including ups and downs looking for a job. PhD holders from academia, industry, science communication, politics, public and health sectors, education and more will show you the broad range of potential careers after a doctorate and give you inspiration for future career choices. We will have plenty of time after each talk for questions, discussion and networking.


In February, Dr. Edgar Vogt, who is an alumnus of the Institute of Biology at University of Bielefeld, will be our guest. He currently works as Venture Manager at Life Science Valley.


All information and the meeting link can be found here.



An introduction to the tidyverse – Lecture by Dr. Selina Baldauf // 15 Feb


Discover the power of the tidyverse, an integrated suite of R packages designed for streamlined data analysis. In this lecture, we'll explore the cohesive design philosophy that makes the tidyverse efficient and intuitive, covering popular packages like ggplot2 and dplyr, as well as less familiar ones such as purrr and stringr. Ideal for those new to the tidyverse or familiar with only a few of its components, this session will introduce you to a comprehensive range of user-friendly tools.


When? Thursday, 15th February 2024, 4 pm

Where? Online on Webex

Further information and the Webex link: https://www.bcp.fu-berlin.de/en/graduiertenzentrum/promovierende/veranstaltungen/workshops/lecture-SB/index.html



Online Workshop “Introduction to data analysis with R” // 4 – 5 & 11 – 12 March


Course offer by the Graduate Center: This workshop offers an introduction to data analysis with R.

The workshop's main goal is to equip you with essential R skills for analyzing your own research data, covering data processing and visualization. After the workshop you are equipped to confidently advance your R skills for your specific research needs.

In 4 workshop days (9 am - 4 pm) we will cover the following topics:

Day 1: Introduction to R and R Studio, Good programming practice, Reading data into R

Day 2: Data visualization with the ggplot package

Day 3: Data wrangling with dplyr, data cleaning with tidyr

Day 4: Bring your own research data (or get some real-life data from me)


Who is the course for? Doctoral researchers registered at the BCP department, Postdoctoral researchers at the BCP department

When?                             Monday, 4 March, Tuesday, 5 March, Monday, 11 March, Tuesday, 12 March, 2024, 9 am – 4 pm

Where?                            Webex Online Course (Please note that a video camera and a microphone are necessary for this course.)

Registration:                   If you would like to attend the course, please register here by 18 February 2024.


The registration is binding. Please make sure when registering to be able to attend all 4 workshop days. Participation in the course is free of charge for all (post-)doctoral researchers at the BCP department. Please find more information in the workshop description attached to this email.



Workshop “Navigating power dynamics: building healthy work environments” // 12 March


Dear Doctoral Researchers and PostDocs,

Due to some incidents of abuse of power in the working groups of our department, I would like to recommend a workshop to you. Abuse of power, fostered by dependency relationships and a culture of fear, is still a taboo subject in science.

There have been many inquiries as to whether we can offer this workshop in English. WE CAN!

If you are interested, please register by 29.02.2024 at frauenbeauftragte@bcp.fu-berlin.de. Your registration will be treated confidentially.


Kind regards,

Christine Eßmann-Stern

Women´s representative and gender equality officer


Date: 12.03.2024 from 9.00-13.00h

Place: Room A006 EG, Arnimallee 22


In this dynamic 4-hour workshop, participants will delve into the intricate landscape of power dynamics within the workplace. Through real-life case studies and open discussions, we will explore the various facets of power, its forms, and the potential for abuse in professional settings. Fostering an open mindset and encouraging active participation, attendees will gain valuable insights into recognizing power imbalances, understanding their impact, and acquiring practical strategies to address and prevent power abuse. Join us for an engaging session that aims to empower individuals to create and sustain healthy work environments through informed dialogue and collaborative problem-solving.



Non-entitlement for doctoral students to Deutschlandsemesterticket from summer semester 2024


In our e-mail of 22.01.24 we already informed you about the changeover from the semester ticket to the Deutschlandsemesterticket / Germany semester ticket. Doctoral students at FU Berlin will no longer be entitled to use the new (discounted) Germany semester ticket from summer semester 2024.

Doctoral researchers who have an employment contract with Freie Universität Berlin can apply for the FU Job Ticket: https://www.fu-berlin.de/sites/abt-1/service/VBB-Firmenticket-FU-Berlin/index.html


The DRS has already prepared a letter to the AStA of the FU Berlin. The AStA is responsible for negotiations with the VBB/BVG and is the contact for all questions regarding the semester ticket (semester ticket office: https://astafu.de/kontakt/semtix).

