CareerDay

ASPIRE Career Track Program

Supporting the career development of postdocs at the MDC

Aspire

ASPIRE (Advanced Science career development Program for Innovation and REsearch) will help researchers to complement their skills and gain additional qualifications to prepare them for their future careers, both in and outside academia.

Researcher development is amongst the MDC’s highest priorities. In this context, the promotion of junior researchers’ early independence and the support for non-academic career paths were identified as key goals to improve postdoctoral support.

ASPIRE is offering a new format of structured support and training in five main career trajectories:

Core

Following a postdoc, most scientists will enter a management position. Therefore the aspire program aims to prepare them for this career change. The offered core courses (leadership, negotiation, project management, design thinking) will train scientist in the key skills required for this transition.

Leadership for scientists


(Workshop 1: 01-02 September 2020)
(Workshop 2: 03-04 September 2020)

The course focuses on strategies and tools to navigate the challenges of a career following the time at the MDC. The participants will:

  • improve their communication, collaboration and leadership skills
  • understand how to reach academic career goals:
    • more efficiently ( doing things right)
    • more effectively (doing the right thing)
  • identify strategies to establish themselves in their desired career track
  • learn how to build and maintain a trustful and open group culture
  • learn and practice useful tools to succeed in the ASPIRE career tracks
  • be encouraged to establish and maintain a peer support group
  • strengthen their professional network within and outside of the MDC

Project management

(Workshop 1: 27-28 October 2020)
(Workshop 2: 29-30 October 2020)

The participants will learn pragmatic, professional methods which will tangibly ease their work as project leader. The course will help them as a project leader to achieve higher level of confidence, to use their time more efficiently, to replace chaos with structure, to stick to plans more effectively and to gain the recognition that they deserve for their project work. This will enable them to complete projects within the given time and budget, and in accordance with quality specifications.

Design Thinking

(Workshop 1: 09-10 November 2020)
(Workshop 2: 11-12 November 2020)

The design thinking ideology asserts that a hands-on, user-centric approach to problem solving can lead to innovation, and innovation can lead to differentiation and a competitive advantage. This hands-on, user-centric approach is defined by the design thinking process. The participants will learn about this process and understand how to use it in their daily work to be more efficient.

Advanced Negotiation

(Workshop 1: 12-13 January 2021)
(Workshop 2: 14-15 January 2021)

Negotiation is far more than deal making. It is a structured, professional form of communication which we are likely to use frequently in our work environment and in particular for career progression inside or outside of academia. In this course we will provide a framework and practise how to prepare and conduct negotiations in an effective and assertive way.

In this practical workshop, participants will learn how to:

  • position themselves strategically in the best possible position within their organisation
  • evaluate their own and their partner's interests
  • reach better results in negotiations with partners and suppliers
  • maintain solid and sustainable relationships with collaborators and co-workers
  • be more comfortable when proactively asking for things
  • transform conflicts into solutions of mutual benefit

Academics

The “Academic Leadership” track is designed to help participants position themselves in a leadership position within universities and other scientific and research institutions.

Many postdoctoral researchers aim to become experts in their field, rather than becoming leaders. An academic leadership position, however, requires additional skills and competences that will determine the productivity and success of the working group.

In this track, participants will have the possibility to acquire knowledge not only in the financial questions of the academic world, but also in the maintenance and establishment of a good and effective work environment.

What skills do I need and what will I learn?

 

Leadership qualities might be hard to define, but high in demand and helpful when pursuing a career in academia. In order to succeed in an academic career, not only a strong publication record is important, but also a series of key skills:

  • Strong vision: resilience, passion, persistency, commitment and dedication.
  • Communication skills: ability to communicate ideas effectively and engage with the ideas of others.
  • Proactivity: be prepared for the worst while still hoping, planning and staying positive
  • Translational skills: listening to people, understanding their needs and knowing how to motivate a team.

