Targeted support for young scientists to help them master job-related challenges

09/30/2020   News

In September 2020, a Supervision event for young scientists offered by the Stem Cell Network NRW took place for the third time already. Further events in the coming months help develop leadership skills and promote diversity awareness.

Supervision is a structured method of collegial exchange with persons facing similar scientific or workplace-related challenges. Smart coaching tools and a structured exchange help the participants to change their own perspective and come up with new solutions. The experience also aims to strengthen the participants’ own resources and their professionalism, in addition to intensifying exchange between young scientists in the Stem Cell Network NRW and encouraging mutual support beyond the supervision sessions. The participants present their concerns in an atmosphere of mutual trust and confidentiality and receive feedback from the group in a clearly structured way. In contrast to more conventional forms of consulting, the method does not merely provide advice or recommendations, but helps the participants to come up with new ideas that fit their personal situation and abilities through different forms of confrontation. The facilitator of the supervision meeting takes care of the methodic framework, moderates the exchange, and introduces new impulses into the discussion if necessary.

Numerous scientists took advantage of the offer to develop new approaches for difficult job situations under the guidance of an experienced coach in a methodically instructed supervision round. The evaluation results show that all participants of supervision meetings organized by the Stem Cell Network NRW found them to be very helpful and would recommend the format to friends and/or colleagues. The opportunity to have a collegial exchange with peers that face similar challenges in their working environment and to receive helpful advice from both the trainer and the other participants in a confidential atmosphere was rated particularly positive. Because of the positive feedback and high interest there will be another supervision offer next year.

Apart from supervision, the Stem Cell Network NRW offers other seminars and events that aim to prepare young scientists for the next steps in their career. A Leadership Trainingprogram for Postdocs and Group Leaders will start in October. As there were many more expressions of interest than places available, the participants were selected based on motivation letters.

In late fall, there will furthermore be a workshopabout Unconscious Bias and Diversity inscience, with a specific focus on the STEM area (e.g. medicine and biology). The workshop aims to give an overview of the current state of research on stereotypes, gender bias and unconscious bias in the context of science. The participants shall become aware of the impact and spillover effects unconscious bias has on their professional and/or personal life, but also be enabled to reflect their own stereotypical thinking and prevent distorted judgements. The workshop will consist of a keynote lecture with moderated discussion followed by an interactive part with group work. Interested researchers currently working on a stem cell-related topic in North Rhine-Westphalia can register for the workshop here.