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. They also have the opportunity to visit another university abroad for a research stay. Unfortunately COVID affected this measure, nonetheless a few researchers were still able to participate.
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, 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.
Pia Stoczek, PhD student at Paderborn University, spent a few months at ISCTE-IUL Business School in Lisbon as part of a TRR 266 research stay.
I chose to spend my three-month research stay at ISCTE-IUL Business School in Lisbon after Professor Helena Isidro presented her work at our TRR 266 research seminar at Paderborn University. As her research is (among others) in the area of debt markets – an area I am very interested in and which is the focus of my research –I chose ISCTE to benefit from her feedback for my work. During my stay I was able to participate in the research seminars of the ISCTE-IUL Business Research Unit and also had the opportunity to present my work at one of the workshops. The discussions and feedback I received really helped me to gain new perspectives and progress with my work.
During my stay I learned a lot about the differences in PhD education between European Universities. I got in touch with other PhD students at ISCTE and we bonded over our mutual motives and struggles. Getting out of my comfort zone and living and working in another country where I did not speak the language was an extremely valuable experience.
I would absolutely recommend a stay at ISCTE-IUL to colleagues. In case you want to participate in the PhD courses I would recommend a visit between October and March as most courses were already finished when I arrived. The upside of this for me was that I had time to solely focus on my research without a lot of distractions. Lisbon is a great city and offers a lot of activities for the weekend but you should plan some time to get accustomed. My best experience during the stay were definitely the lunch or coffee breaks with colleagues on, or off campus, sitting in the sun and exchanging ideas.
Yuchen Wu, Postdoc at LMU Munich, spent a few months at Frankfurt School of Finance & Management as part of the TRR 266 staff rotation program.
The team’s research at Frankfurt School is closely linked with my research interest and research data. Topicwise, many of the team’s researchers work on disclosure. Datawise, many team members there use data from the Bundesbank, just like I do. Therefore, it was only natural to go to Frankfurt and work together with the team on site.
During my stay I took part in the accounting research seminars. I participated when other people presented and also presented my own project. I received great constructive feedback for my project, which really helped me with my work. What was most valuable for me was to learn from other peer junior researchers and how they proceed with their academic work.
I would highly recommend a staff rotation to my colleagues. It really helped me to get together with other junior researchers and exchange feedback. Outside from work, I really enjoyed our team dinners together. Exchanging ideas and connecting with each other – academically and personally – really was the best experience of my stay.