In this track, the participants will learn to reflect on their personal leadership style, and techniques to develop it according to their goals. The topics covered include preparation for an independent position, grant writing, applying for professorships, creating partnership with industry and teaching. The participants will also have the opportunity to sit on young group leader recruitment committees and prepare an application for a young group leader position where they will get feedback from the faculty.​​​​​

Roles and responsibilities of Academic Leaders

 

The main role of an academic leader is related to their research in their area(s) of expertise and/or that of a faculty member. Responsibilities of this role include teaching, developing curricular programs and courses, advising and mentoring students, participating on examination committees and seeking research funding. 

Likewise, academic leaders can often be involved in the administration of the department they belong to. They take on the role of advocates for their department’s interests, being responsible for the creation of a supportive and productive work environment, encouraging outreach, coordinating relationships with external partners, participating in governance committees and tasks forces, and preparing budgets.

Workshop overview

 

The workshops in this track provide fundamental knowledge in leadership, management skills, constitution of a team, effective communication, teaching and preparation for potential future (tenured) positions. While not all workshops are mandatory, we recommend to attend as many as possible. Only the workshops indicated in grey are optional.

Workshop

Topic

When?

Duration

1

How to get research funding from Industry

18th-19th March 2021

2 days

2

Grant Proposal Writing

Dec 2020

1 day

3

Job Interview

June 2021

2 days

4

Applying for Professorships

18th Jan 2021

2 days

5

Open Science: How it works

29th Jan 2021

3 hours

6

Teaching Methods and Lecture Design

20th-21st    May 2021

2 days

1 – How to get research funding from Industry

This 2-day workshop will convey information about the industry collaboration environment, that is typically not well known to people working in an academic research environment. This course will enable the participants to:

  • Find out whether it makes sense to get funding from industry for their research
  • Get a feeling for the inner workings within the industrial environment
  • Find the right collaboration partners and get in touch with them
  • Successfully present their research and collaboration ideas to industry representatives

2 – Grant Proposal Writing in a Day

TBD

3 – Job (Mock) Interview

The aim of the job interview is for the participants to practice the rigorous process of candidate selection at scientific institutions. The candidates will need to prepare a presentation and be ready to defend their future plans for a scientific group. They will gain significantly from the feedback that they will receive from group leaders who are usually involved in the selection process. 

4 – Applying for professorships

Every scientist who decides to stay permanently in academia, sooner or later faces what is supposed to be career’s hardest challenge: Applying for full professorship. The workshop aims to give you insights in the application procedure – a procedure that is highly formalized but often lacks transparency and differs in many aspects from other application formats in academia. In this seminar, we deal with your written application as well as topic-related and strategic advice for your selection interview, application presentation and demonstration lecture. We focus on different aspects of the appointment procedures, such as typical and critical questions during the selection interview, potential snares during the demonstration lecture or ambivalent interests among the members of the audition committee. Moreover, we work on how to present yourself and your academic profile successfully and how to emphasize your particular expertise.

5 – Open Science: how it works

This workshop will provide an overview of the main areas of Open Science: Open Access, Open Data, Public Engagement. Some practical tips on changes researchers can make towards Open Science will be discussed, as well as the potential career benefits of Open Science. 

6 – Teaching methods and lecture design

This 2-day workshop focuses on contemporary skills and techniques of how to plan and conduct lectures, seminars and workshops. Creative and innovative teaching and learning methods will be discussed, in order to learn how to achieve better educational results for students and lecturers alike. The workshop will enable the participants to present their material to English speaking and international participants in an attractive and visual manner, to motivate active cooperation and open discussions in the classroom and turn their courses into a conversational experience. The participants will be involved in practical exercises and team sessions, and get in-depth feedback on their development during the seminar.

 

Certificate

 

The certificate in “Academic Leadership” will be given to those participants that:

  • Attend all mandatory workshops
  • Participate in at least 1 optional training
  • Participate in the job interview process
  • Submit a written reflective report at the end of the program.

