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05-09 July 2021, Spital am Pyhrn

In this year’s Summer School, organized by the ÖGP-JuWis representatives, PhD students and postdocs from Austria, Germany, the Netherlands, and Switzerland participated in keynotes and a workshop, got dissertation mentoring in small groups and individual mentoring with free topic choice, had secluded writing opportunities, held or participated in lightning talks and there was lots of time for networking and fun! The Summer School took place at a very nice hotel with a Spa area in Spital am Pyhrn, surrounded by mountains and national parks. In this peaceful environment, participants  learned about and discussed diversity in academic psychology, life-domain balance, and career planning in keynote lectures by Prof. Judith Glück (President of the ÖGP, University of Klagenfurt), Prof. Bettina Kubicek (University of Graz), Ass.-Prof. Matthew Pelowski (University of Vienna), and worked on our scientific writing skills in a workshop led by Ass.-Prof. Mathias Benedek (University of Graz).

In between those open-to-all sessions, early career PhD students were mentored on how to advance in their dissertation and their scientific career, while advanced PhD students and postdocs were invited to work on their projects individually in a writing retreat. The latter included not only a quiet working environment, but also a collection of writing books and info walls on how to structure the writing process and steer motivation. Writing retreat participants also had the option to take part in focused writing sessions with active breaks (e.g., dancing or yoga).

Having meals and coffee breaks together and spending the evenings on joint activities gave all participants plenty of opportunities to get to know each other and the keynote speakers. Many participants also contributed very actively to the program, for instance by organizing workouts and board game sessions. On Wednesday, everyone had the opportunity to enjoy the surrounding nature on an extended hike in the area of Wurzeralm. Some even made it all the way up to the summit “Rote Wand”! Of course, we (the ÖGP-JuWis representatives) asked this year’s participants how they liked it and we received overwhelmingly positive feedback! People loved the relaxing and productive atmosphere, the mentoring, the focused writing groups, the sauna, the hike, and the company of other young researchers. Participants asked for yearly writing retreats, an extension of the event, and more lightning talks. Next time (possibly already in 2022), we will try to address these points! As early-career representatives, we are amazed by the brilliant people we have had the chance to encounter during this summer school. We are convinced that the future of psychology in Austria is in very good hands!

We are looking forward to meeting you at our next Summer School and/or Writing Retreat!

The ÖGP-JuWis representatives

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