Boosting career development for postdoctoral fellows
Mentoring groups and career counselling are some of the options open to postdoctoral fellows at the faculty through the Postdoctoral Programme.
Eivind Engebretsen, Director of the Postdoctoral Programme, and Hilde Nebb, Pro-Dean of Research. Photo: UiO
In recent years, the Faculty has undertaken targeted efforts to raise the status of its research training programme, and this year it established Norway’s first structured career development programme for postdoctoral fellows. The programme shall demonstrate and prepare the candidates for various career paths, inside as well as outside of academia.
The programme’s visions are to:
Provide help for structured and tailored academic career development after a completed PhD degree.
Prepare the candidates to face complex job responsibilities outside of academia.
Provide a creative and inspiring learning environment for candidates during their post-doc period.
Serve as a flagship for career development of academic talents.
Tools for building a career
To prevent postdocs at the Faculty of Medicine from falling ‘between the cracks’, a new programme will now provide them with tailored support for their career development.
– The objective of the career development programme is to provide young researchers with the tools to establish and manage research groups in an appropriate manner, pay attention to their own careers and feel part of the organization, says Hilde Nebb, pro-dean of research at MED and leader of the postdoctoral programme.
She believes that these are key elements to promote high-quality research and competitiveness in the international arena.
– A modern academic must fill a variety of roles. They should of course do research, but they should also manage, supervise, teach, disseminate, drive innovation and undertake development work, says Eivind Engebretsen, director of the Postdoctoral Programme.
– Until now, we have focused mainly on the role of researcher. With this programme, we wish to highlight the fact that qualifying as an academic also involves a number of other competencies. The Postoctoral Programme is the first of its kind and size in Norway, he continues.
A tailored programme
The programme was launched in February 2016 and is open to all postdoctoral fellows at the Faculty. The candidates can decide for themselves whether or not to enlist for the courses and what kind of courses they wish to attend. Thus, they have the opportunity to tailor their own course portfolio in light of what appears to be most relevant for their own careers.
– To ensure that the programme maintains the highest possible quality and that the courses are perceived as relevant, we stay in close dialogue with the Faculty’s postdocs about their wishes for further development of the programme. So far, the feedback has been very positive, Engebretsen affirms.
The programme’s permanent courses are Management course 1 on Career Development and Management course 2 on Research Management and Supervision.
– A new addition this spring is the mentoring groups where postdocs from different academic communities meet regularly to discuss topics of current interest and invite lecturers, he concludes.
The Postdoctoral Programme has also arranged courses on how to obtain external research funding.