Courses and Workshops

Courses offered jointly by the IMPRS “From Molecules to Organisms”, the Tübingen International PhD Program in the Biological Sciences and the Postdoc Opportunities Coordinator.

These courses are designed for PhD students and postdocs. PhD students and postdocs from all institutes on the Max Planck Campus Tübingen are invited to register. Technicians and undergraduate students from our institutes, as well as students from outside our institutes may participate on a space-available basis.

Registration deadline for all autumn courses is September 15th. Space assignments will only happen after Sept. 15th.

To register for a course, write to courses(at)tuebingen.mpg.de. State the course title in the subject line and copy the email to your advisor. Send a separate mail for each course.

Please check that your advisor is in agreement before registering. Register only if you fully intend to participate for all sessions and plan your schedule accordingly. Once you have received an email confirming your place, we assume you will attend.

Overview

Date Course Registration Deadline
17 September Your Final Year as a PhD student 15 September
23 - 24 September Career Planning 15 September
10 - 11 October Application Skills for Career Alternatives 15 September
14 October Adobe Illustrator for Poster Design 15 September
21 & 28 October, 4 & 11 November R Applications for Bioscientists 15 September
5-7 November Basic Light Microscopy course full
18 November Life Hacks for new PhD students 15 September
19 & 26 November, 3 & 10 December Applying Python Programming to Bioscience Research Projects 15 September
28 November Project Management in Academia 15 September
29 November Time Management in Academia 15 September
5 & 6 December Communication and Conflict Resolution course full
13 December PyMOL  - Scripting and Moviemaking 15 September

 

Basic Skills Workshops

Life Hacks for new PhD students
Date 18 November 2019, 9am - 5pm
Location Conference Room, Max Planck House
Tutor Dagmar Sigurdardottir, Devansh Raj Sharma
Target group PhD students
Level Beginners
Register by 15 September 2019
Coordinator Dagmar Sigurdardottir

Starting a PhD means more than just carrying out research all day: It also includes developing your own research project, optimizing your time in the lab and learning how to keep up with your research field. In addition, you also need to learn how to deal with people in the institute and navigate within the organizational framework of the institute.

In order to accomplish all this, you need to learn to manage yourself effectively.

This introductory workshop provides background information on what PhD students may encounter during their PhD, introduces project and time management approaches and helps students develop a strategy to optimize their performance.

 

Advanced Scientific Courses

R Applications for Bioscientists
Date 21 & 28 October, 4 & 11 November 2019, 9am - 12:30pm
Location Teaching lab 0.A.06, MPI for Developmental Biology
Tutor Wei Yuan, Jocobo de la Cuesta, Tjeerd Dijkstra
Target group PhD students, postdocs, others
Level Advanced - IT Intro Course or equivalent knowledge is required. For questions send an e-mail to courses(at)tuebingen.mpg.de
Register by 15 September 2019
Coordinator Dagmar Sigurdardottir

This course will introduce the application of the most commonly used statistical analyses for hypothesis testing in the R statistic environment. By the end of the course you should be skilled to perform these tests and to independently identify and apply tools specific to your field. In the first session, we will cover linear models, its assumptions and varieties of its application (t-test, ANOVA, multiple linear regression). In the second session, we will cover non-parametric tests, bootstrapping, and permutations. In the third session we will cover logistic regression and mixed-effect models. The fourth session will be devoted to topics suggested by the participants, and participants will receive assistance in finding analytical solutions with their own data.

This course assumes you have a basic understanding of how to use R, from loading files to obtaining basic summary statistics of your data. Note, however, that this a short introductory course, and is by no means exhaustive or advanced. The classes consist of assignment discussion and a lecture introducing the new topics, followed by exercises.The instructors will be available during the exercise sessions to help you get started with your assignments, which are due before the next course session.

Please come to all workshops with your own laptop. If you do not have a laptop, you may request one for use during the course. Participants must make sure their laptop has a working installation of Rstudio and that they are able to install packages from CRAN. IT Intro Course and Introduction to R for bioscientists, or equivalent knowledge is required.

