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EGU conference 2019

EGU 2019: Getting to Vienna, getting to sleep and getting to know the city

EGU 2019: Getting to Vienna, getting to sleep and getting to know the city

With the conference only a few weeks away here is a brief, and by no means comprehensive, introduction of how to get to Vienna and what to do when you’re there!

Getting here

Vienna’s International Airport is served by many of the major European airlines. If you would like to consider reaching Vienna by train or bus you’ll find more information on the General Assembly websiteSince 2018, the EGU gives General Assembly participants the opportunity to offset the carbon emissions resulting from their travel to and from Vienna by contributing to a carbon offsetting scheme when they register to the meeting. You can find more information on how to make your travel to the EGU meeting carbon neutral also on our website.

And, if you haven’t seen it already, make sure you check out the General Assembly guide, which is full of even more hints and tips on how to get to Vienna and get ready for the conference.

Getting to sleep

An abundance of accommodation options can be found on the EGU 2019 website. But if you’re not a fan of hotels, there are a variety of alternatives in Vienna. Here are a few examples!

If you’re looking for a low cost option, there are a host of hostels in Vienna, just check these sites:

And, if you’d like to feel more at home, or stay in a flat with fellow geoscientists, you can consider the apartments available in Vienna:

Getting to know Vienna

Vienna’s Prater Park. Credit: Michal Jarmoluk (distributed via pixabay.com)

The Vienna tourist board has all you need to know about sightseeing, shows, shopping, dining and other information about Vienna and you can top this information up with this list of the city’s museums.

Tourist information offices can be found in the Arrivals Hall of Vienna International Airport or at the Tourist Information Centre, which sits behind the Vienna State Opera (the Tourist Information Centre is open daily 09:00-19:00 and you can access it from the U-bahn stop Albertinaplatz/Maysedergasse). Additionally, there is another tourist information office located in the main train station, the Hauptbahnhof, also accessible on the U-bahn. It is also open Mon-Sun from 09:00-19:00.

If you’ve been before and can recommend a good spot for dinner, or something to do when you have a little down time, feel free to make suggestions in the comments!

The EGU General Assembly is taking place in Vienna, Austria from 7 to 12 April. Check out the full session programme, for a complete list of short courses available, on the General Assembly website.

Being a mentor at the General Assembly

Being a mentor at the General Assembly

With more than 15,000 participants, 4,700 oral presentations, 11,000 posters and 1,400 PICO presentations, the EGU General Assembly can be an overwhelming experience for any scientist, whether it’s your first time or 10th time attending. However, you can make conference networking a bit easier by signing up for the EGU 2019 Mentoring Programme!

This mentoring scheme aims to facilitate new connections that may lead to long-term professional relationships within the Earth, planetary and space science communities.

Mentees are matched with a scientist who has attended the General Assembly at least two times (mentor). Through this programme, mentees can receive insight on how to navigate the conference, network with conference attendees, and exchange feedback on professional activities and career development.

On the other hand, there are several benefits of being a mentor, including getting to expand your network, trade ideas and share your experience with novice conference attendees, students, and early career scientists.

We’ve asked a few former General Assembly mentors to talk about their experience with the programme and share their highlights. If these interviews inspire you to get involved with our mentoring programme, you can learn more about this initiative, and how to register, here. The deadline to sign up is 31 January 2019.


Stefan Haun, researcher at the Institute for Modelling Hydraulic and Environmental Systems, University of Stuttgart, Germany

Stefan Haun’s personal highlight of the programme was his mentee’s motivation to learn and discuss new things every time they met.

What motivated you to take part in this programme as be a mentor?

I remembered my first time in Vienna, with so many impressions, a tough schedule for the week in my pocket and finally I almost missed the important things, such as making new contacts and friends. So I wanted to take the opportunity to get in contact with young people, who are for the first time at the General Assembly and to talk with them about possibilities, not only regarding the conference but also regarding their career and share with them my experiences.

What were some of the highlights of your experience as a mentor?

