Conference Reports

HLF 2023 – Agnes

Heidelberg Laureate Forum 2023. Heidelberg, Germany.

Conference name: Heidelberg Laureate Forum

Date: September 24-29, 2023

Location: Heidelberg, Germany


Funding: The hotel and meals were provided and directly paid for by the HLF Foundation. I applied for a travel grant, which covered the price of a return flight from Montreal to Frankfurt.

How did you hear about it? A mentor of mine attended the conference a couple of years ago and recommended it to me.

What was your experience? The scientific program was composed of lectures, panels and lightning talks in a large auditorium, as well as smaller group workshops. I really enjoyed hearing from a broad range of fields, as well as hearing the personal advice the laureates shared with us young researchers. The workshops offered a more hands-on experience, of which I wish there had been a bit more – but the program was already very packed! On one of the days, we split up to visit local industries and research groups. I had a lot of fun at the Heidelberg Experimental Geometry Lab, where I got to play with simulations and talk with students about their research projects involving more experimental approaches. Every evening there was a fancy dinner, in various locations such as a traditional German Kulturbrauerei, a Technikmuseum and the Heidelberg castle, where we got to sit at round tables with the laureates. I particularly enjoyed hearing from Hugo Duminil-Copin’s personal anecdotes. The program also included cultural and recreational activities, such as dancing and a boat cruise on the Neckar. During the little bit of free time, I got to take in the beautiful landscapes offered by the city of Heidelberg by visiting a history museum and going for a hike with other participants.

Do you have any advice for people interested in attending this conference? There were a lot of people at this conference, and at times it could feel overwhelming, but I quickly found other students whom I shared surprising connections with. There were a lot of activities to meet new people and engage in different ways. I particularly enjoyed the lunch topic tables, where I got to meet some really inspiring invited researchers and alumni of the HLF. Don’t let the pressure to talk to everyone (especially the laureates) get in the way of making meaningful connections (with other young researchers for example) by prioritizing the activities you feel most curious and excited about!


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