Thank you for the wonderful 2018 CHESS All Staff Meeting at Sommarøy!

Group photo taken outside the hotel

We concluded our annual CHESS All Staff Meeting from 14 – 16 March at the hotel on the “Summer Island” (Sommarøy) with great success. The 3-day meeting was attended by a historic record number of 67 participants, consisting of 44 PhD students, 16 supervisors, and guests as well as administrative staff.

Each PhD student had a presentation at the meeting, yielding a total of 14 lectures and 30 poster presentations. Each PhD student was given valuable and constructive feedback by a pre-assigned evaluation committee consisting of a supervisor and two fellow PhD students. This newly introduced evaluation system aimed to ensure that all PhD students received a more systematic feedback for possible improvements, and to enhance interactions between supervisors and students.

The meeting started after lunch on Wednesday with some team building activities to facilitate interactions among participants in a more relaxed atmosphere. This fun hour, with lots of laughter and chatting, seemingly eased the participants into the coming days of activities. After some oral presentations, the first day finished with the first poster session and dinner.

We continued with scientific presentations in the morning of the second day and until lunch, an invited professional organized a session on managing student-supervisor relationship featuring some case-studies and discussions about the topic. The hour was well received with lots of constructive interactions. During the long lunch break, some participants went for a nice hike up the nearby hill, others experienced the beauty of Sommarøy during a boat trip, and some just simply relaxed at the hotel. After the extended and refreshing long lunch break, we continued with science sessions followed by the second poster session. At night, many enjoyed the unique experience of viewing the Northern lights while sitting in the outdoor jacuzzis outside the hotel.

On the final day, the last scientific session ended before lunch and after lunch we had an hour to further discuss  PhD student and supervisor relationships around the theme: “What supervisors and students expect of each other along the PhD journey”. At the end PhD students and supervisors presented their expectations from each other indicated which of these expectations might be unreasonable and which should be taken for granted. We concluded the meeting with an evaluation delivered by the CHESS International Evaluation Board members, where students and supervisors had also contributed with valuable feedback and suggestions for future improvements of CHESS and its activities. The meeting was concluded by awarding the best poster and oral PhD presenter and heading back to the airport and town by bus.

It was a great pleasure to be up in Northern Norway for this year’s CHESS All Staff Meeting and we are looking forward to a year filled with exciting CHESS activities.

More photos:
from Mandy Kong –
from Jan Even Nilsen 

Meeting program and detail information