Application and selection process

 

Interested candidates may apply to postdocoffice@mdc-berlin.de. Please attach your CV and letter of motivation (max 1 page, 11pt, line spacing 1.5) in one single pdf file, indicating the reference “Academic ASPIRE”.

Costs

 

...

 

Industry

The "Industry and R&D" sub-track includes training in regulatory and medical affairs, clinical trials, pharmacovigilance and other topics related to the biotech and pharma industry.

The aim of the Industry track is to provide the participants with an overview of the different profiles in the pharmaceutical and biotech industry available for life scientists.

The track consists on one-day to week-long workshops and covers very diverse topics to help the participants decide in which direction they would like to go after their postdoctoral stage(s).

What skills do I need?

 

Working in industry and Research & Development (R&D) might imply a high level of adaptability, the ability to cope with project changes, less freedom to perform research for the “sake” of knowledge, ability to cope with commercial aspects and tight deadlines. Applied research often involves working with different experts from different disciplines and backgrounds, and the possibility to share expertise in a very efficient manner.

What will I learn in this track?

 

Participation in this track will allow you to explore different career options within the industry, build confidence and obtain additional qualification to help you transition from academia to the private sector. By participating in this modular track, you will:

  • Learn the basics of clinical research
  • Understand what a position within the Medical Affairs department entails
  • Gain fundamental knowledge in topics such as Pharmacovigilance and Regulatory Affairs
  • Be able to participate in an intensive GMP course
  • Visit companies and potentially do an internship in a company

Job perspectives and career options

 

Jobs in R&D cover a broad field of positions available in pharmaceutical or biotechnological industries, either performing basic research with the aim of bringing a drug to the market, or performing less obvious jobs such as Business and Product Development, Quality Control, Service or Field Application and intersections with Clinical Research. 

Clinical Research, in turn, provides a variety of career options related to clinical trials – either as Clinical Research Associates (entry level position), Clinical Monitors, etc. or in the Medical Affairs department of a company, acting as a bridge between the development and commercialization of drugs.

Workshops

 

The workshops aim to provide basic and diversified knowledge in a variety of topics related to different aspects related to different career options in industry. They are performed by experts in the diverse fields, and by trainers with a similar background to the participants. The workshops of this track tend to be in a lecture format, aimed at providing as much knowledge as possible, and with a strong theoretical component. The workshops indicated in grey are optional.

Workshop

Topic

When?

Duration

1

Introduction to Industry

15th June 2020

1/2 day

2

Regulatory Affairs - Rocket Science?

03rd Dec 2020

2 days

3

Medical Affairs

18th Feb 2021

2 days

4

Pharmacovigilance

03rd May 2021

1 day

5

Company visits

May/June 2021

1 day

6

GMP Biotech Summer School

13th-21st Aug 2020

10 days

7

GCP: Conducting Clinical Trials

7th Dec 2020

1 day

8

Company Internship

TBD

TBD

1 – Introduction to Industry

Participants will learn the basics of the courses offered by the Gläsernes Labor for an industry career. These courses are optional for participants and will be reimbursed from the postdoc office. 

2 – Regulatory Affairs – Rocket Science?

The workshop will cover the following content:

  • Regulatory legal framework and information sources
  • Marketing authorisations procedures
  • Specific medicinal products and special procedures    
  • Patent, data and market exclusivity
  • Specifications in Germany
  • The dossier of a medicinal product
  • Product information
  • Clinical Trials
  • Advertising and information

3 – Medical Affairs

This one-day workshop will cover the following topics

  • Legal framework for medical scientific information
  • Scientific service: Responsibilities
  • Advertising medicinal products: the required basics
  • Misleading & comparative marketing
  • Principles for interactions with healthcare communicate stakeholders
  • Overview of anti-bribery provisions
  • Overviews of sunshine and transparency laws in Europe
  • Company healthcare compliance processes

4 – Pharmacovigilance

Pharmacovigilance (PV) is according to the WHO defined as the science and activities relating to the detection, assessment, understanding and prevention of adverse effects or any other drug-related problem. In this workshop, we give students with no previous knowledge in this field an introduction to the subject. Questions like why is this necessary, who is responsible for it and where do I come in contact with it being discussed. 

