Virtual GAIN21: Retrospective
From August 25 to 27 2021, the Annual Conference and Talent Fair of the German Academic International Network (GAIN) was once again the largest annual meeting for German researchers and scientists outside Europe. The GAIN Annual Conference and Talent Fair took place virtually for the second time in a row and attracted more than 1000 registrations and 750 active participants across the three conference days.
The meeting, organized by the DAAD, the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, and the DFG in cooperation with other scientific organizations, focused on the careers of young researchers and issues of science policy.
The DAAD was represented by President Prof. Dr. Joybrato Mukherjee, the DFG by President Prof. Dr. Katja Becker, and the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation by President Prof. Dr. Hans-Christian Pape. The Federal Ministry of Education and Research was represented by the Federal Minister of Education and Research Anja Karliczek; members of the Committee on Education, Research and Technology Assessment represented the German Bundestag.
In her welcoming address, Federal Minister Anja Karliczek emphasized that our society’s need for scientific knowledge has never been more apparent than it is now. She addressed the young scientists directly, saying their perspectives are much needed in scientific and societal discourse and that these scientists are highly valued in the German research landscape. She went on to highlight some of the expanding government funding of research and academia across Germany: “We want to send a clear signal that in Germany there is both excellence at the top and high quality across the board.”
From August 25 to August 27 2021, international and German researchers were invited to obtain intensive information and advice on their next career steps in a total of 27 virtual workshops and 4 webcasts: The offers ranged from professorships at universities or universities of applied sciences to how to become a successful research group leader; from transitioning to research in the industry; or to launch a start-up as possible career steps. Other workshops were dedicated to successful virtual networking and informational interviews, insights into the appointment process, or offered information on tenure-track professorships. Webcasts are still available for viewing on our website.
At the Talent Fair, the largest fair for academic and research careers in Germany outside Europe, more than 50 research organizations advised conference attendees on professional matters and presented career options in their institutions and companies. The funding organizations also provided information on return programs and scholarships. This year, conference attendees and German representatives could also schedule one-on-one advising appointments for services such as CV checks during and after the virtual conference.
Networking also played a bigger role at this year’s virtual GAIN conference. Through various Networking Sessions across three conference days, representatives from German research institutions, attendees, and the GAIN21 team and advisory board engaged in casual exchanges and networking with each other.
The Virtual GAIN21 concluded with the Science Slam, during which five international researchers presented their current projects and findings in an entertaining, understandable, yet scientific way. Congratulations to our winner, Sebastian Markert, who was chosen as the winner by the GAIN21 audience. The cell biology postdoc’s slam pondered the question, ‘what happens when we close our eyes?’
Looking back #GoGAIN21: From August 25 to 27, 2021, the GAIN21 Annual Conference and Talent Fair took place virtually for the first time. Take a look at our photo gallery!
Five international researchers from various fields presented their findings in a five-minute pitch in front of the virtual audience; touching on topics such as hydrogels, treating muscle diseases, earthquakes, and more, all to impart current research results to a diverse audience understandably and entertainingly.
Dr. Martin R. Lichtenthaler from the GAIN Advisory Board hosted the Science Slam and the live virtual GAIN21 audience was the Jury.
The Talent Fair at the GAIN Annual Conference is the largest fair for academic careers in Germany outside of Europe. Numerous universities, companies, funding, and research institutions presented themselves at over 50 booths. The young researchers also had the opportunity to get advice, to establish contacts, and to get to know their future employers via text chat or video call.