Graduate Students’ Day 2015

HELENA Graduate Students‘ Day 2015

On November 18, 2015, graduate students of Helmholtz Zentrum München met for the 8th HELENA Graduate Students’ Day. In addition to the annual graduate student prize, the day’s agenda included a career talk, a lecture by the HELENA director, a presentation of the Doctoral Students’ Initiative (DINI) and the election of the graduate student representatives.


Welcome and introduction

Christian Langebartels, director of the Helmholtz Graduate School Environmental Health (HELENA), opened the Graduate Students‘ Day with an overview of the achievements of the graduate school and an outlook on future projects at the Center.

HELENA was launched in 2010 and has since been on a trajectory of success. Since the excellent review in summer 2014, HELENA has served as best practice model for the Helmholtz Association.

Building on this success, Helmholtz Zentrum München expands its comprehensive talent management. Along with the two research schools “Lung Biology & Disease” and “Radiation Sciences (RS2)”, the Postdoctoral Fellowship Program (PFP) was established for excellent postdocs. Responsibility is promoted in junior research groups in which young scientists independently lead their own research groups within the framework of the junior research group program. With the future Helmholtz Pioneer Campus (HPC) the Center seeks to attract and gather the next generation of international research leaders. 

Career talk by Professor Martina Schraudner: “From Science to Research Management and Back”

Professor Martina Schraudner, head of the Fraunhofer Centre for Responsible Research and Innovation CeRRI, has succeeded several times in switching from positions in science and science management. Studies show that there are hardly any straightforward career paths in science. In her talk Professor Schraudner offered the graduate students a good insight into her career path.

Furthermore, Professor Schraudner presented the “Gendered Innovations”. Here social acceptance is crucial to success. Much has been achieved, but some developments still await on the horizon.

Professor Schraudner encouraged the graduate students to build up a good network and always to strive to achieve their visions. 

Outstanding dissertations

This year two graduate students were honored with the graduate student prize 2015 for their outstanding dissertations. The coveted award is funded by Münchner Bank.
Martin Göttlicher from the Association of Friends and Supporters of Helmholtz Zentrum München (VdfF) chaired the talks of the candidates and presented the prizes. He congratulated the two prizewinners for their outstanding achievements:

  • Joana Santos Barbosa, ISF: “In vivo single cell analysis reveals distinct behavior of neural stem and progenitor cells in homeostasis and regeneration in the adult brain”.Supervisor: Jovica Ninkovic
  • Matthias Pfeifer, PGSB:“The genome and transcriptome of Triticeae genomes and the impact of polyploidization”. Supervisor: Klaus Mayer

HELENA graduate students actively contribute

The graduates students’ initiative (DINI) presented itself and its mission to help shape the graduate student experience at Helmholtz Zentrum München. This mission is accomplished through career seminars and a regular exchange with the HELENA Graduate Student Office as well as through social events such as snow weekends or get-togethers.

Amudha Nagarathinam, SPR, thanked the former graduate student representatives Maria De Vries (EGEN), Christian Krendl (ISF), Meike Köhler (IDF1) and Yashodhara Ingawale (ISB) for their dedication and commitment during the past year.

The election of the graduate student representatives was closer than in previous years. Daniela Dyckhoff (IEG) and Jonathan Adam (EPI II) were elected graduate student representatives. Their alternates are Moritz Ludwig (TOXI) and Tamara Durovic (ISF). 


A “Greek Evening” concluded the Graduate Students’ Day. The auditorium was decorated in blue and white, the colors of the Greek flag, and typical Greek delicacies were served, accompanied by Greek music. The graduate students commented that the day had been a “great success” and used the opportunity for networking extensively. 

Further information:


Graduate Student Office
Strategy, Programs, Resources
(formerly: Program Planning and Management)
Helmholtz Zentrum München

Helmholtz Zentrum München

Further information

Friends and Supporters of the Helmholtz Zentrum München (VdFF): Homepage