The RESIST retreat was a constructive start to the work on the follow-up application.

RESIST should continue to exist after the end of the first funding period. With this goal in mind, the heads of the research groups and other RESIST scientists met for a retreat at Warberg Castle on 20 and 21 April 2023. The task now is to prepare the application for the continuation of the cluster from January 2026, which must be submitted to the DFG next year. For this application, the existing research topics must be realigned and structured, but new topics with which RESIST wants to enter the race must also be found. This meeting near Helmstedt was also this year’s general meeting of the Cluster.

Shortly after the arrival of the approximately 50 participants, Prof. Schulz warmly welcomed those present before 14 members presented the total of around 30 ongoing projects and the RESIST-SI cohort in their talks. The focus was on what has been achieved so far and the respective strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and risks of the projects as well as the priority perspectives for the follow-up application.

In various workshops that followed on the next day, as well as during the general discussions, all those present were able to exchange ideas about the possible future thematic orientation of the respective research unit and the cluster as a whole and develop new ideas. For example, they discussed the following questions: What is the current status of RESIST-relevant cohorts? Which new methods and techniques could still be integrated? How should research on SARS-CoV-2 be pursued? But it was also about involving new researchers, entering into new collaborations and developing the important area of data management. “The retreat was a successful, constructive start to our work on the follow-up proposal,” says Prof. Schulz.

And although the networking in RESIST is already large – most projects are led by researchers from different institutes, clinics or institutions and many members collaborate on several projects – this meeting was also an additional welcome opportunity for making and deepening contacts, especially for the new members.

The photo shows the participants of the RESIST retreat in the courtyard of Warberg Castle.