International Annual Meeting for PhD students on Psychotrauma (I-AM-PhD)

International Annual Meeting for PhD students on Psychotrauma (I-AM-PhD) online symposium, September 7, 2020

After a wonderful and inspiring meeting at the NKVTS in Oslo in September 2019, we were looking forward to organize the third meeting at ARQ National Psychotrauma Centre in Amsterdam. Unfortunately, due to the Coronavirus pandemic, we had to postpone meeting in person until next year. To remain in contact with all PhD students in the consortium, we hosted an online meeting on Monday September 7th, 24 PhD students participated.

The meeting started with an introduction by Jan-Wilke Reerds, MSc, MBA (Chairman of ARQ National Psychotrauma Centre’s Board of Directors) and Prof. dr. Miranda Olff (Director of Research & Strategy at ARQ and Professor at the Department of Psychiatry, Amsterdam Neuroscience & Amsterdam Public Health, Amsterdam UMC). The official introduction was followed by an icebreaker game during which participants were divided in two groups to compete in a short relay race. Participants had to cooperate in finding objects in their house as quick as possible. This gave them the opportunity to get to know each other and get their energy levels up.

Next, participants were challenged to present their PhD research as a narrative to a non-specialist audience in just 3 minutes. This exercise was meant to practice elevator pitch skills. One question was allowed after each pitch. Participants presented a fascinating diversity of research topics related to psychotrauma. Following the presentations, participants exchanged do’s and don’t regarding working from home during the Coronavirus pandemic, how the pandemic has affected their research and possibilities for cooperation and exchange visits. Before ending the meeting, each participant was asked to complete the following sentence with one word: I’m leaving this meeting with… Examples were: inspired, happy, feeling part of a group, excited and motivated.

To keep the tradition of having a social event in the evening, we also organized an online pub quiz in the evening. Participants competed in different rounds of questions while catching up with each other. We look back on an inspiring and successful I-AM-PhD online symposium.

The organizing committee, on behalf of Prof. dr. Miranda Olff,

Merel van Herpen, Suzan Soydas, Bertine Verloop, Saara Martinmäki and Jorinde Gerrmann