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Fieldwork impressions from our current scholarship holders -  
Opening of IPPAE photo exhibition

November 2023

On November, 29th the IPPAE program representatives officially opened a photo exhibition, which displays the beauty but also the everyday human concerns of the fieldwork environment of the IPPAE PhD students Evi Mariana from Indonesia and Alexander Cano from Colombia. 

The exhibition started with a tour along the impactful pictures where the artists took the audience behind the scenes of their photo creation and fieldwork and shared their experiences and unique impressions from their countries of origin. 

The photo exhibition should mark the beginning of a series of poster exhibitions that change every year and are showing the research work (in pictures) from current IPPAE doctoral students. The opening was a successful prelude, stimulating though processes and fruitful discussions in a relaxing atmosphere. Here you can take a virtual look at the fantastic poster exhibitions in PDF format.




A healthier approach to research: Workshop on Resilience & Well-being in Academia was valued very positively by all participants

November 2023

From November 6th to 7th, the IPPAE program offered a two-day workshop on Resilience & Wellbeing in Academia. Led by trainer Desiree Dickerson, a former postdoctoral researcher in the neurosciences and a clinical psychologist, the course provided participants with cognitive strategies, work habits and practices to improve their well-being & performance.

Desiree Dickerson adressed self-sabotating thought processes that underlie perfectionism, imposter syndrome or worry and demonstrated how to reframe them, identified maladaptive coping strategies (e.g. avoidance and procrastination) and showed more effective (and healthier) alternatives. Furthermore participants learned to shift their mindset in order to create more mental space and energy to think, to create, to be present, and to thrive.


IPPAE Deep Dive session with Dr Khin Mar Cho

October 2023

On 26 October 2023, IPPAE Giessen welcomed Dr Khin Mar Cho, Cornell University, New York City, USA,within an IPPAE Deep Dive session designed to facilitating exchange between current scholars and IPPAE alumni. Khin received a PhD from JLU Giessen in 2003, sponsored by the DAAD scholarship programme (which at that time was not called IPPAE yet). Her presentation focused on “Food Systems Transformation through Sustainable Production and Consumption”. Equally well received were her insights on a healthy work-life balance.


Tropentag Conference 2023 - IPPAE scholarship holders present their research work and take part in a post-workshop conference on decolonising methods in fieldwork-based socio-economic research

September 2023

This year the annual interdisciplinary conference on research in tropical and subtropical agriculture, natural resource management and rural development (TROPENTAG) took place on September 20 - 22, 2023 in Berlin. The conference theme was “ Competing pathways for equitable food systems transformation: trade-offs and synergies ”. Once again, the conference presented a strategic platform for our IPPAE members’ network to showcase their ongoing research to the scientific world.

Furthermore the conference offered the opportunity to on the one hand follow the plenary talks by representatives of different governmental and non-governmental society and on the other hand to meet and discuss with the leaders and/or representatives of numerous organisations funding and organising research on tropical agriculture such as the IFPRI, or the CIAT-CGIAR.

Another highlight was the post-workshop conference on Decolonising methods in fieldwork-based socio-economic research which was organized by IPPAE program managers and Prof. Toyin Kolawole from the Okavango Research Institute, University of Botswana. Within this workshop IPPAE scholarship holders among others shared their experiences and reflected on their previous field work within the context of decolonising methods. They highlighted the contradiction between research interests as academicians and real world problems that study subjects are often confronted with. The necessity to consider indigenous knowledge and appreciate its contribution to the disseminated knowledge instead of misappropriation of the totality or part of knowledge was also indicated.

Empowering Intercultural Competence: IPPAE Course on Intercultural Communication was a great success

June 2023

From June 13th to 15th, the IPPAE program had it’s highly anticipated Intercultural Communication Course in Giessen. Led by expert trainer Alexia Petersen, the three-day workshop provided participants with essential skills in cross-cultural negotiation and conflict management. Attendees, mainly including IPPAE students, gained valuable insights for self-regulated cultural learning and enhancing intercultural competence in diverse environments.

A balanced course concept between theory and practice established on the one hand a theoretical knowledge foundation through getting participants acquainted with the Integrated Systems Model of Cultural Logic (ISMCL) as a method of culture learning. On the other hand, the workshop emphasized the application of the learned skills and a direct knowledge transfer to the personal working context of the participants by using case studies.

The course received positive feedback, reinforcing its role in equipping individuals with the necessary tools to thrive in today's multicultural world.


IPPAE Guided City Tour through the Historical part of Giessen

March 2023

It was an exciting experience for international IPPAE students, accompanied by the IPPAE director Prof. Dr. Martin Petrick and the IPPAE coordinator Dr. Nadia Keudel. The tour, which was led by Mrs. Petra Bröckmann started with a climbing competition to the top of Old Castle (Altes Schloss). Later this was followed by visiting the oldest building in Giessen known as the Lion’s Tavern (Gasthaus zum Löwen), located in the middle of town.

The end of this tour was highlighted by visiting Armoury (Zeughaus), situated next to the New Castle, which was originally built as a military building (arms cache). The tour was concluded by a visit to an artwork of Swiss artists, something that has now become a trend in Giessen.

