CHESS local meeting for Bergen in cooperation with the Bjerknes PhD forum

Last week (4-5 November), the Bjerknes PhD Forum and CHESS organized together an event to talk about the struggles that we face as a PhD candidates and how to find solutions. The event that took place at the Panorama hotel for a day and half, provided a forum for these topics, since everyone had at some point to deal with such challenges, but a proper time to find solutions is usually not allocated. It was also a wonderful opportunity to reconnect in this back-to-normal period.
After a session of one-on-one talks, we had an impressive list of issues that everybody could relate to. With the help of our guest speaker Jonathan Lilly, we were able to condense these into a few topics that are easier to handle – support, perspective, community, and balance. In a session on the second day, we picked up those points to share ideas on how we could improve, and what techniques people are already using. It was great to hear all the questions and the easy tricks that can make your life a lot easier.
Our second guest speaker, Gina Wisker, turned the focus towards successful supervision. To summarize her talk in a sentence: What matters is good communication and dependable agreements with each other. She touched on various aspects of the supervisor-student relationship, and on tools that allow us to talk and hold meetings more easily and effectively and how to implement them day-to-day.
Finally, some time was dedicated to how to continue CHESS after the funding period ends in about two years. In regard to this, many ideas emerged and we hope to put them together in the near future.
The whole meeting was ground for very fruitful discussions and helped to develop a feeling of community among both PhD and supervisor members.
Text: Anna-Marie Strehl, Paul Halas, Johannes Lutzmann
Photo: Karl Purcell