5 – Company visits

Towards the end of the ASPIRE program, the participants will have the chance to visit different companies in the pharmaceutical and biotechnological industry (different size companies). The aim is to not only learn first-hand how a company works, but also to network and make useful contacts. 

6 – GMP Biotech Summer School

Knowing and applying the Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) regulations is one of the key elements in the manufacture of medicinal products for clinical trials and on industrial level. 
This Course concentrates on GMP requirements regarding biopharmaceutical and Advanced Therapy Medicinal Products (ATMP) manufacturing.

During the Course the most important elements of GMP will be explained in an easy-to-understand way with reference to the relevant GMP regulations and examples how regulatory requirements are transferred into practice.
The Course will include some workshop elements where trainees together with the trainer develop GMP compliant solutions (e.g. risk assessments, equipment qualification).

7 – GCP: Conducting Clinical Trials

Good Clinical Practice (GCP) is the ethical and scientific basis for the planning, preparation, conduct and reporting of clinical trials. GCP defines the principles for any clinical trial conducted with medicinal products. GCP has been introduced by ICH (International Council on Harmonization) in 1997 and was just recently revised.
The seminar will include presentations with a lot of practical examples as well as workshops on the most important topics of GCP. The trainer will focus on the responsibilities of the study sponsor (e.g. pharmaceutical or biotech company) but will also cover those elements that are of importance for the investigational team at the study site, i.e. at the hospital or private practice.

Certificate

 

Participants of the “Industry and R&D” track will receive a certificate of completion if:

  • They have participated in all mandatory workshops
  • They have evaluated all workshops
  • They have participated in at least one optional workshop

Application and selection process

 

All postdoctoral researchers from MDC are encouraged to apply. The selection of participants will be carried out according to the following criteria:

  • Motivation and expected engagement
  • Prospects of successful participation in the full program
  • Previous experience in translational research/industry experience

The final participants will be selected through a lottery amongst the shortlisted candidates that fulfil the indicated requirements.

Interested candidates may apply to postdocoffice@mdc-berlin.de. Please attach your CV and letter of motivation (max 1 page, 11pt, line spacing 1.5) in one single pdf file, with the subject “Industry ASPIRE”.

Costs

 

...

Entrepreneurs

The participants of the "Entrepreneurship" sub-track will have the opportunity to develop a novel business idea from scratch and learn the basics of innovation, design thinking and business development.

The aim of the Entrepreneurship track is to familiarise participants with entrepreneurial skills and business-oriented thinking and acting. In addition to business planning and financing, topics such as marketing, leadership and team-work will be covered.

The track consists on several workshops with an overall structure to ensure cohesiveness and not lose momentum. During the duration of the track, you will work in multidisciplinary teams and be able to put the knowledge acquired into practice.

What will I learn in this track?

 

Participation in this track will allow you to explore entrepreneurship as a career and build knowledge and confidence of business start-up through practical application. By participating in this modular track, you will:

  • Train business-oriented thinking and acting
  • Gain practical, real world entrepreneurial experience
  • Learn how to convince others of your idea (business pitching)
  • Develop skills in leadership, teamwork and project management
  • Expand your competencies in science and business-related careers
  • Learn about the impact of machine learning and AI on the future of work

What skills do I need?

 

While you will learn the competences needed to strengthen your entrepreneurial mindset in this track, it is important to understand that running a new business requires patience and having a great capacity to self-reflect. Some skills that will help you make the most of the program are ambition, willingness to learn, ability to listen, creativity, assertiveness, perseverance and potentially courage to take an unknown step.

Job perspectives and career options

 

The Entrepreneurship track is designed to provide the tools necessary to start a career in science, business and new venture start-ups. Participants will acquire skills useful in positions such as project manager or consultant dealing with innovative ideas and projects. Due to the competitive current business landscape, it is important for companies to renew and develop. Entrepreneurship and innovation are therefore valuable assets in a wide range of organizations.

