The end of January means it’s time for the NeuroSchool PhD Program’s traditional Welcome Day! On January 17, first-year PhD students were invited to participate in the 2020 edition on the Saint-Charles campus.
The Welcome Day brings together all the new neuroscience PhD students and provides them with essential information about their PhD at Aix-Marseille University. Above all, it is the only time during their whole PhD when all doctoral students of 2019 meet in the same place. This afternoon therefore represents a unique time to meet and discover each other.
Activities to get to know your peers
How can we help break the ice between thirty people from various academic and cultural backgrounds? By helping them to identify what they have in common thanks to a first activity!
Do you play a team sport? Have you ever been abroad for more than 3 months? On which campus do you work?… For each question, PhD students have to discuss among themselves and form groups with common experiences. A good way to get moving after the introductory speeches in the beginning of the afternoon!
An activity that requires a little more thought follows: Pictionary with an extra scientific touch. Each group of 5 to 6 PhD students has to find the common point between their different thesis topics, and then draw to make the other teams guess.
The PhD Program: an active community
Joining the PhD Program means joining an active community already well established within AMU. The Welcome Day is also an opportunity for second and third year PhD students to present what is happening and what has already been done.
Traditionally, the Welcome Day is also the time to launch the recruitment operation for the organization of the NeuroDays, which take place every year in November. The NeuroDays allow students to experience event-planning by organising a scientific conference from A to Z over two days: selection and invitation of speakers, welcome of participants, management of a communication campaign, etc.
Two members of the NeuroDays 2019 organizing team on the theme “Brain and Pleasure” came to present their experience. Apparently, this was convincing, as many first-year doctoral students expressed their interest. The 2020 edition is launched!
Finally, the afternoon ended with the presentation of the poster “Guide for a good student-supervisor relationship” by former students of the PhD Program (Clémentine Bodin, Caroline Landelle, Anne-Caroline Martel and Irène Sanchez-Brualla).
Some new features have been added to the 2020 edition of Welcome Day, including the presentation of a drafted guide for international students. 30% of the students enrolled in the PhD Program are international. Their welcome and integration in Marseille is therefore a priority for the PhD Program Committee, which wishes to launch a guide that would bring together all the information and assistance necessary for successful integration.
Finally, this year was the last edition of the Welcome Day organized by Frédéric Danion. The whole committee would like to warmly thank him for his involvement and organisation of Welcome Days since the beginning of the PhD Program.