Alumni return to PIK: New award facilitates research visits

07/20/2018 - The Potsdam Institute is keen to keep in touch with its alumni in Germany and all over the world, and has therefore set up a dedicated Alumni programme. Facilitated by funding from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, the programme includes a "PIK Alumni Return Award" intended to enable former PIK scientists to return for a brief research visit to Potsdam. The next alumni-returnee will be Veronika Stolbova, at present a postdoc at the ETH Zurich. She will visit the institute to further advance research with PIK colleagues and give a presentation of her current work.
Alumni return to PIK: New award facilitates research visits

“At PIK we have researchers from all around the world doing inspiring and excellent work. That really contributes to a diverse and an exciting institute culture. So of course we are eager to keep in touch with our former colleagues,” Alison Schlums, the coordinator of PIK’s Alumni Programme, explains. “As a platform to stay in touch with the institute and network with PIK researchers, the Alumni programme provides an easy way for former colleagues to remain part of the institute’s culture and research and to follow former PIK scientists' career journeys”. Built on an alumni database, the programme is open to every former PIK employee, with a focus on international researchers who have spent a period at PIK as postdocs, PhD students or guest researchers and have since moved back to their home institution or on to a new challenge.

Renewing and strengthening contacts and collaborations with these former PIK researchers through financing brief return visits to Potsdam is the aim of the PIK Alumni Return Award. The first recipient of the award was Alexander Robinson who returned to Potsdam for a working visit last February. Currently a postdoc at Complutense University of Madrid, he completed his PhD on the stability of the Greenland ice sheet at PIK. Current returnee Veronika Stolbova had finished her doctorate at PIK on the Indian Summer Monsoon, however, her talk at PIK is going to be titled “Winners and losers on the way to decarbonization: impact of climate change on the financial sector and real economy”. In August, professor Zhong-Ke Gao, a former DAAD scholar at PIK, will return to Potsdam as a third alumni-returnee. The researcher from Tianjin University in China will give a talk on “Complex network analysis of multivariate time series“ and is going to stay for around a month to work with PIK colleagues.

The PIK Alumni programme is part of the Research Alumni Strategies competition of the Humboldt Foundation. The aim is to support university and non-university research institutions in developing professional structures for their alumni work. It is part of the International Research Marketing project funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research as part of the Research in Germany initiative.

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