Application and selection process

 

All postdoctoral researchers from MDC are encouraged to apply. The selection of participants will be carried out according to the following criteria:

  • Motivation and expected engagement
  • Prospects of successful participation in the full program
  • Previous experience/proven interest in entrepreneurship and business start-up.

The final participants will be selected through a lottery amongst the shortlisted candidates that fulfil the indicated requirements.

Interested candidates may apply to postdocoffice@mdc-berlin.de. Please attach your CV and letter of motivation (max 1 page, 11pt, line spacing 1.5) in one single pdf file, with the subject “Entrepreneurship ASPIRE”.

Workshops

 

The workshops aim to provide basic and diversified knowledge in a variety of topics related to entrepreneurship and business development:

  • Market: what is your market? Are there customers that would buy your product/service?
  • Money: how to make it and manage it (from finding investment to accounting and cashflow)
  • Law in small businesses: from IP to the responsibilities of a director
  • Planning and developing a business model
  • Marketing and communications: how to get your message out there
  • Pitching your idea: how to make it work

The main objective of the workshops is to encourage the participants to engage in a project of their own with the skills learned. 

Workshop

Topic

When?

Duration

1

Artificial Intelligence – the potential of machine learning

Dec 2020

1/2 day

2

Entrepreneurship 101 for Scientists workshop*

March/April 2021

2 days

3

IP and Copyright for Researchers

May 2021

1 day

4

Understanding the investor mindset 

June 2021

1 day

Entrepreneurship 101 for scientists*

  • Introduction and Teambuilding
  • Testimonial: Experiences of a lifescience entrepreneur I
  • Lecture: Identify a potential business idea in sience
  • Lecture: Business Model Canvas (Creation of a business plan)
  • Lecture: Marketing of Innovation to Industry - What? When? How?
  • Training: The right presentation I (persuasive presentations)
  • Teamwork Session I (with coaching)
  • Lecture: Startup Financing I - an overview
  • Lecture: Startup Financing II - EXIST
  • Testimonial: Experiences of a lifescience entrepreneur II
  • Lecture: Pitching for success
  • Teamworking Session II (with coaching)
  • Presentation of results

What will you learn in the Entrepreneurship 101 workshop?

Ideation brainstorm – creativity challenge

Ideation is the process of forming ideas and concepts. In the corporate environment, “ideation” means generating new ideas to solve specific problems. These can be problems that your customers are facing (thus leading to new products and services that your organization can provide), or problems that your organization is experiencing (thus resulting in improvements in your internal structure or processes).

The workshop includes:

  • Introduction and warm-up
  • Opposite thinking
  • Trend matrix
  • Analogy thinking
  • Idea selection
  • Pitching and wrap up

Business Model Innovation

Participants will be inspired by lots of examples and walk away with creative mindsets that will boost their performance. Participants will learn hands-on tools that help them generate new business models. By using tools in real business challenges, we make sure the mindset and methodologies get transferred to the ongoing business.

Business Planning and financing

Participants will familiarize with the importance, structure and selected content of the business plan for a start-up company. The following topics are covered:

  • Introduction to the structure of a business plan
  • Idea concept (product/service, target group, customer benefit, unique selling point)
  • Founder/Founder Team (How do I sell best?)
  • Market Analysis (what data do I need and where can I get it?)
  • Marketing mix (product, price, advertising, sales)
  • Corporate organization (responsibilities, legal form, milestone planning)
  • Basic terms of financing (eg equity / debt, assets / liabilities, liquidity and others)
  • Financial planning / liquidity planning
  • Financing options for lifecycles of startups

Presentation and Pitch training

Coming up with an idea is only the start of the entrepreneurial journey. The ability to convince investors to fund your idea is even more difficult. Participants will learn how to sell their ideas to investors and the general public. 

