Scientific Excellence & Well-Being


The goal of this initiative is to foster scientific excellence and well-being among researchers at D-INFK and in academia in general. We organize workshops that promote mental strength and soft skills that are vital to face the challenges of academic life. Further, we create platforms where researchers can exchange, discuss, practice and deepen the learned knowledge. We invite you to participate and contribute to this journey, in which topics that are relevant to researchers dynamically emerge.

Upcoming Events

Calendar Link, iCal Link


The un-workshops are organized for members by members. They provide a space for any topic relevant to the scientific excellence and well-being initiative. They are an opportunity to explore ideas, to practice, to discuss experiences, to exchange insights, to form support groups and to create something completely new, together.
We invite you to contribute ideas or host an un-workshop on a topic that interests you. Join the mental-strength-unworkshop channel on our slack server to get informed about upcoming un-workshops or check out the website at


Scientists striving for high productivity and excellent research output face the same challenges and pressure as top athletes. While mental training is common practice for top athletes, there is no systematic use of mental training to enable and sustain academic excellence.
​ In sports, mental training has been shown to be especially successful in helping athletes achieve flow. This psychological state somewhere between relaxation and stress not only allows for highly concentrated work but also brings high personal satisfaction. While computer scientists might explore ad-hoc techniques to achieve flow, e.g. programming in teams or other routines, they cannot generally rely on systematic training to consistently achieve flow. Similarly, they often lack techniques to change from periods of intense work to relaxation phases, something that has been shown to be essential for long-term excellence in athletes.
​ In academia, poor work conditions and unhealthy habits are often seen as necessary parts of “hard work”. However, athletes have long known that this approach is neither sustainable nor helpful in achieving peak performance. Only researchers that can sustainably work at their peak over significant time can produce outstanding research results.
​ As an initial phase, we are launching a series of workshops, discussion and talks aimed at improving scientific excellence and well-being.

Some of our past Events

  • Workshop: Saying No, December 15, 2021 Read more
  • Un-workshop: Teaching and Student Supervision, October 21, 2021 Read more
  • Un-workshops at the VMI Summer Retreat, September 12-19, 2021 Read more
  • Workshop: Prioritization, Aug 25, 2021 Read more
  • Un-workshop: Where Do Ideas Come From?, August 17, 2021 Read more
  • Un-workshop: Perfectionism, June 22, 2021 Read more
  • Outdoor workshop: A canoeing journey of discovery to your strengths, resources and motivation, June 18-21, 2021 Read more
  • Un-workshop: Effective meeting facilitation, May 28, 2021 Read more
  • Un-workshop: Finding and Following Your Passion, May 12, 2021 Read more
  • Workshop: Psychological Safety, May 5, 2021 Read more
  • Workshop: Effective Online Presentations, Apr 21, 2021 Read more
  • Talk: Turn Food into Code, May 15, 2020 Read more
  • Talk: Take a Break: at Work and at Home, April 24, 2020 Read more
  • Talk: The Power of Habits, Mar 18, 2020 Read more