Scientific Excellence & Well-Being

Why?

Scientists striving for high productivity and excellent research output are confronted with the same challenges and pressure as top athletes. While mental training is common practice for top athletes, there is no systematic use of mental training to enable and sustain academic excellence.

In sports, mental training has been shown to be especially successful in helping athletes achieve flow. This psychological state somewhere between relaxation and stress not only allows for highly concentrated work but also brings high personal satisfaction. While computer scientists might explore ad-hoc techniques to achieve flow, e.g. programming in teams or other routines, they cannot generally rely on systematic training to consistently achieve flow. Similarly, they often lack techniques to change from periods of intense work to relaxation phases, something that has been shown to be essential for long-term excellence in athletes.

In academia, poor work conditions and unhealthy habits are often seen as necessary parts of “hard work”. However, athletes have long known that this approach is neither sustainable nor helpful in achieving peak performance. Only researchers that can sustainably working at their peak over significant time can produce outstanding research results.

As an initial phase, we are launching a series of talks and workshops aimed at improving scientific excellence and well-being. This will include talks on topics such as nutrition or proper break management, but also smaller workshops designed to teach through shared experiences.

Talks

Workshops & Events

  • Tuesday, 11.02.2020: Public Speaking Workshop
    An interactive, learning-by-doing oriented workshop to improve presentation and public speaking skills with a focus on voice and body langauge.
  • Saturday-Sunday, 7-8.03.2020: Snow Time
    Take an active break and gain new perspectives during this excursion into the snow. Learn to focus on your inside, connect with your body and develop your self-guidance.
  • April (TBA): Group Dynamics and Social Influence
    In this workshop, you will learn about group dynamics and social influence. In the comfort of a small group, we experiment and reflect on our observations.
  • Friday-Sunday, 1-3.05.2020: Canoeing & Relaxation Methods
    Take an active break and gain new perspectives during this weekend canoeing trip, learning new relaxation methods to take back home or to the office.
  • May (TBA): Interpersonal Interaction and Diplomacy
    In this workshop, you will learn about interpersonal interaction and diplomacy. In the comfort of a small group, we experiment and reflect on our observations.
  • June (TBA): Mindset for Successful Career Development
    What does career success mean to you? In this workshop, we will explore how to approach the complex topic of career development.
  • Friday-Sunday, 11-13.09.2020: Raft- and Team-Building
    Take an active break and gain new perspectives during this outdoor weekend, building rafts and reflecting on teams and our individual selves.