Certificate

 

Participants of the “Entrepreneurship” track will receive a certificate of completion if:

  • They have participated in all workshops
  • They have evaluated all workshops
  • They have presented a valid business plan and an elevator pitch with a unique business idea

Costs

 

...

 

Management

In the "Science Management" sub-track you will learn the fundamentals of science policy, data management and organization of research in higher education institutions. The track will allow you to participate in different projects across different departments of the MDC. 

Careers in ‘science management’ have emerged over the last two decades due to the increasing complexity and amount of specific processes in scientific institutions, as well as rising national and international competition. Science management covers activities at the interface of science and administration. At all levels of the organization there is a realignment of job profiles and professional roles that meet the increased management needs.

Science managers work across disciplines and hierarchies and create a space for science that is open to influences from politics, businesses and society.

What will I learn in this track?

 

The field of science management requires extensive competences and knowledge regarding the organization and control of scientific institutions. The participants of this program will develop a broad knowledge on concepts related to project management, finance and quality management, organizational and personal development and strategic management. The theoretical training is supplemented by practical work and mentoring.

What skills do I need?

 

In order to succeed in a managerial position, it is important to be an organized individual. Time and management skills are very relevant for administrative and managerial jobs, as well as communication and writing skills, teamwork, assertiveness and efficiency. Being able to handle a lot of small tasks at the same time and ability to work under pressure are also valuable competences.​​​​​

Job perspectives and career options

 

Job perspectives for participants in this track include management in scientific institutions, science administration (ministries, senate administration, EU), institute management, research management, faculty management, establishment of cooperations and internationalization, management of graduate schools, degree program development and university management.

Workshops and Projects

 

The workshops aim to provide basic and diversified knowledge in a variety of topics related to science management. They are conducted by expert trainers who are active in science management, science policy, project management and organizational development. Some workshops are specific for the science management track, while others belong to the shared training – indicating that participants from other tracks will also be present (showed in light yellow).
The main objective of the workshops is to encourage the participants to engage in a project of their own with the skills learned.

Workshop

Science Management

Days

1

Basics of research data management in Life Sciences

1

2

Grant Writing

1

3

Ins and out of Science Management Workshop

1

4

Coordination of EU R&D projects

1

5

Financial and Administrative Management of EU Projects

1

6

Sustainable Budget Management for Researchers

1

1 – Basics of research data management in Life Sciences

Scientific work processes involve extensive and heterogeneous digital data. Dealing with this data is a challenge: how do I organize and manage my data? Where and how can I safely save, archive and publish it?

In this event, participants will gain an overview of the individual aspects of research data management and get tips and tricks for the practice. Contents of the workshop include:

  • Foundations of research data management documentation
  • Order & overview
  • Storage locations and data transfer
  • Protection against loss and abuse
  • Selection of data
  • Data management plans construction
  • Implementation (e.g. documentation of projects)
  • Grant licenses
  • Persistent identifiers (e.g., DOI) for data obtained
  • Find and use data repositories

2 – Grant Writing

 In this one day workshop participants will obtain an overview on funding opportunities and my grant proposal writing process and understand the core aspects of structuring their proposal while matching their project idea to the reviewer’s view. Exercises will cover the formulation of results, the progress beyond state-of-the-art and the impact.

3 – Ins and Outs of Science Management

This one day workshop will be bring together science managers from different fields who will discuss their experiences with the participants. The participants will have the opportunity to interact with people doing this work and gain an understanding of the field.

  • Overview: European Research Management / Science Management Landscape
  • Panel Discussion: Experiences of Research / Science Managers
  • World Café: Coaching with Research / Science Managers in small groups
  • EARMA Academy: Presentation of the Professional Development Programs in the EU

4 – Coordination and financial and administrative management of EU R&D Projects

Implementing an EU project is highly demanding in terms of coordination and project management skills: Funded projects involve a diversity of nationalities and different organisations. Research and innovation actions for example involve an average of 11 organisations. Their collaboration is framed by organisational rules, EU- rules for the financial and administrative project management and of course differing national regulations. Combined with different national and organisational cultures, this provides a complex environment for the coordination of these projects. Thus, besides administrative and financial knowledge, advanced skills in communication, moderation and mediation are helpful for any coordinator.

