Additional PhDnet Activities
On Feb. 7, 2018, after the Lisbon symposium, a group of doctoral researchers from the PhDnet set out to spend a 6-day writing retreat in a remote house in Alentejo, south-east of Lisbon. This retreat was a self-led initiative by the researchers to work on their individual projects in a productive working environment. Each day started with a meeting after breakfast to exchange accomplishments of the past day and to set up new goals for the present day serving as a measure of accountability and motivation. Throughout the day the living room served as a large open space office allowing everyone to work in a quiet atmosphere. The vineyards and pastures surrounding the house invited to occasional walks or work-outs to interrupt the work routine and get a fresh start. Moreover, preparing meals together provided an opportunity to take a break and reengage with the others. Apart from the intensive working phases, the researchers set up a cultural program, which included a trip to Évora to see the Bone Chapel and remains of the Roman Temple as well as a visit by Professors Hanenberg and Lopes from Universidade Católica Portuguesa, who talked about techniques of writing that allowed for a deeper reflection and discussion on the researcher’s very own approaches to writing. At the end of the writing retreat, each of the researchers was able to say that they had accomplished the one or other project in an atmosphere of exchange and mutual support.