I have to say right from the start my mentee, Prima, was for the first time at the General Assembly in Vienna. She told me also that this was her first large conference and that she was very excited about it. We met a couple of times during the General Assembly and discussed several topics regarding science, networking and of course also on how to navigate through the Assembly. But my personal highlight was her motivation to learn and discuss new things every time we met.

Did you learn something or benefit from being a mentor in this programme? If so, what?

It was nice to meet Prima, a young and very ambitious person. During the year, there is a lot of workload on our desks and sometimes we almost forget about how exciting research is. And suddenly you meet such a young researcher and this motivates you again and you are reminded what a great job we have.


Nilay Dogulu, PhD candidate at Middle East Technical University, Ankara, Turkey

“It will be my third time as a mentor. I really enjoy this experience as it also helps widen my knowledge and insights personally,” says Nilay Dogulu.

What motivated you to take part in this programme as a mentor?

Encouragement and guidance are highly essential to academic learning and development of early career scientists (ECS). Even though the value of these is recognized, opportunities offered to ECS remain limited in many places. Being an ECS can be emotionally challenging due to lack of such opportunities on top of extreme pace of learning as well as high levels of uncertainty about the future. Conferences give ECS the opportunity to interact with their colleagues, including peers. However, it usually takes courage to go beyond our limits and explore new insights. Then a little push to make things easier becomes inevitable. Especially if it is the first time attending a very big conference.

The EGU Mentoring Programme at the General Assembly is a beautiful example of how simple actions can lead to yet effective results for many ECS. I decided to take part in it (first as a mentee, then as a mentor) because I was aware of the lack of opportunities in my university and wanted to help other ECS who can benefit from that little push in the best way. It is all about learning, regardless of age, position, experience, nationality, gender. Being open to learning is a wonderful trait, and the EGU Mentoring Programme gives just the perfect opportunity to support this.

What were some of the highlights of your experience as a mentor?

It is amazing how the algorithm that works behind for matching the mentors and mentees. The matches I was involved with so far were just to the point.

Sometimes mentees can feel unconfident and tend to maintain the distance that arise due to differences (age, position, etc.), eventually making them hesitant to actively participate in the mentor-mentee interaction. I see this as a great loss of opportunity. There is no point in choosing to be alone. A small conversation can spark unexpected yet fruitful ideas having the potential to shape our mindset and bringing in new perspectives!

Did you learn something or benefit from being a mentor in this programme? If so, what?

Learning is the most precious experience. Senior scientists, early career scientists… it doesn’t matter how big the difference between is. EGU attendees are all very friendly and happy to support ECS in their learning journey for one week every spring in Vienna.

I look forward to participating in EGU Mentoring Programme for EGU 2019! It will be my third time as a mentor. I really enjoy this experience as it also helps widen my knowledge and insights personally.

Interviews by Olivia Trani, EGU Communications Officer

Mentoring programme at EGU 2019

Mentoring programme at EGU 2019

With more than 15,000 participants, 4,700 oral presentations, 11,000 posters and 1,400 PICO presentations, all under one roof, the EGU General Assembly can be an overwhelming experience. There is a network of corridors to navigate, as well as a wide range of workshops, splinter and townhall meetings to choose from. With that in mind, we’ve put in place some initiatives to make the experience of those joining us in Vienna for the 1st time a rewarding one.

Especially designed with novice conference attendees, students, and early career scientists in mind, our mentoring programme aims to facilitate new connections that may lead to long-term professional relationships within the Earth, planetary and space science communities. Mentees are matched with a senior scientist (mentor) to help them navigate the conference, network with conference attendees, and exchange feedback and ideas on professional activities and career development.

The EGU will match mentors and mentees prior to the conference, and is also organising meeting opportunities for those taking part in the mentoring programme.

In addition, mentoring pairs are encouraged to meet regularly throughout the week, and again at the end of the week, to make the most of the experience, as well as introduce each other to 3 to 5 fellow colleagues to facilitate the growth of each other’s network.