Therefore, the objective of this series of workshops is

  • to build up the necessary financial and administrative background knowledge for an efficient project management, as well as
  • communication, moderation and mediation skills, which are needed to successfully run an EU project, not only in terms of collaboration but especially with respect to scientific and innovation results.

5 – Sustainable Budget Management for Researchers

Being in charge of a budget comes with excellent opportunities and at the same time with significant responsibilities. Most researchers will take on that role when transitioning from postdoc to team leader and have had little training on how to effectively and efficiently manage the finances of a research team.

This training will equip researchers with a solid understanding of the basics of budget management and deliver tools that are directly applicable to the daily work setting of the participants.

Participants will:

  • Increase their awareness on the importance and implications of budget management
  • Develop and understanding for the context and timing
  • Learn how to identify fixed and variable costs in their specific environment
  • Receive tips and tools to manage their budget
  • Strengthen their network and collaboration within their organisation
  • Be encouraged to establish and maintain a peer support group

Certificate

 

The certificate in the “Science Management” track, which will declare participation in the track and suppose an application advantage for future professional careers, will be received upon:

  • Participation in all workshops and at least one optional workshop
  • Submission of your written reflections at the end of the program.

Application and selection process

 

All postdoctoral researchers from MDC are encouraged to apply. The selection of participants will be carried out according to the following criteria:

  • Motivation and expected engagement
  • Prospects of full and successful participation in the full program
  • Previous experience in science management (having participated in student’s or staff associations, managed teams, etc.)

The final participants will be selected through a lottery amongst the shortlisted candidates that fulfil the indicated requirements.

Interested candidates may apply to postdocoffice@mdc-berlin.de. Please attach your CV and letter of motivation (max 1 page, 11pt, line spacing 1.5) in one single pdf file, indicating the reference “SciMgmt ASPIRE”.

Costs

 

...

 

Communication

Those interested in the "Science Communication" sub-track will learn the fundamentals of public engagement, visual communication, social media and writing for the web. The participants will be encouraged to engage in various outreach events.

The Science Communication program is aimed at researchers who, in parallel to their scientific work, want to develop specific communication skills and get involved in public engagement, citizen science and science communication.

What will I learn in this track?

 

By participating in this track, you will practice dealing with different media, become more familiar with the working methods of science communicators, develop communication strategies targeted to different audiences, practice communicating complex topics in an understandable manner, understand, reflect and learn how to effectively use social media, and become familiar with important aspects of Open Science. 

In order to make the most of the track, we encourage you to gain experience in:

  • Outreach events – Long Night of Sciences, Meet the Teacher, ORION Open Science podcast… you name it! Collaborate and volunteer in different outreach formats, or organize your own event.
  • Be active – Twitter is a good place to meet other science communicators, see what events are happening, network and meet like-minded people.
  • Volunteer – you can contact the Communications Department at MDC and see what are the options to collaborate with them. Alternatively, museums and other organizations might be looking for volunteers for specific occasions.
  • Writing – have you considered starting a blog or website?

What skills do I need?

 

As obvious as it might sound, enjoying talking about science to others is key. Teaching skills and being able to break down a subject in a way that people with different backgrounds can understand is also important. Being a creative individual and being able to come up with new and interesting ways to present science will be helpful. While science communication does not only include writing, good writing skills will be essential.

Job perspectives and career options

 

The Science Communication track can open up careers in a wide range of sectors, including and medical, scientific and health campaigning and advocacy, science policy and science journalism, amongst others. Further career options involve working in public relations in the public and private sectors, or work at museums and science centres, science festivals and other types of outreach and public engagement events.

