Sripriya Murthy elected Helmholtz Juniors speaker

HZI researcher to represent the PhD students of the Helmholtz Association

Sripriya Murthy ist neue Helmholtz-Juniors-SprecherinHZISripriya Murthy is one of the new Helmholtz Juniors Speakers Sripriya Murthy, from the Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research (HZI), is one of the two newly elected representatives of the PhD students of the whole Helmholtz Association. The Helmholtz Juniors were founded as an initiative to represent the interests of PhD candidates at all 18 Centres in the Helmholtz Association.

“Our main tasks as Helmholtz Juniors speakers are promoting networking among the PhD students and improving the conditions they work under as well as the training they get,” Murthy said. She is currently working in the junior research group “Viral Immune Modulation” at the HZI. The speakers are elected every year at the Helmholtz Juniors meeting by the PhD student representatives of the individual Centres. This year’s meeting took place from 22 to 24 January at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR).

During the meeting four working groups were formed to analyse different areas that may be problematic during the course of a PhD thesis or could make life as a PhD student easier. The elected speakers will present the information collected by those groups at the regular meetings held with the Helmholtz Association headquarter in Berlin. “It is good to see that we as students can actually do something to improve the quality of training we receive and our working conditions,” Murthy said. Another goal of the regular meetings is to bring together the different Centres and help students feel that they belong to the Association. 

“We are glad and proud that one of our young scientists has been elected Helmholtz Juniors speaker,” Prof Dirk Heinz, Scientific Director of the HZI, said. “It is important for us as a Centre and the Association in general to receive input from our students so that we can further improve our PhD programme.” 

Murthy and Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin’s Nicholas Engel, the other speaker elected in Dresden, will connect with representatives of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, Leibniz Association and the Max Planck Society to gain a better understanding of their challenges. “This way we can learn how other institutions solve their problems,” Murthy added. 

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