City Tour with IPPAE candidates


IPPAE candidates and IPPAE Secretariat in front of the Old Castle (Altes Schoss)


Global Forum for Food and Agriculture (GFFA) 2023 - IPPAE PhD candidates attend the conference in Berlin, Germany

January 2023

In January 2023 some of the IPPAE PhD candidates together with the director of the IPPAE program, Professor Martin Petrick, took the opportunity to visit the Global Forum for Food and Agriculture (GFFA) held in Berlin. The GFFA is an international conference on central issues of vital importance for global agricultural and food policies. This year’s theme was Food Systems Transformation: A Global Response to Multiple Crises. Exhibitions, expert panels, including high-level debates were part of the three-day event. Several dignitaries, including Parliamentary State Secretary Ophelia Nick and Federal Ministers of Agriculture attended the impact-driven event.

The IPPAE students benefited from attending various high-level expert panels on topics such as:

  • Investing in local farmers’ solutions to address global food system challenges. Facilitated by the World Farmers Organisation (WFO), Andreas Hermes
  • Food systems in crises – solution for more resilience. Facilitated by World food (WFP)
  • Data and Digital as Enabler for Circular Agri-Food Systems and Agriculture in the "New Normal": Future-proofing food systems for a changing world
  • Linking Indigenous knowledge with transformation processes of sustainable food systems – concepts and examples. Facilitator: WelthungerhiIfe Humboldt University of Berlin, Leibniz Centre for agricultural landscape research (ZALF) e.V.

During the concurrent expert plan, the tea breaks provided an opportunity for networking and initiating contact that could be critical for current and future agricultural and research collaborations.

“GFFA 2023 was an excellent opportunity to acknowledge, at once, the views of entrepreneurs, academia, International Organisations, and governments of different regions on the current challenges concerning our food systems. Also, it was a chance to understand how these sectors perceive the problem and propose solutions. I also seize the opportunity to network in the innovation forum,” said Denis Soldera (IPPAE PhD student since 2021).



IPPAE Program visits Documenta in Kassel

September 2022


A visit to the Documenta Fifteen Art Exhibition, which took place in Kassel on September 6, 2022, was the first joint IPPAE activity to bring together all new IPPAE scholars. Within the city, there were various exhibition locations that covered five main topics. The IPPAE students visited the Documenta Halle (curated by Britto Arts Trust) under the topic “Agriculture and Development” (AGRI). This topic is centred around agriculture, land use and forestry. The students also visited the Fridericianum (curated by Asia Art Archive (AAA)) under the “Art-Science – People intersection/interaction” (ASI). ASI illustrated how people and science interact and how such interaction affects development. The exhibition illustrated how ungrateful people have been to things that are unique to their origins, which was the exhibition's main lesson for scholars from the global south.

A joint reflection of the event revealed that it is “intriguing to learn that people share different impressions, perceptions and thoughts despite participating in similar events. Overall, a variety of impressions, views, and questions were prompted by the exhibition. Giving answers to these kinds of inquiries may, in principle, open the door to long-lasting change. Here, the exhibition could serve as a reminder of the need to start bridging the knowledge-practice gap”.



IPPAE graduate selected as a DAAD Research Ambassador

October 2022


The IPPAE graduate Dr. Archana Raghavan Sathyan, who is now working as an Assistant Professor at the Kerala Agricultural University in India, was selected and appointed by the DAAD as a Research Ambassador for a duration of three years from 2022 to 2025.

DAAD Research Ambassadors are academicians and scientists who have a long standing relationship with Germany and are interested in promoting Germany as a destination for higher learning and scientific cooperation by sharing their experience, mentoring students and colleagues. As established members of the academic/scientific community they help inspire their colleagues and students to consider Germany as a partner in their work or as a destination for study or research by answering their questions and by organising events on and off campus. 

Archana went through the IPPAE programme - which is funded by the DAAD - at Justus Liebig University Giessen from 2015 to 2019. She is looking forward to her new tasks as a DAAD Research Ambassdor and also expresses her gratitude to the IPPAE programme: „Thank you IPPAE for contributing immensely to my professional growth and development“.

The IPPAE members want to congratulate Archana on this great success!


From left to right: Mr. Johannes Hoeber (Cultural Counsellor, German Embassy, India); Dr. Archana Sathyan; Dr. Katja Lasch (Head, DAAD Regional Office, New Delhi)


Joint weekend retreat with IPPAE program partners from Hohenheim

20-22 May 2022


From 20 to 22 May 2022 the IPPAE scholarship holders from Giessen and Hohenheim together with the program directors Prof. Regina Birner and Prof. Martin Petrick attended a three-day retreat in the beautiful Taunus region. The event aimed at using the synergies from the cooperation more intensely and enabling networking activities among the IPPAE PhD students from both universities. It combined an intensive professional exchange with leisure elements and social networking, including also the family members of the IPPAEs. Through specialized lectures and working groups on topics such as science methodology and academic policy advice, the students received professional and methodological training and were taught in career-related management skills like time management and mental health. Rounded off with joint activities such as hiking and BBQ, participants considered it a complete success and stressed how they benefited from the exchange and networking among each other. We kindly acknowledge the financial support by DAAD.





If you have any questions or hints related to the content of this news page, please refer to our program coordinator Nadia Keudel.