The welcome retreat @ Digital Sau

By Ilaria Micella, Floran Clopin, Sabin Taranu

The Welcome retreat of the InventWater community started successfully with all the participants “teleported” to a digitalised look-alike of the Sau reservoir in Spain. With initial skepticism, the participants soon discovered themselves enjoying the digital world, being free to walk around, discover new places, networking with others and sharing their thoughts and ideas in a close to real-life experience. With all the inherent perks and drawbacks of digitality, this meeting has shown that inventWater as a team is ready to overcome adversity and make this first welcome retreat a milestone for the next meetings.

The first training days started softly, focusing on the main objectives of inventWater network and on the ABCs of being a good researcher. Maria José Farré and Eleanor Jennings broke the ice, illustrating all the ESRs the guidelines for research integrity. Reliability, honesty, respect, and accountability are the keywords not only for being a good researcher but also and creating a safe environment for learning and growing as a professional. The training on diversity by Elvira de Eyto, Dennis Trolle and Daniel Mercado was eye-opening. Today, most of the top publications in climate change are authored by men from the Global North. In this context, inventWater is proud to take the lead, breaking old patterns and assuring diversity across gender, race and nationality dimensions. The Invent Water community, as most of the ITNs, is a privileged space where diversity and inclusion reign. Within our ITN programme, female researchers make up almost 42%, making it one of the most gender-balanced programmes within Horizon 2020. Organisation and project management skills are often looked down upon. Indeed, mastering those skills can save time and a lot of anxiety! Luckily Biel Oblador taught us all his little secrets to avoid procrastination. We discovered that the “Pomodoro technique’’ is not an Italian grandma secret recipe for tomato sauce but a handy tool for researchers.

Throughout this training week, the ESRs attended lectures on the state-of-art practices in modeling of the land-ocean continuum (Maryna Strokal, Carolien Kroeze, Ting Tang, Karsten Rinke and Ian Jones), the latest bias-corrected climate datasets from CMIP6 (Fred Hattermann)and current protocols of the ISIMIP3 (Wim Thierry, Karsten Rinke). In addition to general technical training, a particular emphasis was given to personalised feedback. Each ESR received support in creating their Career Development Plan for the next five years and could present their PhD project in a Poster and 3-Minute Contest session under the guidance of Stephan Wagner.

Training, seminars, poster sessions and the Thesis-in-3 event helped us, ESRs, finally realise how our projects fit in the bigger InventWater picture, that we are part of a community and that this is one of the more significant strengths of the ITN project. Being part of an ITN can be challenging, but we are looking forward to it because of all the support and opportunities from our supervisors, partners and fellow ESRs.

A fantastic way to wrap up the Welcome Retreat was finishing with all the great ‘bring-home messages’ from the training and lectures. All the participants were grateful for this unique experience. The atmosphere was cheerful and full of excitement for the next adventures of InventWater… Looking for an analogic and tasty beer to share soon!

See more details in the full report of the meeting

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