Welcome to our third issue of the AGM 2019 News Ticker.
It’s time to look at what to expect when attending an AGM. Undoubtedly, you will get an in-depth look at so many things the GYA is, the GYA does and what the GYA consists of. So let’s look at what you can do as a GYA member, what you can do at the AGM and what to expect hereafter.
This issue also has more information on places to go in Germany, what to pack and a really quick glance at Germany’s history.
Registration will close soon. Don’t forget to send us your registration now. Use this link to be taken directly to the registration form for members and alumni!
Introduce fellow members and guests to your research, your project, your dream of the future. These are the AGM Member Lightning Talks. Send in your abstract now.
We hope you enjoy.
What to expect at an AGM
If you’ve never been…
The AGM is a working meeting – the more you invest in your time together, the more you will get out of it! This might mean early mornings or long nights, but remember that this may be your one chance to meet your outstanding peers face-to-face in 2019. Make use of the many opportunities to share your interests: Join working groups, forge new ones, engage in panels, listen to the member lightning talks and network, network, network.
Since you’ll be working… bring your laptop (WiFi is available at the Leopoldina), and maybe a USB-stick for quick data transfer.
Have your access data at the ready: your Onedrive account, or possibly Dropbox or Google. Expect panellists or speakers to share their information ad-hoc by uploading it to the intranet or any other collaboration platform.
2019 Anniversary AGM
This year we’re celebrating 10 years of the GYA. The GYA thrives from the activities of its 200 members, but also builds on the work of its over 200 alumni – and this year, all are invited to play an active role in this Anniversary AGM. Look forward to meeting more alumni and founding members than usual, and hearing from them directly in a ‘GYA at 10’ session on 1 May.
Making the most out of your GYA membership
Emails, emails, emails. To form expectations up front: As a GYA member, you will receive many emails. We try to consolidate, but communication is an important part of a large network. So please make sure you are receiving the emails. Here is an overview of some recurring GYA communications:
- GYA newsletter – monthly. This contains all recent news, updates from members and from the EC, and an outlook on strategic upcoming events and partnerships.
- Opportunities digest – weekly. This weekly mailing is a collection of opportunities for young scientists and researchers of all sorts, in all places. We hope you might find something of interest here for you or someone else in your own network. If you have opportunities to share, send them to firstname.lastname@example.org
- Nominations/Calls – ad hoc. Sometimes the GYA is asked to nominate a representative to attend a key event or take part in an international committee. In this case, a call will go out to all members.
Moreover, the Intranet is for you. Log in, look around. Post in the forums! We wholeheartedly invite you to make the place your own: GYA Intranet
How to go about being active?
The GYA is what members make of it. We’ve collected a few ideas on how to get involved:
Join existing activities (incubators, working groups, projects, etc.)
- An overview of the GYA’s themes, under which all the activities are categories, is available on our website: GYA Activties
Propose new Incubators (newly initiated working groups). The AGM is a great place to develop ideas for such incubators.
Volunteer for a member committee. A lot of things are done through committees and every member is invited to join. Only through participation by its own members can the GYA thrive and grow. Bring in your ideas, make your voice heard.
- Communications and Interactions Committee
Effective communications can help us achieve our overall objectives, engage effectively with stakeholders, demonstrate the success of our work, ensure people understand what we do, and change perceptions and behaviour where necessary.
- Fundraising Committee
The role of the Fundraising Committee is to find ways to expand current GYA funding, e.g., by establishing and maintain contacts.
- Membership Selection Committee
This committee plays a vital role in maintaining the high quality and diversity of new members. The members of this committee review all incoming applications for new membership each year (approximately 40 new members are selected each year).
- Membership Diversity Committee
This committee regularly reviews membership statistics and develops strategies to encourage applications from under-represented applicants (e.g., region, discipline, gender, etc.).
- Finance Review Committee
The members of this committee review the spending of the GYA and comment on ways to become more efficient in using the limited funds the GYA has available.
- Constitutional and Legal Committee
The role of the Constitutional and Legal Committee is to review suggestions in terms of legal feasibility, assess the impact of these changes and advise the Executive Committee.
- Review Committee
The ensure outputs of the highest quality, this committee will facilitate the review process of working group funding applications, statements, reports, etc.
- Member Nomination and Opportunities Committee (NomC)
There are plenty of opportunities where an endorsement of a member by the GYA would help. Similarly, the GYA often gets invited to nominate candidates to participate in events or serve on further committees. The role of this committee is to ensure that this process is fair and transparent.
Calls for these committees are sent to all members after AGMs. If you want to join at a different time, that’s also possible: write to !
A complete list of all current GYA Member Committees can be found here: GYA Committees 2018-19
Run for office. Members of the Executive Committee are elected at the AGM. You should consider running for a spot on the EC. Any member is eligible, including new members. Even if you’re not sure, we encourage you to get in touch with any of the current or past EC members to find out more about what the roles entail. See a list of the current EC members on our website here: GYA Governance
Establish and support a Young Academy. The GYA supports the establishment of National Young Academies (NYA) in every country. Is there one in yours? If not, consider leading an initiative to create one. And if there is a YA in existence, then get in contact and help them grow. Further details can be found on our website – or use the opportunity at the AGM to get in contact with (Office).
Leopoldina: The Building
The German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina in Halle moved into its current headquarters in 2012. This building has had a lively history: used as a Freemason’s Lodge beginning in 1792, it was then taken over by the Nazi regime in the 1930s/40s, and later used by the Soviet military administration. After a spell as an auditorium for the local university, the building stood empty for a decade before the Leopoldina moved in.