Workshops and Projects - Overview

 

The workshops aim to provide basic and diversified knowledge in a variety of topics related to science communication. They are conducted by experienced experts, who are active in science communication, public engagement, journalism and digital media. Some workshops are specific for the science communication track, while others belong to the shared training – indicating that participants from other tracks will also be present (showed in grey).

The main objective of the workshops is to encourage the participants to engage in a project of their own with the skills learned.

Workshop

Topic

Code

Duration

1

Science Journalism

TBA

2 days

2

Visual Communication for Scientists

TBA

2 days

3

Social Media Management

TBA

1 day

4

Storytelling

TBA

3 hours

5

Public Speaking and Organization of Scientific Events

TBA

2 days

6

Open Science: How it works

TBA

1 day

7

Writing for the Web

TBC

1 day

8

Projects with MDC Communication Department

TBC

TBC

 

Project

Topic

1

PROJECT - Science for the Public (Long night of sciences + Berlin science week)

2

PROJECT - Lab Meets Teacher/Science Education Outreach

3

PROJECT - ORION Open Science Podcast

4

PROJECT - Others

1 – Science Journalism – an introduction

The aim of the workshop is for participants to learn how to write an article for a journal. 

2 – Visual Communication

The aim of this 2-day workshop is to understand the visual communication fundamentals and how to apply them to all types of scientific presentation. This will help the participants to make their research ideas and results more easily understood. 

3 – Social media – an introduction

The aim of the workshop is for participants to:

  • Understand how different national and organizational systems impact on the management of European and international research projects.
  • Be able to identify key issues for an organization when setting up European and international projects. 

4 – Storytelling

A good story activates the same areas of our brain that would be activated during an actual event. Therefore, audiences feel so much engaged when they hear a real-life experience. People make decisions based on how they feel rather than actual facts. The aim of this seminar is to learn to enchant a wide range of audiences with science stories and to captivate a lay audience with complex research results. 

5 – Public speaking and organization of scientific events

Two-day workshop that will explore the basics on how to organize a scientific event, what to take into consideration before, during and after; help, guidance and experience on the preparation of scientific show (live -e.g. AfterLab Science Comedy-; and via video -e.g. Youtube Channel-).

6 – Open Science: how it works

This workshop will provide an overview of the main areas of Open Science: Open Access, Open Data, Public Engagement. Some practical tips on changes researchers can make towards Open Science will be discussed, as well as the potential career benefits of Open Science. 

7 – Writing for the web

The course is aimed at all those who plan to produce a website or online publication. It outlines how to effectively write for websites. Content includes topics on (amongst others):

  • Good and bad websites
  • What web readers like
  • Good writing, plain English, grammar and punctuation
  • Content and structure
  • How web writing is different (language, tenses, style and presentation)
  • Search engine optimization
  • Blogging

Certificate

 

Participants of the “Science Communication” track will receive a certificate of completion if:

  • They have participated in all obligatory workshops and at least two of the optional workshops (shared training).
  • They have evaluated all workshops
  • They have participated in at least one project.

Application and selection process

 

All postdoctoral researchers from MDC are encouraged to apply. The selection of participants will be carried out according to the following criteria:

  • Motivation and expected engagement
  • Prospects of full and successful participation in the full program
  • Previous experience in science communication (having participated in the organization of scientific events, teaching, writing a blog, having a podcast/Youtube channel, engaging in social media, etc.)

The final participants will be selected through a lottery amongst the shortlisted candidates that fulfil the indicated requirements.

Interested candidates may apply to postdocoffice@mdc-berlin.de. Please attach your CV and letter of motivation (max 1 page, 11pt, line spacing 1.5) in one single pdf file, indicating the reference “SciComm ASPIRE”.

Costs

 

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ASPIRE
Dr. Jean-Yves Tano
Contact
Phone: 3353
Max-Delbrück-Centrum für Molekulare Medizin (MDC)
Robert-Rössle-Str. 10
13092 Berlin, Deutschland
Building 31.1, Room 1018