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The support of doctoral students, post-docs and assistant professors has always been accorded priority at the HSG. "In 2016, Judith Schwanke, Coordinator of Research Support, brought together, coordinated and extended all the services aiming to support young researchers," says Sabrina Helmer. "The result was the Young Investigator Programme (YIP)."
The YIP has been designed for young researchers who are looking for solutions to their personal challenges on the way towards acquiring academic qualifications. The services include training sessions, mentoring, individual consultation and lectures. "Among other things, we tackle the function logic of academic careers and the principles of good scientific practice." Since newly appointed assistant professors face different challenges from those confronting doctoral students, the YIP tries to tailor its services to the requirements of the target group to the greatest possible extent. For this purpose, the programme distinguishes between three stages: Discover, Commit and Accelerate.
YIP distinguishes between three stages:
Discover, Commit and Accelerate
Discover: for students at the earliest stage of their doctoral studies, services have been designed to help them get to grips with the academic system. "The YIP helps them to acquire competencies which are useful when they seek to define, organise and complete a doctoral thesis or in their work at a chair or an institute." At this stage, students are able to attend seminars on time and project management, for example, or acquire research and writing techniques.
Commit: "The award of the doctor's degree raises the question of 'What next?' for all the graduates." says Sabrina Helmer. Many will conclude their research and teaching assistantship at the HSG. They will have to find out how they are able to apply the qualifications they have acquired at the HSG outside academia. Those who are aiming for an academic career, however, will be confronted with the reality that there is intense competition for academic jobs. At this stage, the YIP supports young researchers in planning their professional future and in the acquisition of competencies relevant to their further professional activities.
Accelerate: Those who pursue an academic career face tough international competition. Besides acquiring further qualifications in their specialist field, they have to establish a portfolio which is highly likely to lead them towards a professorship. This also includes acquiring qualifications in teaching, and management experience in research teams, as well as raising third-party funding. "We primarily meet these challenges through individual consultation and coaching, as well as appointment and management training," says Sabrina Helmer. "The greatest success is when young HSG researchers are able to position themselves very well in the labour market – both inside and outside academia."