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A reflection on how I got my own PhD project started…

28.02.11, 15:47 (comments: 0)

Finding the right PhD theme is not so easy and during the two years after my diploma I learned that an ambitious project needs, besides an ambitious young scientist, a good funding preferentially by the German Research Foundation (see www.dfg.de). After two years of applying for a funding of my own PhD project without success I dismissed this idea and applied for a PhD opportunity at the Baltic Sea Research Institute in Warnemünde (IOW), Rostock. "Rostock, my town!"

After six years in Bremen I came back to Rostock and became a PhD student in the project "Pelagic processes and biogeochemical fluxes in the South China Sea", at the IOW, finally funded by the DFG after all. "Never give up," I thought, having the picture in mind of the frog that gags on the neck of the stork which wants to swallow him. I wasn't even afraid of the complicated project title, because moving from the organism to the element level had become part of my scientific maturation during my project work back in Bremen, where I was a project-coordinator (while waiting for a funding of my project proposal) of a big international project which also focused on elements like the carbon and nitrogen cycle.

At IOW, one of the best times in my scientific life started and I thought: How can anybody NOT do a PhD in marine biology?

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