At the Integrated School of Ocean Sciences doctoral candidates are encouraged to network personally outside their own academic field, to think beyond the doctorate and to be enthused and inspired by role models who have forged individual career paths.

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How can you present your scientific identity in under 30 sec? The proof is in the result – are you understood, is your listener captivated to know more?
This was one challenge for the attendants of this year's retreat at Niederkleveez in October.

Not only getting the message right, short and correct was demanding, also using body language as a means of communication was far from easy. Everybody succeeded - while the science pitch training with Avan Antia sharpened the science message, an exhaustive session on communication and body language with theater expert Verena Lohner visibly helped to add feeling, excitement and authenticity to the presentations.
"I was worried about having to oversimplify the science and then feel like a sales representative, but the training helped to avoid that—it actually felt good!" says one participant. "This helped to get my message clearer – also for my first publication", says another.
Another challenge was posed in the high-rope course. Participants bravely not only pushed their own boundaries, but had to place their trust in their team – ten meters above the ground, they guided themselves and each other through the giddy and frightening course, with little more than guts and encouragement from their peers.

What were the highlights?
Certainly the science pitches and getting to know the breadth of marine sciences in Kiel, but also breathtaking moments in the high rope course and sitting together at the bonfire in a cold October night.