The student retreat is a meeting of PhD students to get to know each other and to exchange ideas and solutions. It will take place on March 7 and 8, just before the second annual meeting of the Helmholtz topic "Matter and Technologies". We would like to start the day at 1 pm with a scientific session of a different sort: Why not try to present the topic you are working on by using a white board or a flip chart rather than by giving a talk with glossy Power Point slides? Since we all have different scientific backgrounds, it is not always easy to understand someone else’s work without having the same knowledge or experience. Therefore, the afternoon session is dedicated to introductory or overview talks, where students may present their work to a “non-expert” audience. The goal is that the students get an impression which variety of fields of work constitutes the topic “Matter and Technologies”. In the evening, we will organize a dinner and get-together in one of the nice pubs close to the university campus. On the second day, we will get a tour to one of the facilities at KIT, which is led by a PhD student associated to the respective experiment. Finally, we will have a discussion on issues which are important to PhD students in the today’s perspective: their working environment, payment or employment contract.