 

Basic Light Microscopy
Date 5-7 November 2019, 9am - 5:30pm
Location Teaching lab 0.A.06, MPI for Developmental Biology
Tutor Christian Feldhaus, Vanessa Carlos
Target group PhD students, postdocs, others
Level Beginners
Register by 15 October 2019
Coordinator Dagmar Sigurdardottir

In this light microscopy course, you will learn about a variety of microscopy-related topics so you can understand the principles behind microscopic techniques and are able

a) plan and perform experiments and
b) interpret and analyze your data correctly.

This will be achieved by a mixture of lectures, demos and hands-on practical sessions. However, to be able to practically work with a specific instrument, you need to ask for a personal introduction/ training on that instrument.

The basic light microscopy course is an introduction to light microscopy. It covers standard transmitted light techniques like brightfield, phase contrast and DIC as well as fluorescence and confocal microscopy. In addition, participants will be introduced to the basics of digital image acquisition and analysis.

For more detailed information please click here.

 

Applying Python Programming to Bioscience Research Projects
Date 19 & 26 November, 3 & 10 December 2019, 9am - 12:30pm
Location Teaching lab 0.A.06, MPI for Developmental Biology
Tutor Estienne Swart, Guillermo Luque, Mikel Martinez
Target group PhD students and postdocs
Level Advanced - successful completion of “Introduction to Python for Bioscientists” or similar knowledge required
Register by 15 September 2019
Coordinator Dagmar Sigurdardottir

In this course we will be teaching you how to formulate and solve your own scientific problems using Python. You should therefore have knowledge at the level of the introductory Python course taught earlier this year. In the first session we will provide a review of Python, to refresh your memory of the basics. We will also discuss the problems you are trying to solve, to get a better understanding of how to solve them. We will briefly introduce the topics to be taught in subsequent sessions.

Subsequent sessions will be split in two: initially demonstrating useful scientific Python libraries using interactive notebooks, then working on your problems in the class. Thus, we want you to bring along problems that you would like to solve, both small and large. We intend to put some of these problems up on a big screen and solve them together.

In due course, we will send out a survey to get a clearer understanding of the topics of most interest to you, to determine what to cover. So, please watch out for this and fill it out diligently!

Sessions 2-3 will tentatively cover the following topics, but, as stated, based on your answers to our survey, will adjust what’s taught.
•    Working with tabular data, querying, extracting and manipulating features of interest using Pandas and Numpy.
•    How to use R functions from Python and vice versa using R2py and reticulate.
•    How to make publication quality plots with Python using matplotlib and Seaborn. Additionally, we would like to tell you about how interactive plots could enrich your notebooks using Plotly.
•    Working in Py-genomics, including protein and nucleotide sequences analysis, searching in biological databases, and manipulating high-throughput sequencing data with libraries like BioPython, HTSeq, or PySam.

 

Scripting and Moviemaking with PyMOL
Dates 13 December 2019, 9:30am - 12pm and 1pm - 3:30pm
Location Teaching lab 0.A.06, MPI for Developmental Biology
Tutor Thomas Holder, Schrödinger
Target group PhD students and postdocs
Level Advanced - participants need to be comfortable using PyMOL and should have some experience handling script files and/or the Unix command line. Python skills are beneficial.
Register by 15 September 2019
Coordinator Dagmar Sigurdardottir

Note:     The two sessions can be taken individually. If you are only interested in one session, please specific this in your course registration email.

Content: This course teaches you how to automate figure generation, use third-party scripts and eventually write your own extensions using Python.
Material: pymol.org/tutorials/scripting/

Bring your laptop. If you do not have a laptop, you may request one for use during the course.