The history of freemasonry is closely connected with furthering the ideals of the enlightenment, providing a connection to our 2019 Conference topic ‘Re-Enlightenment’. The most visible remnant from the Freemason’s Lodge is the recently refurbished ritual room just above our main AGM meeting room.
Call: AGM Member Lightning Talks
Remember: Your fellow GYA members would love to hear what you study and why. So do not miss the opportunity to send in your brief abstract outlining your research outputs to a broad, interdisciplinary, cross-cultural audience. Want to know more? Member Lightning Talks
Presentation Coaching: 2018 webinars
Have you seen the call for 2019’s Presentation Coaching with Lisa Shufro? Then how about revisiting last year’s seminar by watching the clips made of the webinars in 2018 by Lisa. Find the links here: GYA Intranet Forum
Fundraising Seminar with William Connor
Against the backdrop of GYA’s fundraising initiatives, the workshop aims at enhancing the capacity of Working Groups and individual members to attract funding for their GYA projects, a skill that can also be applied to one’s own scientific projects: The Art and Science of Fundraising
Be a part now: Conference Calls
Have you seen our page dedicated to all the calls open for this years’s AGM? If you feel you missed any, simply head to this page and read up on what’s to do: AGM Conference Calls
The AGM Traveling Guide
What to pack: medication
You should definitely pack your favourite medication. Is there a certain brand of headache remedy that you prefer? Make sure to pack it. Possibly some kind paracetamol, some ibuprofen, and nose drops. We also suggest bringing something for an upset stomach and indigestion. Traveling to another country often means facing a cuisine that your body is not used to.
Additionally, some Band Aids are certainly a good idea. Medication to treat blisters is probably not a bad idea either.
That being said, the German drug stores ‘Apotheke(n)’ are generally well-stocked in the non-prescription variety of medicine, and there are a number of them near the Leopoldina building. Opening hours of these stores are generally 09.00 – 18.00 hrs. They are closed on Sundays and public holidays.
Please note that not everything you are used to from your home country is available in Germany. Every country has its own brands and products. So bringing a bit of everything you absolutely need is always a good idea.
Your first time in Germany? (Part 3)
Recounting the German history, especially the time after World War II, would probably result in a Ticker issue much too long. So instead of writing a brief summary, here are a few links to read up on it.
Very important, however, is the part where Germany was divided into two countries. Until today, it a part of the country’s history that influences many aspects of every day life – and can be seen and read about in a number of landmarks. So for example, many of the former border crossing points remain marked on roads or Autobahns. The so-called “Mauerweg” (Wall way) runs through Berlin and marks the way where the wall used to be. It is 160 km long and is made for pedestrians and cyclists.
The best known border control point in Berlin is Checkpoint Charlie on Friedrichstraße. Find more on Berlin and its wall on this page: Berlin Wall (visitberlin.de)
Germany is more than just a former divided state. See the following links for suggestions of what you could explore while here:
Getting to know Halle: Nature & all the lovely quiet corners
Halle offers lovely little corners to withdraw to, relax and unwind. Some of them are even close by the Leopoldina’s main building where the AGM will take place.
The New Residence, a building from the Renaissance, is situated in the neighbourhood of the dome. Here in the courtyard one will find a peaceful place to rest. Next to the Geiseltalmuseum (Geisel Valley Museum), which displays geological findings from the Geiseltal, is a café which invites one to unwind right in the middle of town.
The Hallmarkt, located just to the west of the market square is not an attraction merely because of the Göbelbrunnen (Göbel Fountain). The Talamtstraße, which runs along here, has over the past few years developed into a small shopping street. In particular, this street is the location of a number of fashion boutiques and also a shoe shop and a Hifi shop. Last but not least, there are two traditional Halle businesses here: a cigar shop and a rubber stamp shop.
While large department stores are located around the market square, the lower part of the Leipziger Straße accommodates Halle’s fashion centre, with many well-known fashion companies having their boutiques here. At the upper side of the Leipziger-Tower there are many smaller shops, boutiques and clothing shops. Here it is well worth taking a look down the small passages branching off the precinct. You can have a look via the webcam on the market place here: http://www.halle.de/en/Town-Halle-Council/Webcam/
The “Würfelwiese” is located on the Saale and can be reached via Robert-Franz-Ring or Neuwerk and Dreierbrücke. In addition to several monuments and sun loungers on the Saale there is also a playground for little ones. To the North you reach the “Ziegelwiese” with fountain and playground. Little tip: Quite frequently, you have the chance to observe Nutrias (muskrats) along the Saale banks.
And for all of you who enjoy a good long run in the morning: Running along the river Saale is an easy way to follow – and not get lost – and it leads you right past the Leopoldina.
Patrick Cobbinah joined the GYA as a new member in 2018.
My experience as a GYA member so far is what I described as a redefinition of my research career in an environment of mutual respect and harmonious co-habitation, characterized by an immense sense of belonging. I really cherish the paradox of concentrating on one’s research projects and interests, and at the same time socially engaging others through sponsored conferences, AGM, committees, and social gathering chats. The genuine willingness of other members – irrespective of their fields of interest – to know and share their experiences on others projects has been amazing; the encouragement and mutual support I have received from senior members has been indescribable; and the social network established through the regular committee meetings was invaluable. Discussions at AGM, conferences, and committees are mind boggling, and the enthusiasm with which other members want to make a difference in the world is startling. In such an environment, young members are only challenged to aspire to greater heights.
Thank you Patrick for your kind and motivational words.