Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - School of Business and Economics

25 - 27 March 2024 Spring-Retreat of the Graduate Centre

  • What Graduate Centre Further events
  • When Mar 25, 2024 to Mar 27, 2024
  • Where Villa Blumenfisch am Großen Wannsee, Am Sandwerder 11, 14109 Berlin
  • Contact Name
  • iCal

In 2024, the Graduate Centre of the School of Business and Economics will again organize a Spring Retreat for the doctoral students of the school and doctoral students of economics and management sciences of the Berlin University Alliance. The event will take place from March 25 - 27 at the Gästehaus Blumenfisch am Großen Wannsee.

In addition to exchange opportunities on doctoral conditions and perspectives, there will be interesting workshops for further training in scientific writing and scientific presenting. (timetable)


Workshop 1: Academic Writing in English


Trainer: Dr. Thomas Spray


Workshop Language: English


Workshop description:

This two-day workshop will allow participants to improve their English skills regarding writing scientific research papers, dissertations, and theses. Firstly, we will discuss expectations in academia: the tone and structure of an argument in the different genres and forms. We will discuss how scientific academic writing differs from non-academic writing or writing in the arts and humanities. How does one present research questions? How should we organize the introduction to an article or a dissertation? What is expected of a literature review, a data analysis, or a conference abstract? Secondly, we will discuss what is considered good academic writing style, and what we can do to achieve this. We will examine how good writers make complex concepts easier for readers to understand. We will see how signposting, time-phrases, tense and voice can lend clarity to writing. We will aim to write more concisely, to omit needless words, and to improve the flow and the coherence of our writing. Finally, we will look at the difficult process of editing and perfecting texts.



Day 1

  • Expectations regarding form and content
  • Review of scientific writing (both popular and academic)
  • Case study: composing a conference abstract
  • Case study: composing a literature review

Day 2

  • Structural language towards understanding and engagement
  • The active and passive voice in scientific English
  • Explaining your data: writing for clarity and grace

  • The editing process and thoughts on publication

Workshop 2: Conference Presentation - Engaging the listener in your talk


Trainer:Ric Oquita


Workshop language: English


The seminar provides participants the opportunity to perfect their public-speaking skills. Constructive feedback from the trainer and group members as well as videotaping give the speaker a healthy amount of input while perfecting public-speaking skills. Participants will be required to prepare a 3 to 5 minute pitch or overview of their work incorporating also the use of a slide. This will provide a basis for applying the practical aims of the workshop. Throughout the two-day workshop, participants will be guided through interactive exercises to improve non-verbal communication, improve the ability to listen and react generously, and to integrate focusing techniques which empower the speaker. Attention will be given to breath and speech patterns, to strengthen both the ease and clarity of the speaker. Exercises include relaxation, intonation, pronunciation, tempo and text analysis.



  • Effectively introducing yourself
  • Engaging the audience in one’s talk
  • Affirming the strengths and individual style of the speaker
  • Improving body language and vocal quality
  • Structuring your talk
  • Constructive tactics for dealing with nervousness
  • Networking at conferences 



  • Voice and body techniques
  • Partner work/role play
  • Language practice and analysis
  • Individual coaching and feedback


There are no participation fees. The dinners on site on 25 March and 26 March must be paid by the participants themselves. Lunch will be provided. A limited number of overnight accommodations including breakfast will be provided as well. Unlike in recent years, this is done in double rooms. This will also be covered by the Graduate Centre.

The only prerequisite for participation is admission to the doctoral studies at our school or the Faculties of Economics and Business Administration at the FU Berlin or TU Berlin.


Please register early at, indicating whether you would like an overnight stay and which workshop you would like to attend.

After repeated absences without excuse or cancellations at very short notice at previous events of the Graduate Centre, persons who register for events and are absent without excuse or at very short notice (3 working days before the event) without a medical certificate will be excluded from the Graduate Centre's event offerings for one year.


Please deregister in time if you are not able to attend the event!