 

Advanced Skills Workshop

Your Final Year as a PhD student
Date 17 September 2019, 1 - 5pm
Location Conference Room, Max Planck House
Tutor Dagmar Sigurdardottir
Target group Finishing PhD students
Level Advanced
Register by 15 September 2019
Coordinator Dagmar Sigurdardottir

The final year of your PhD, when finishing up in the lab, getting your research published, writing your thesis and planning your career all need to be dealt with at the same time, can become easier when you apply standard project and time management techniques. We will identify requirements, investigate resources, define deliverables and set time lines. Also included is detailed information about the formal requirements for the thesis and defense.

 

Adobe Illustrator for Poster Design
Date 14 October 2019, 9am – 3:15pm
Location Practical room 0.A.06, MPI for Developmental Biology
Tutor Serge Paulus
Target group PhD students and postdocs
Level Advanced
Register by 15 September 2019
Coordinator Sarah Danes

 Timed around a month before the postdoc and IMPRS/PhD symposia, this workshop will teach you to use Adobe Illustrator to prepare scientific posters. The workshop builds on the skills learned in the basic skills “Images and Figures for Publication” workshop.

Topics covered:
Create large-scale documents in Adobe Illustrator; prepare your document for large-scale inkjet printing; use grids and guidelines to create your layout; import images and graphics; create text fields, import text from a word processor and optimise text flow; work with character and paragraph styles.
The workshop will also cover poster design dos and don’ts and will include ample time to work on preparation of your own poster under the guidance of the tutor.

In case you do not have regular access to Adobe Illustrator, the tutor is happy to give tips on transferring the taught skills to other programs.

To register, you must have already taken the basic skills course “Images and Figures” or show that you possess equivalent expertise in Adobe Illustrator.
Serge Paulus is a tutor at the Center for Data Processing (ZDV) at the University of Tübingen.

 

Project Management in Academia
Date 28 November 2019, 9am - 5pm
Location Conference Room, Max Planck House
Tutor Sanja Stevic, GOLIN Wissenschaftsmanagement
Target group Postdocs and PhD students
Level Any
Register by 15 September 2019
Coordinator Elisabeth Weir

New, time limited and complex – such are the tasks generally undertaken as projects. A work environment without project work is almost unimaginable nowadays. Proven project management tools pave the way for the professional development and planning of projects, for competent guiding of their implementation and for their successful completion. With the help of these tools even difficult steps in the project journey can be safely navigated. During the workshop the participants familiarise themselves with the most important project management methods and instruments.

The following topics are at the core of the workshop:

  • Basics of project management: From design to completion of a project
  • It is all about direction: Setting objectives for my projects
  • How to handle the unforeseen: Strategies for dealing with difficulties
  • Projects in the higher education sector: What are the idiosyncrasies of academia?
  • Strengthen your strengths! How can I exploit the strengths of my project?
  • Stakeholder analysis: Where do I find support for my project?
  • Project management: My next steps

Sanja Stevic, Heidelberg, comes originally from London, UK, and is a psychologist and certified ICF Coach [International Coaches Federation]. She received a Global MBA at the Henley Management School, UK, and has over 15 years international experience in Strategic HR development and Business Management. Among her fields of specialisation are conflict resolution, team building and intercultural management. She is a Board member of the Heidelberg International Professional Women’s Forum. Since 2012 she works as a freelance trainer and career coach in the field of academia.

 

Time Management in Academia
Date 29 November 2019, 9am - 5pm
Location Conference Room, Max Planck House
Tutor Sanja Stevic, GOLIN Wissenschaftsmanagement
Target group Postdocs and PhD students
Level Any
Register by 15 September 2019
Coordinator Elisabeth Weir

Teaching, part time work, professional development, private arrangements and not least the thesis: Time pressure results in many things only being half done. In the end there is not enough time for the important tasks and you are left with the uncomfortable feeling of again not having managed everything. It is however not difficult to improve dealing with the personal time budget. Through the implementation of established time management methods, individual disturbances can be minimised, priorities can be set and planning horizons can be determined in order to make the own work more effective.

