10 / 07 / 2016

BSC researchers and doctoral students of the University of Latvia meet at academic writing retreat

Author: Tālis Tisenkopfs & Miķelis Grīviņš

What is needed for achieving notable progress in generating scientific publications and thesis chapters ahead? Commitment and painstaking writing! However, the text production could be made a lot smoother and more creative by collective support!

On 5-7 July 2016, in a beautiful place by the lake Ciecere in the Broceni region  researchers of the Baltic Studies Centre in conjunction with doctoral students from the sociology programme of the University of Latvia, researchers from the Marie Sklodowska-Curie SUSPLACE project and University professors met at a joint academic writing retreat with the purpose to advance the production of dissertation chapters and scientific publications in a mutually supportive atmosphere. During the retreat individual writing sessions alternated with collective discussions of writing progress, volleyball matches, swims in the lake and joint dinner preparation. Comfortable living conditions, a simple but good food, warm lake water, physical activities, a dose of healthy rivalry (who wrote more today?) and above all – creative and friendly atmosphere contributed to a nice midsummer academic experience, which enabled not only writing a certain amount of text, but also consolidated the academic community and inspired new ideas and plans.

The retreat was attended by 14 researchers who together wrote 32,400 new words and edited 30 existing pages of text. After the last volleyball game and swim in the lake, participants departed home inspired to continue the work on the scientific papers.

What's good in summer can be as good in winter! We already have in mind the winter writing retreat – perhaps with a more pronounced interdisciplinary touch and involvement of researchers from other scientific fields and institutions. Only then the volleyball ball and swimsuits will have to be replaced by skis and skates!