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Franco-German Young Investigator Forum 2019

Connecting young researchers internationally is key for long-lasting partnerships amongst institutions dedicated towards higher education and research. Following the paraphrase “what is important for the students is important for the universities”, the first Franco-German Young Investigator Forum was jointly organized by the University of Cologne and the University 7 Diderot, Paris on 15. April 2019 at the Chemistry Department in Cologne.

The mission of both the American Ceramic Society (ACerS) and the Materials Research Societies (MRS/E-MRS) to serve their members to best of their abilities and catalyse collaborative frontiers of research was the guiding directive in conceptualizing and executing the tasks. The spirit of this event was to establish communication between final year Masters students and undergraduates as well as PhD students in the initial phase of their doctoral research. It proved to be a very rewarding endeavor for all participants to form the first links and to develop and alliance of common ideas that can support the longevity of such institutional partnerships.

Prof. Dr. Sanjay Mathur (Germany) and Prof. Dr. Souad Ammar Merah (France) opened the event by addressing the requirements and challenges for a long-lasting partnership, leading to possible student exchange programs. They also pointed out the current barriers in achieving long-term international collaboration especially when moving from personal contacts-based activities to institutionalized efforts. The Forum was very well attended (ca. 50 participants) and had clearly manifested the need of follow-up events. After intermittent discussions in an informal atmosphere, the students took over the stage in the afternoon giving in total 12 presentations related to their research and experience with large facilities. For a working-lunch, a sandwich bar was installed offering networking possibilities to the participants, which fostered the understanding for cultural aspects. The importance of the engagement of young professionals into the society and need to find platform for exchange of (cultural) experiences and goals was unanimously identified as a commons denominator in all discussions, which were intensified during a lab tour given at the Institute of Inorganic Chemistry, University of Cologne. Finally, a brewery visit together with the dinner concluded the event on a highly mutually satisfactory note, and added further networking possibilities that were well-received by the participants.


Author: Daniel Stadler