During this workshop the participants learn the fundamentals of time management and deal mainly with the following topics:

  • Basics of time management: Setting goals and priorities
  • Efficiency versus effectiveness: The subtle difference
  • Important or urgent: My projects in the Eisenhower diagram
  • Structuring your time: My planning horizon
  • Would ’ave, could’ave, should’ave: Disturbances & time-wasters – both self-inflicted & caused by others
  • Expect the unexpected: Strategies for dealing with the unplannable
  • Time management: My next steps

Sanja Stevic, Heidelberg, comes originally from London, UK, and is a psychologist and certified ICF Coach [International Coaches Federation]. She received a Global MBA at the Henley Management School, UK, and has over 15 years international experience in Strategic HR development and Business Management. Among her fields of specialisation are conflict resolution, team building and intercultural management. She is a Board member of the Heidelberg International Professional Women’s Forum. Since 2012 she works as a freelance trainer and career coach in the field of academia.

 

Communication and Conflict Resolution
Date 5 & 6 December 2019, 9am - 5pm
Location Conference Room, Max Planck House
Tutor Sabine Lerch
Target group PhD students and postdocs
Level Any
Register by 15 September 2019
Coordinator Dagmar Sigurdardottir

In this workshop you will learn the principles of communication and conflict resolution and how you can apply them in your work setting. The following topics will be addressed and tested in practise:

Perception and Principles of Communication…the map is not the territory
•    Introduction of basic communication models
•    Experiencing the difference of perception and reaction

Communication Matrix…flexibility for more effectiveness with self and others
•    Square of Communication: the 4 aspects of a message
•    Non-verbal communication
•    Questions and their effects
•    Active Listening

Inter-cultural Communication…knowing about the difference makes the difference
•    Iceberg Model of Culture: norms, values and assumptions
•    Dos and don’ts in Germany

Supervision Relationships…how to positively influence them
•    Typical problem areas
•    Assertive Communication

Conflicts… risk or chance?
•    Conflict handling styles
•    Win-win communication

Sabine Lerch has 17 years of experience in the business world, having held positions in human resources, administration and organisation. Since 2003, she has been working as independent trainer, coach and business mediator.

 

Career Development

Career Planning for Bioscience PhDs
Date 23 -  24 September 2019, 9am - 5pm
Location Conference Room, Max Planck House
Tutor Dagmar Sigurdardottir
Target group PhD students and postdocs
Level Any
Register by 15 September 2019
Coordinator Dagmar Sigurdardottir

This workshop is will kick-start your journey towards your next career step. The following topics are covered in brief presentations and many hands-on exercises

  • What Bioscience PhD means outside the academic world
  • Finding your professional strengths and personal preferences
  • Create career visions
  • Reality check – what are jobs really like
  • Selecting the next steps

 

Application Skills for Career Alternatives
Date 10 - 11 October 2019, 9am - 5pm
Location Conference Room, Max Planck House
Tutor Yvonne Brockhaus
Target group PhD students and postdocs
Level Any - You should, however, have a pretty clear idea of the type of job you are looking for. You can develop this idea by attending the Career Planning Workshop or one of the workshops at the Campus Career Day.
Register by 15 September 2019
Coordinator Dagmar Sigurdardottir

You are a scientist interested in making a career switch into the business world? In this two-day workshop we will discuss the opportunities of the labor market for academics beyond research-based jobs and how to best apply. You will discover how to “translate” your skills into the business language and format specific for your career goal. You will also learn about common pitfalls when applying as an academic in private enterprise. Last but not least, you will get to know relevant players and helpdesks for your job search, as well as possible employers in our region and beyond.
As this workshop is very hands-on, we will optimize your CV or portfolio individually and practice mock job interviews, so, afterwards, you are ready to start your own job hunt and find your dream job in the industry.

Yvonne Brockhaus has a Master's degree in psychology and political science. She has held multiple positions in human resources management in the Netherlands, the US and South Africa. Before becoming an independent business trainer, she was head of the Welcome Center of the Chamber of Commerce in Reutlingen.