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Early Career Support

The interdisciplinary nature of the proposed CRC requires a broad expertise at the intersection of materials science, process engineering, mathematics, and computational sciences. The CRC, embedded into the structures of FAU, provides an ideal platform to implement these interdisciplinary aspects into the education and training of researchers at all different stages of their scientific career.

We will make use of our cooperation with schools around the region to motivate the pupils for a career in science or engineering by the following measures:
  • Professors in the school programme (ProfiS): In this programme, implemented at the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, professors directly address students in their schools by overview lectures introducing their research topics. (link to website)
  • Supervision of school seminars: Science seminars (W-seminars) are popular among high school students (currently, 4 W-seminars are being supervised in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering) and consist of an independent research topic that is summarised in a short thesis. The CRC team offers the possibility to obtain information, guidance and experience directly from leading experts in the field.
  • Public outreach events: Research topics and results of the CRC will be introduced and displayed at various public events, such as the Lange Nacht der Wissenschaften, the FAU “Schnupperuni”, or the Technikland.

A central pillar in the effective education is to reflect modern, cutting-edge research already in the academic curriculum. The CRC will directly contribute to the education at FAU via the following measures:
  • Integration of research topics into the academic curriculum: The PIs will use their lectures to integrate the scientific topics of the CRC into the academic curriculum. Due to the interdisciplinary nature of the CRC, these lectures will affect a multitude of degree programmes at FAU (chemical and biological engineering, materials science and engineering, physics, mathematics, computational science).
  • Student projects, bachelor’s and master’s theses are offered by all PIs in a broad range of degree programmes reflecting the interdisciplinary nature of the CRC. Importantly, the close collaboration between the different research topics among the PIs will enable students to perform theses even in research groups that are not directly involved in their curriculum.
  • Research-assistant positions: PIs in the CRC offer paid research assistant positions (Hilfswissenschaftler/innen) to high-potential students to gain early experience in the research environment of the CRC.
  • CRC student awards: The best bachelor’s and master’s thesis in a CRC-related topic are awarded by the CRC. The awardees are given the chance to present the results at a national (bachelor’s award) and international conference (master’s award).

The integrated Research Training Group in Particle Science and Technology (iRTG-ParSciTech) is the primary support structure for doctoral researchers of the CRC (see here for details: Link to site). All doctoral researchers contributing to the CRC will be members of, and thus supported by the iRTG-ParSciTech. In particular the following measures will be implemented:
  • German courses will be offered to all international doctoral candidates to facilitate integration.
  • Structured supervision: In the dual supervision program all members choose a second supervisor from the PIs of the CRC. In mandatory, at least twice-yearly, meetings with both supervisors, the researchers present the achieved results along with encountered challenges and a road-map for the doctoral researcher and obtain direct, personal feedback from both supervisors, ensuring fast and efficient scientific progress. In addition, mentoring programs provide opportunities for personal development and advise from more senior members of the consortium.
  • Monthly seminars and annual doctoral researcher/postdoc seminar: In regular seminars, all doctoral researchers present their latest results and discuss current challenges and future plans in a relaxed and interdisciplinary atmosphere. Once a year, a seminar with oral and poster presentation provides a broader platform to meet, discuss and network.
  • Doctoral researcher / postdoc representatives: All doctoral researchers and postdocs elect a representative and a vice representative. This representative participates in the executive board meetings and will be able to cater for the interests of the doctoral researchers and postdocs.
  • Travel stipends: Travel stipends are available to doctoral researchers for a research stay abroad and visits to conferences.

With its broad, interdisciplinary scope and excellent international networks, the CRC provides the ideal environment for postdocs and early career PIs to establish a scientific network and research profile. In addition to the postdoc-relevant measures established at the doctoral level, the following additional measures support postdoctoral researchers in their pursuit of an academic career:
  • Family-friendly policies: The CRC identifies a strong support for the transition from doctoral to postdoctoral level as a key step towards gender equality. The integral set of family-friendly policies will be especially used to encourage high potential female postdocs to opt for a career in academia.
  • Dual career support: The CRC recognises that postdoctoral appointments are often associated with difficult decisions between partners. Assistance will be provided here by the FAU’s dual career service. The FAU itself is member of the Dual Career Network of Noth Bavaria which strives to win and retain academics and their partners in the region.
  • Networking opportunities: Postdocs will present their research and closely interact with the scientific community at all international networking events planned within the CRC. This close interactions enables them to forge a strong international and interdisciplinary network.
  • Mentoring programme: The mentoring programmes of the CRC are open to all postdocs and provide an informal, personal setting to discuss relevant questions concerning the next career steps. In addition, all members will have access to the FAU’s Ariadne mentoring programme.
  • Integration into teaching: Postdocs within the CRC have the opportunity to contribute to academic teaching and thus obtain valuable experience in preparation for their scientific careers.
  • Qualification programme of the Fortbildungszentrum Hochschullehre (FBZHL). The FAU established an extensive portfolio of qualification programmes aiming to provide professors and group leaders with important skill sets related to leadership and academic teaching. These courses will be available to all postdocs and early career PIs of the CRC and provide these researchers with a broad portfolio of additional qualifications in preparation of an independent scientific career. The courses include lectures on didactics, rhetorics, examination strategies and regulations, conflict management, feedback conversations, and team building.