PhD Storm – debut and successful

On Wednesday, 15 May 2024, an event for young scientists and those interested in doctoral studies called PhD Storm took place on the premises of the Slovak Academy of Sciences in Patrónka. The event with a packed programme was prepared by the outgoing Council of Young Researchers of the SAS.

The study opportunities at the Academy are wide and the visitors of the Doctoral Storm could also see that. More than 20 institutes of SAS prepared poster presentations and were ready to answer any questions about doctoral studies. Besides the poster session, there was also a diverse moderated programme, which was opened by several speeches – by the President of the SAS Pavel Šajgalík together with another member of the Presidium Michal Kšiňan, and by Barbora Buzássyová, the outgoing Chair of the Young Scientists Committee.

The opening speeches were followed by a discussion on young people’s mental health entitled “Are we OK?”, which aimed to raise awareness about this complex but very important topic also in the SAS. The invitation to the discussion was accepted by Zuzana Očenášová from the Institute for Research in Social Communication of the Slovak Academy of Sciences, v.v.i. and Jakub Rajčáni from the Psychological Counselling Office at the Comenius University. The debate was moderated by Peter Boháč, who traditionally also hosts the SAV science podcast. The debaters discussed not only the causes and symptoms of mental burnout, but also gave some tips on how to protect your mental health.

After the intense discussion, the atmosphere was lightened by the next item on the agenda – the already well-known Quiz for the Curious.  Questions from the fields of doctoral studies, encyclopaedic facts and the STARMUS festival measured the knowledge of 23 teams. The Chemical Sisters team won, but prizes went to the top three teams. The fun continued in a musical way – with the performance of the folklore group Gymnik from the Faculty of Physical Education and Sport of Comenius University. Four string instruments were presented. The highlight of the event was standup combined with slam poetry. The trio consisting of Docent Sedliak, Samo Trnka and Bedña made sure that the event came to a laughing end. The bursts of laughter were almost continuous in the SAV auditorium.

The friendly and relaxed atmosphere during the PhD Storm was created not only by the varied and interesting programme, but also by the commitment of the participating colleagues. Colleagues from the Institute of Polymers of the SAS, v.v.i. and their cotton candy PAŠMAK took care of the sugar dose, there was also good coffee and refreshments. In total, the PhD Storm was attended by more than two hundred visitors, a significant part of which were young people from abroad. The outgoing committee was pleasantly surprised by the large turnout at the Storm and hopes that the newly elected committee will be able to organise this event again in the coming years. At the same time, the Council of Young Researchers would like to thank the responsible persons in the SAS Bureau as well as in the Strategic Development Department of the SAS, without whom this event could not have taken place. We would like to thank Martin Bystriansky for the photographs.

Organizing Committee for Young Scientists: Barbora Buzássyová, Monika Bírová and Tomáš Goga