Some doctoral students from DRS degree programs (GEAS, BerGSAS, BGSMCS) are networking to prepare a joint statement on this change. If you would like to join them, you can send an e-mail to coordinator@geas.fu-berlin.de.



Love Data Week on Research Data Management // 12 – 16 Feb


Some events were already announced in the last Newsletter#55. On this website you can find more (online) events during this year’s Love Data Week (12th – 16th Feb) on research data management themes (many in English).



DRS Open Door Talk: What's next, Doc? // 14 Feb


Are you nearing the end of your doctoral project and planning a career in academia? In this Open Door Talk, the team of Freie Universität’s research funding service will inform you about funding options for postdoctoral research projects.


Date: 14 February, 2024, 2pm - 4pm

Venue: Dahlem Research School, room 004

Further information: https://www.fu-berlin.de/en/sites/drs/offers/drs-open-door-talks/index.html

Registration: https://www.drs.fu-berlin.de/node/95931




Career Day 2024 for Doctoral Candidates from the natural and life sciences // 5 March


The next BUA Career Day will take place on Tuesday, March 5 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Humboldt Graduate School, Luisenstr. 56, Berlin Mitte.

It is aimed at PhD candidates from the natural and life sciences who are aiming for a career outside academia. More than 20 young professionals with doctorates from industry, consulting, NGOs and journalism/communication will report on their career paths and be available for discussion.


More information and registration:




Webinar for Doctoral Researchers: What is the new OPEN SCIENCE Mission Statement about and how can I engage with it? // 7 March


End of last year, the Academic Senates of Freie Universität, Humboldt-Universität, Technische Universität and Charité confirmed the Mission Statement for Open Science of the Berlin University Alliance. The document defines goals in several areas related to Open Science, from supporting a change in the publication culture towards a diverse, non-profit, science-driven Open Access culture to promoting the expansion of service offerings and incentives for the uptake of open science practices.


The Mission Statement is currently in a process of priorization and translation into practice that invites BUA members from all disciplines and career levels. In this spirit, the Center for Open and Responsible Research (CORe) invites all doctoral researchers of the BUA to engage with the Statement in a Webinar on March 7, 2024, at 14:00. In a short presentation you will learn about the Mission Statement and have the opportunity to share your questions, experiences and challenges regarding Open Science practices in your research.


Please register until March 1 2024 via the registration website.

For questions about the event or the Mission Statement, contact Viktor Ullmann (CORe) anytime.



Erfolgreich in die Promotion // 11.-13. März


Deutschsprachiges Präsenz-Retreat für Promovierende der Berlin University Alliance

Für alle, die in Berlin mit der Promotion beginnen, bietet die Berlin University Alliance einen dreitägigen Retreat an. Dieser Retreat wird im März 2024 vor Ort im Hotel & Spa Sommerfeld stattfinden. Du wirst während des Retreats in kleinen Workshops Techniken lernen, die Dir helfen, gut vorbereitet in Deine Promotion zu starten und kannst Dich mit anderen Promovierenden der HU, FU, TU und Charité austauschen und vernetzen. Vielleicht lernst Du hier sogar Personen kennen, die Dich bis zum Abschluss Deiner Promotion begleiten? Der Graduate Studies Support der Berlin University Alliance freut sich auf Deine Teilnahme!

Wann:                  11.-13. März 2024 (Veranstaltungssprache Deutsch)

Wer:                      Promovierende aller Fachrichtungen in den ersten sechs Monaten ihrer Promotion

Was:                     Retreat im Hotel & Spa Sommerfeld
Sprache:              Deutsch

Kosten:                Die Teilnahme ist kostenfrei.




Kick Off your Doctorate // March 13th -15th


Presence retreat held in English for doctoral candidates within the Berlin University Alliance

For all those starting their doctorate in Berlin, the Berlin University Alliance offers a three-day retreat. In March 2024, this retreat will be held in person at Hotel & Spa Sommerfeld. During the retreat, you are going to learn techniques that will help you to kick off your doctorate and you can meet and network with other doctoral candidates from HU, FU, TU and Charité. Maybe you will even get to know people who will accompany you until the completion of your doctorate? The Graduate Studies Support of the Berlin University Alliance is looking forward to your participation!
March 13th -15th, 2024 (held in English)

Who:                     Doctoral candidates from all disciplines in the first six months of their doctorate

What:                   In-person retreat at Hotel Spa Sommerfeld
Language:           English

Costs:                   Participation is free of charge.