Mutual support

Imagine a gathering where the air is as crisp as the minds around you, where ideas flow as freely as the mountain streams, and the horizon broadens with every conversation. This is the essence of our first DKF- PhD retreat in the Swiss mountains, a perfect amalgamation of scientific rigor and social gathering.

New Insights

Set against the backdrop of the majestic Alps, our retreat offers a unique opportunity for you as a PhD student to step away from the lab bench and engage with peers in your field. It's not just about the exchange of knowledge, but also about building a community that thrives on diversity, innovation, and mutual support. Whether it's through thought-provoking talks, rapid-fire presentations, or simply sharing stories under the starlit sky, every moment is an invitation to inspire and be inspired.


So pack your bags, bring your curiosity, and prepare for an experience that promises to be as enriching as the research journey itself. The Swiss mountains are a playground for adventure and relaxation, the Swiss Alps provides an unforgettable bird's-eye view of the landscape, ensuring a memorable experience.

The retreat program will include various activities and sessions to help you to learn and to network with your fellow Ph.D. colleagues in a relaxed, yet learning-intensive atmosphere.

We would like to ask you to

  • Be prepared to present your research.
  • Bring cakes and sweets for teatime or dessert.
  • Prepare games, bring music for dancing, and any other ideas for organizing the evening.
  • Prepare for the hiking tour or other outside activities.



  • Arrival until 1 pm
  • Lunch
  • Session 1: Presentation style – Storytelling in Science Communication – Lecture by tbd
  • Session 2: Students prepare or revise their presentations accordingly
  • Session 3: 9 x rapid-fire sessions, 3+2 min. each; + video recordings
  • Dinner at 6 pm
  • Relaxed get-togethers with games, sit-ins, dancing, etc. organised by students


  • Breakfast until 9 pm
  • Session 4: 9 x rapid-fire sessions, 3+2 min. each; + video recordings
  • Session 5: Reproducible Science – Lecture by Rachel Heyard, PhD, UZH
  • Session 6: Group work: Evaluation of the recordings and students’ feedback
  • Lunch at 1 pm
  • Hiking tour from 2-6 pm, organised by students
  • Departure around 6 pm


None, the retreat is more for peer exchange and networking than for gaining credits.


We highly recommend securing your spot as soon as possible to ensure your participation in this much-anticipated gathering. First come – first serve.

Don't miss out on this opportunity to connect, learn, and grow. Looking forward to an exciting event experience!


Multi-bed rooms: 6-, 3-, and 2-bed rooms (bunk beds, 2-storey), with washbasin in the room; shower cubicles and WC on the floor; a limited number of single rooms and rooms with shower/WC are available. All rooms are equipped with comforters, bed linen, and towels. Bedrooms and shared washrooms are located on two floors. Participants also bring slippers.

Weisses Haus Beatenberg
Spirenwaldstrasse 356
CH-3803 Beatenberg


CHF 60,- including accommodation, full board vegetarian meals (rich breakfast buffet, simple lunch, three-course dinner), 3 beverages, free WLAN access, and final cleaning.