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Mentoring for early career researchers Renée Schroeder University of Vienna, Austria Prague, December 8th 2014 VIPS.

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Presentation on theme: "Mentoring for early career researchers Renée Schroeder University of Vienna, Austria Prague, December 8th 2014 VIPS."— Presentation transcript:

1 Mentoring for early career researchers Renée Schroeder University of Vienna, Austria Prague, December 8th 2014 VIPS

2 AIMs & GOALs Point of view of government To educate excellent scientists for the Cech Republic To recruit the best scientists and not loose great minds Point of view of scientists To make a career in science Find a job in research and be successful

3 Problems Reputation of scientists and careers in science Nepotism Women scientists leave science after PhD or postdoc Scientific independence in early career stages Reconcilability of a career in science and a family life

4 Education of Society Science education needs to start in early childhood Enthusiasm for a scientific question Educate group leaders to promote their PhDs and postdocs Career development programs during PhD, postdoc and junior group leader

5 Vision Max Perutz had a simple recipe for running a successful lab. He recruited ambitious people, made sure they had what they need to work and fostered communication at all levels throughout the organization. The VIPS program is just one of the ways we try to emulate his success in managing the careers of younger scientists. VIPS Vienna Internations Postdoctoral Programm in Life Sciences

6 VIPS We offer: 3-5 years Post-Doctoral training Independent research budget Travel money, Career development Mentoring and Coaching Grant writing support Child care Vienna International Post-Graduate Program for Molecular Life Sciences Because, most young researchers fail at the transition from post-doc to independent group leader. Training of principle inverstigators to help their post docs develop own scientific projects and become scientifically independent. VIPS is committed to : Scientific Excellence Establish a post-graduate career plan Improve the quality of post-graduate education Increase the number of PhDs in Molecular Life Sciences Contribute to Austrian path to a knowledge- based society Promote young scientists with a special consideration of female careers

7 VIPS Started in March 2010 Recruited 18 postdocs payed by VIPS and 10 funded by other grants More than applications from 81 countries

8 Gender situation Before VIPS (2009)2013 # Males# FemalesTotal %44% # Males# FemalesTotal %51%

9 Age Before VIPS (2009)2013 < 30 years[30-35][36-40]> 40Total Age AverageMax.Min. 35 years52 years27 years Age AverageMax.Min. 36 years55 years28 years < 30 years[30-35][36-40]> 40Total

10 Length of stay at MFPL as Postdoc Before VIPS (2009)2013 Length of stay MFPL as Post-Doc <2 years[2-3][3-4][4-5]>5Total Length of stay MFPL as Post-Doc <2 years[2-3][3-4][4-5]>5Total

11 Total length of stay at MFPL Before VIPS (2009)2013 Total length of stay at MFPL <2[2-3][3-4][4-5]>5Total Average length of stay at MFPL as PostDoc Average length of stay at MFPL as PhD/PostDoc Average time as PostDoc since PhD defense 2,8 years3,9 years4,8 years Average length of stay at MFPL as PostDoc Average length of stay at MFPL as PhD/PostDoc Average time as PostDoc since PhD defense 3 years5 years3 years Total length of stay at MFPL <2[2-3][3-4][4-5]>5Total

12 Funding Incoming own Incoming group leader Stay on group leader Total ,60%58%28,40% Before VIPS (2009)2013 Funding Incoming own Incoming group leader Stay on group leaderTotal %67%25%

13 Current fellowship holders Marie Curie IIF Postdoc Grant:ETH/SNFWF Grant: Robert PrevedelNela Nikolic Bianca Mladek EMBO Fellowship:FWF Grant: Ezequiel PetrilloNicolas Coudevylle Maria José Mendiburo Lise Meitner Fellowship:IRFP (Int. Research Fellowship Program): Flávia LeiteAngela Hancock -- Laufbahnstelle Sven Schenk Herta Firnberg Fellowship: Lucia Aronica Selma Osmanagic-Myers

14 Publications in scientific journals Before VIPS (2009)2013 Impact Factors Total IFIF per capitaMedian IF 3.256,2540,232,4 Publications (in scientific journals) as Post-Doc in total (as PhD/ PostDoc) per capita as Post-Doc per capita total (as PhD/PostDoc) ,68,6 Impact Factors Total IFIF per capitaMedian IF 1.831,05726,924,0 Publications as Post-Doc in total (as PhD/ PostDoc) per capita as Post-Doc per capita total (as PhD/PostDoc) ,99 Ifs calculated as follows: 1st, co-1st, and last author: full IF Co-authorship: ½ IF

15 VIPS Activities PostDoc Days Project Management Workshop (3-day workshop; 6x in ) Scientific Illustrating (5x in 2013) Time Management Workshop (2-day workshop; 2x in Oct and Nov. 2013) ENSEMBL Workshop (Oct. 2013) Presentation Techniques Workshop (7x in ) Project Development and Administration (3x Oct. – Dec. 2012) Biometrics I & II (Feb./March 2011) Half a Day for Funding (Oct. 9, 2012), with participation of FWF, ÖAW and FFG Gender Awareness Training (Nov & April 2011) Communications Workshop (April & July 2010) Coaching Mentoring

16 VIPS Activities Together with IMP/IMBA/GMI: FWF Grant Writing Workshop Leadership Training Grant Writing Course Manuscript Writing Course Scientific Communication

17 Super-Technician or Independent Scholar? The heterogeneous experiences of postdocs in the VIPS program Report VIPS Impact Assessment Study 2013 Ruth Müller Research Policy Institute, Lund University

18 VIPS Impact Assessment Study A qualitative interview-based study of postdocs’ experiences in the program 16 interviews with VIPS postdocs (out of a total of 18); 2-3 hours each; biography and practice oriented Comparative sample of interviews with postdocs not in such a program from an earlier project ( ; project leader: Ulrike Felt, Department of Science & Technology Studies, Univ. of Vienna) Aim: understanding the benefits/problems of the VIPS program & key tensions of the postdoc period more generally Focus of analysis: scientific independence (sensitizing concept)

19 Background Growing number of postdoc researchers Postdoc as ‘bottleneck of academic careers’ – high competition for smaller number of senior jobs Heterogeneous group (different positions considered postdoc; different job profiles and career prospects) Invisible group within institution (mobility; lack of institutional representation) VIPS program offered a definition and goal: transition on from PhD holder to group leader; the goal is scientific independence How can this definition & goal be realized within the current organizational structure of life science research?

20 3 Questions What is scientific independence? How to establish scientific independence within an existing research group? Is scientific independence necessarily the only possible goal of the postdoc period?

21 Conclusions Group leaders matter for the success of program like VIPS. Clear project agreements are important and should suit the postdocs stage of academic development. Mentors beyond the group are needed, who supervise that both parties keep to the agreements. Alternative career paths in academic science need to be developed (staff scientists). Opening up career opportunities beyond academia matters. Room to develop skills for these alternative paths in/outside academia. Gender bias: Given current structures, more women ponder leaving academia/decide to leave.

22 Thank you for your attention!


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