Yes, we start with ‘you’ – why? You are the one who wants to realise scientific aspirations and therefore you have to make decisions, involve others, stay motivated, and book progress. The focus lies on you as a person and professional, as well as your work, your community and how you tie them all together. Once you get stuck, there are solutions to be found from many perspectives, and we clearly want to help you surmount those.
Brace Yourself – becoming a researcher
Having gained your own brand new place in academia, what does it mean to be a producer of knowledge? Perhaps with the fresh perspectives of a newborn you stepped into this world of senior scientists – and with it you bring your enthusiasm for the field and skepticism for every idea you encounter. Sure you will survive this wonderful monstrosity you call a PhD project, so the question is not ‘how to keep your head above the water’ but how you are going to make the best out of this – for yourself and your research purpose. Example courses:
- PhD start-up programmes for every new PhD candidate – on your expectations, your personal qualities, simulating work situations, politics in academia, understanding the scope of academic responsibility
- Motivation: to keep going strong – on understanding your own needs, taking responsibility, taking action immediately
OWN It! – academic leadership
What does it entail to become a researcher? This progress of typically 4 years is gradual, but you’ll find: it knows its ups and downs. You will experience your official ‘go / no go’ moment with your promotor, your first conference, the overwhelming sea of professional opportunities. Choices await around every corner. Comforting or stressing – motivating or discouraging. Can you change your (working) environment so you perform at your best … or are things written and set in stone? Example courses:
- Academic leadership – on taking charge of your own projects and progress
- Academic happiness – on finding the best way for you to master your project and enjoy the ride as you go
- Challenges of doing a PhD – on finding practical solutions once you encounter serious issues as a PhD candidate
Putting Yourself Out There – the future of your career
You may say that “you shape your own opportunities” as this applies to academia as well: whether you need more collaborations during your research, secure job positions in the near future, or establishing a secure position in a bigger network for whatever may come. This means you need to learn to read your direct environment and broader work field, and to develop courage, focus and assertiveness to approach others. Example courses:
- Academic networking – on analyzing your current network, your professional needs, politics in academia, constructing action plans to approach other professionals and expand your scope in the field.
- Job interviewing – on finding clear answers to what drives you, what you need in your work, what qualities define you as a professional, what you offer potential employers, and practicing on how you can show this during job interviews.
- Entrepreneurship – on business development through the business model canvas, choosing a strategy, making a plan, giving pitches to sell your story and spread the word, and more.