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50 years of Weihenstephan-Triesdorf University of Applied Sciences: The faces and stories

HSWT inside | Meike Dlaboha

"This job is ideal for the naturally curious"

"I am the interface of the interface of the interface," says Meike Dlaboha with a laugh, describing her job. She has been the EU advisor and Deputy Director at the Centre for Research and Knowledge Transfer (ZFW) at HSWT since March 2015. She and her colleagues support researchers with all administrative tasks and issues in connection with their projects. This includes formulating accurate descriptions of project ideas, applying for funding and ensuring the financial audit is passed. "There is a lot to think about with research projects, such as: which form do I need to complete in how many languages, and when does it need to be submitted?", Meike Dlaboha explains. She is primarily responsible for international projects. The 52-year-old’s tasks include financial administration, legal matters and project management, which means that she is in contact with a lot of different offices within HSWT. Outside of the university, Meike Dlaboha does a lot of networking within Bavaria and Germany and indeed across Europe – with researchers and funding bodies, as well as other research administrators and universities. With programmes like 'How to Forschung' (How to research), Meike Dlaboha and her colleagues at the ZFW also support new researchers at HSWT who are just starting their research activities at the university

Variety and purpose

One of the things that Meike Dlaboha likes the most about her job is the variety. The EU advisor needs to familiarise herself with the individual situation for each research project, as different things are important in each case depending on the department involved. "This job is ideal for the naturally curious," she says. "I like that I get an insight into innovative new ideas. There is a huge deal of variety as there are so many different disciplines at HSWT: from beavers to sensors for measuring soil moisture, from alpine forests as avalanche barriers to balcony geraniums, you really do see everything. To me, that’s tremendously exciting." And she particularly likes the general direction at HSWT: "Here, the ultimate purpose of all projects is to look after the well-being of the planet."

A team of doers

The variety of tasks and subjects involved means that Meike Dlaboha and her team are constantly having to tackle new challenges. "We never actually have a ready-made solution," she says: "You just have to go for it." And that is what she does. She is also part of a team that she can rely on and that supports one another. "Our motto is 'Sleeves up, let’s do this'," she laughs. As their work is driven by deadlines, the whole team works fully digitally and transparently. "Calls for funding applications usually end on certain days, for example, sometimes even at a very specific time. If you are even just a few minutes too late, all the work would have been for nothing," Meike Dlaboha explains.

The trained foreign language correspondent has a bachelor’s in international business economics and a master’s in international management under her belt, as well as a qualification in IT business administration. Before joining HSWT, she worked at other universities and at an advisory institution. She got to know her future workplace and manager on a visit to the ZFW as a consultant.

Outside of work, the mother of one grown-up daughter enjoys cycling in the area around Freising. She also regularly does the commute from her home near Neufahrn to the office – or at least part of it – by bike. Travel is also important to her. She often visits beautiful Brittany, where her parents live.