“Mentoring is an indispensable requirement for growth. Through the mentoring programme I was introduced to Dr Niels Hovius who was a generous mentor during EGU’17. His guidance during the conference enabled my interactions with prominent scientists and to navigate the conference to my maximum potential. I am grateful for this programme and hope it be fruitful for students in this coming year.”

Rheane da Silva (National Institute of Oceanography, Goa, India), mentee

Mentoring an EGU novice student was the highlight of my 2017 General Assembly week. To see our elaborate and overwhelmingly large meeting through the eyes of a rookie makes you actively aware of many aspects that you have always taken for granted. To see the excitement in the eyes of a rookie when you take them deep into our organization and show them paths they had not expected to be open to them makes you appreciate all the General Assembly has to offer.

Niels Hovius (GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences, Germany), mentor

We anticipate the programme to be a rewarding experience for both mentees and mentors, so we encourage you to sign up by following the link to a short registration form. The details given in the questionnaire will enable us to match suitable pairs of mentors and mentees. The deadline for submissions is 31 January 2019.

You’ll find more details about the mentoring programme (including the requirements of the scheme) over on our website.

EGU 2019 will take place from 7 to 12 April 2019 in Vienna, Austria. For more information on the General Assembly, see the EGU 2019 website and follow us on Twitter (#EGU19 is the official conference hashtag) and Facebook.

How to convene a session at the General Assembly… in flow charts!

How to convene a session at the General Assembly… in flow charts!

Convening a session at a conference can seem daunting, especially if you are an early career scientist (ECS) and a first-time convener. At the 2018 General Assembly, Stephanie Zihms, the Union-level ECS representative, discussed the basics of proposing, promoting and handling a session in the short course ‘How to convene a session at EGU’s General Assembly.’

In today’s post she has created some simple flow charts to ensure your convening experience is a success. With the call for sessions for the 2019 EGU General Assembly open until 6 September 2018, now’s the perfect time to put this advice into practice!

Did you know that you can help shape the General Assembly by proposing a session?

Follow the flow charts to find out more:

After the session submission deadline, the Programme Committee will look for duplicate sessions and encourage sessions to merge before the call for abstract opens. Once sessions are open for abstract submission, it is then up to you and your convener team to ensure your session is advertised. Try publicising your session as widely as possible. Why not spread the word through social media, mailing lists or even a blog post?

Remember, scientists who would like to be considered for the Roland Schlich travel support have to submit their abstracts by 1 December 2018, prior to the general deadline, to allow for abstract assessment.

Also remember that ECS can apply to be considered for the OSPP (Outstanding Student Poster and Presentation) award. Judges are normally allocated by the OSPP coordinator, but as a convener you need to check each entry has been awarded judges.


Once the general deadline closes, your responsibilities as convener or co-convener depend on the type of session and the number of abstracts. EGU’s conference organisers, Copernicus Meetings, will keep you updated via email and more information about your responsibilities can be found here.

Note that the EGU considers all General Assembly contributions equally important, independent of presentation format. With this in mind, if your session is given oral blocks, make sure your oral slots include presentations from early career scientists as well as established scientists. It’s also a good idea to ensure your diversity selection goes beyond career stage and includes gender and nationality.

As the convener (or co-convener) you need to ensure all abstracts submitted for the Roland Schlich travel support are evaluated and the feedback is provided through the online tool. This should be done as a team.

The minimum number of submitted abstracts required for a session varies each year. This often depends on the type of session requested (oral, poster, PICO) and overall amount of abstracts submitted.

Not all conveners attract the required number of abstracts for their session of choice, but don’t worry. If this happens to you, there are other options available, like converting to different session type or teaming up another session. The EGU Programme Committee works hard to make sure all abstracts are presented at the General Assembly in sessions that are as suitable to them as possible.

Remember, the call for sessions for the EGU General Assembly 2019 closes on 6 September 2018 and the call for Union Symposia and Great Debates proposals ends by 15 August 2018.

By Stephanie Zihms, the Union-level ECS Representative

The EGU’s 2019 General Assembly, takes place in Vienna from 7 to 12 April, 2019. For more news about the upcoming General Assembly, you can also follow the official hashtag, #EGU19, on our social media channels.