Staff rotation

For our young researchers (PhD and Postdocs) one of the many advantages of being a member of the TRR 266 is the possibility of staff rotation: young researchers are able to transfer to one of our participating universities for a couple of months. Unfortunately COVID affected this measure, nonetheless a few researchers were still able to participate.

Jonas Wessel

View from the terrace

Jonas Wessel, PhD student at Oldenburg University, spent a few months at Frankfurt School of Finance & Management as part of the TRR 266 staff rotation program.

Meeting new people and expanding my research network was my main motivation to participate in the staff rotation. An excellent research environment with a well-structured PhD coursework program as well as good access to data made me decide to make Frankfurt my home for a few months. As a visiting PhD student I was able to participate in weekly Accounting and Finance Research Seminars as well as weekly internal Brown Bag sessions. At one of the Brown Bag sessions I presented my joint research project with Prof. Katharina Hombach and Prof. Sara Bormann, the feedback we received really helped me move forward with my research. 

My research stay made me realize how important a good research network is: feedback is invaluable. I especially realized that it is better to start collecting feedback at an early stage, instead of working on a project all by myself – continuous exchange and feedback is what makes the difference.

I will definitely miss the summerly dinners and coffee breaks on the terrace with fellow PhD students: interesting discussions were pleasantly accompanied by a great view of the skyline of Frankfurt. I am looking forward to seeing them and other researchers from Frankfurt School at future (TRR 266) conferences and events again: the view might not be as inspiring, but the exchange will definitely be.  

Tobias Witter

UPB campus – © Universität Paderborn, Stabsstelle Presse und Kommunikation

Tobias Witter, PhD student at HU Berlin, spent a few months at Paderborn University as part of the TRR 266 staff rotation program.

Through our research project B04 I was already collaborating with colleagues from Paderborn. I had heard a lot of great things about the encouraging working environment, so it was great to have the opportunity to directly experience the team and research environment myself. I was especially curious to see how a different organizational structure works – in contrast to my home institution Paderborn University has a departmental structure including a taxation, accounting and finance department. The structure definitely benefited my research: I was directly connected to tax and finance researchers, and oftentimes researchers working on very different topics dropped by my office to discuss research. 

I participated in research and brown bag seminars as well as team meetings and a final presentation of the results of a project-based course. Reflecting on all these interactions I realized how important it is to make time for in-person discussions. Being physically present at the department helped me really getting to know the team and especially fellow PhD students from Paderborn University. Especially the spontaneous exchanges with colleagues and guests felt great after a 1.5-year period of permanently working online.

The departmental structure was not the only difference in structure I noticed, there was also a physical structure difference: the buildings. Almost all buildings at the campus are connected, meaning that when it’s raining outside you can keep dry by navigating indoors. However, it took me the full length of my 5-month stay to master this navigation, or should I say labyrinth.