The ESERA Summer School 2022 was held in the city of Utrecht in The Netherlands from August 29 to September 3, hosted by the Freudenthal Institute at the University of Utrecht. After the two previous online virtual Summer Schools, this has been an in-person event in which forty-eight PhD students and sixteen staff members joined for an intensive program of four full days of Mentor Group Meetings, Poster Sessions, Plenary Lectures and Workshops. Of the forty-eight PhD students, three had to participate virtually through the Summer School’s Virtual Platform.

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Students and staff members participating in the ESERA Summer School 2022 in front of the Buys Ballot building at the University of Utrecht, the location of all meetings.

Information about the venue, the program (including the topics of the Plenary Lectures and Workshops), the participants and the Local Organising Committee can be found in the eBook of Synopses:

ESERA SS22 eBook of Synopses

This eBook of Synopses also includes, of course, the students’ synopses of their PhD studies to be presented and discussed during the Summer School.

The Summer School program was intensive with four hard, long and productive working days. Students worked daily in seven small Mentor Groups giving and getting feedback on their PhD studies. In addition to these small group presentations and discussions, students presented their work in a Poster Session. And in between: a daily Plenary Lecture and three rounds of Workshops to choose from.

The feedback from the students on the Summer School 2022 was very positive, as illustrated by the following quotes:

The experience is valuable to me. I loved the productive discussions in my mentor group. It was nice to see how PhD candidates from different countries think about issues in science education. We use various approaches, but aim for the same ultimate goal (more productive student learning). The lectures and workshops were helpful for seeing the big picture of science education as well as providing practical strategies for doing research and writing.

It was lovely to meet so many people with a similar mindset and ride the bikes, it was inspiring to chat about various research topics and for me as a newbie in this field to have something like a ‘PHD/conference crash course’, which – in my opinion – prepared me very well for all that follows.

From the evaluation it can be concluded that the students as well as the staff members were rather satisfied with the event, and that the ESERA Summer School (again) clearly has met its aims.

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After a long day of Mentor Group Meetings, Plenary Lectures, Workshops and Poster Sessions inside, time for a relaxed bike ride back to the Stayokay Hostel for the buffet dinner outside.