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    University of Würzburg Graduate Schools - Graduate School of Life Sciences

    Doctoral Researchers Council (DRC)

    The DRC represents  all doctoral researchers in the GSLS

    The DRC

    • voices interests of doctoral researchers and stands up for them
    • represents the PhD students in the boards and meetings of the GSLS
    • networks and communicates between doctoral researchers and PIs
    • informs doctoral researchers about the GSLS
    • organizes events for the PhD students
    • mediates conflicts between doctoral researchers and PIs or GSLS

    The DRC has five members, two or three of which are newly elected by all GSLS doctoral researchers every year. In this way, continuity of the DRC's work is secured and experience is handed over from one generation of doctoral researchers to the next.

    Contact: drc@gsls.uni-wuerzburg.de

    Current Members of the DRC

    Marzieh Sharifi

    (Since 2017) I have just started my second year in a Promotion MD-PhD program and I would love to join the Doctoral Researchers Council. Although some scientists would like to work in a cave away from the rest of the community, I think one should interact with other peers. To me, networking is about adding a social dimension to my academic life.

    Meeting people in a social setting can often establish friendly relationships that will help to dilute the isolation that one may feel during the Ph.D. and can bring me possible collaborators, new ideas, or understanding from fellow Ph.D. students.

    Prathibha Muralidhara

    (Since 2017) Hello, my name is Prathibha Muralidhara and I am a PhD Student at the Julius-von-Sachs Institute (Botanik, Wuerzburg). I have been closely associated with GSLS during my masters in University of Wuerzburg. As a part of FOKUS Life Sciences Masters program I served as a spokesperson and tutor for the incoming international students. I could help and guide new students in adjusting to the research environment and to the new FOKUS life sciences program as a whole. This experience has now motivated me to contribute to the GSLS during my PhD. I would like to bring in new ideas and facilitate communication and networking among PhD students and with the Graduate School. I am confident that I am a good representative of the doctoral students in the Executive Board. I promise to do my very best if I am chosen as your representative. Also, I am a lot of fun, warm and welcoming. 

    Currently I am at the beginning of my third year of PhD.

    Carina Gross

    (Since 2017) Hello, My name is Carina Gross and I’m now at the end of my first year of the PhD and I’m working in the department of experimental biomedicine in the group of David Stegner. Before I came to Würzburg, I already started a PhD in Göttingen but changed due to several reasons. Therefore, I know which kind of problems may arise and that it is always good to have people voicing/fighting for the interests and rights of PhD students. That’s why I would like to join the DRC. I would like to use my personal experience to make the life of a PhD easier.

    Inga Birkholz

    (since 2016)  Hello! My name is Inga Birkholz and I am currently in the third year of my PhD in the group of Prof. Nieswandt at the RVZ. I am part of the GSLS since more than 3 years, since I had another PhD position before I changed to Prof. Nieswandts group. Therefore I know a lot about the troubles which you can face during your PhD time and I think my experience is advantageous for the DRC. I am part of the DRC since one year and since 3 years I am also a member of the organizing committee of the GSLS Student´s Symposium which I really enjoy and where I learned a lot about organizing social events!

    Benjamin Aboagye

    (since 2016) My interest to serve on Doctoral Research Council stems from the fact that I want to contribute to progress of graduate studies.  For two years I served as secretary of Ghana Science Association in my homeland where I actively participated in, among other things, organization of workshops/conference. I have experience in advertisement and mobilization which I would like to bring to bear in organization of DRC/GSLS programmes such as the welcome week and EUREKA. Joining the DRC will help me to gain knowledge and experience which will be useful in my future carreer. I am in the second year of my PhD (molecular psychiatry) and my research focuses on role of serotonin in anxiety and depression related disorders.

    Markus Ankenbrand

    (2016-2017) My motivation to join the DRC is the desire to contribute to the GSLS with fresh ideas. To facilitate communication among researchers I initiated the HackyHour meeting in our university, which is organized monthly (http://hackyhour.github.io/Wuerzburg/). I want to use this experience to further increase interdisciplinary exchange between the sections of the GSLS. I feel confident about representing the doctoral researchers in the Executive Board and bring ideas into action.

    Currently I'm in the second year of my PhD in the Molecular Biodiversity Group (department for Zoology III, estimated end: July 2017).

    Katja Ottmüller

    (since 2014) My main aim in the DRC would be to foster exchange by bringing people together. Events such as barbeques and informal get-togethers to meet our peers and network are important to those who just arrived to Würzburg and fun for those who have been around longer. I would also like to voice PhD students’ interests by representing the student body in meetings such as the Promotionskommissionssitzung. I started by PhD in 2013 in the lab of Andreas Beilhack working on intestinal immune cell migration in graft-versus-host-disease and have experience in working in a student’s union and club from my study time, where I enjoyed most organizing events and the welcome week.

    The current DRC


    Here we are: The DRC! 

    Benjamin Aboagye, Marzieh Sharifi, Carina Gross, Inga Birkholz, Prathibha Muralidhara, Katja Ottmüller   

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