Transferable skills

The realization of this ambitious programme depends on the excellence of our recruitment programme and the quality of “training-through-research” at the host institution as well as on the needs-oriented “hands-on training” of transferable skills.

MLZ provides a range of opportunities to acquire additional qualifications. The Career Center of MLZ powered by FZJ offers various events and training courses.

Fellows must participate in at least one additional training course of their choice from the GNeuS extensive offer. Fellows may propose additional training courses and these should be approved by the supervising team.

A multitude of career and networking events will provide information on career options, encourage networking, and introduce valuable new networking partners. Some selected courses are given below:

Scientific prizes, grants, and the acquisition of third-party funds contribute significantly to the reputation of an early-career scientist. GNeuS therefore actively supports scientists in their pursuit applications, by training them adequately with a 2-day course held by a professional company where a common project work will be concretised with a presentation in front of a scientist panel.

At FZJ, an annual Career Day gathers experts from various scientific fields, industry, academia, and scientific management to talk about their own experiences and career opportunities. Fellows will be invited to participate in the panel discussions and to speak to the experts during round table discussions after the event.

The Career Counselling & Coaching office available at FZJ will offer career events, counselling and networking opportunities and contacts for job shadowing regarding career offers in academia, science management, industry and entrepreneurship. Specific focus will be given to those skills important to the GNeuS fellows.

The Helmholtz Association supports researchers through internal funding programmes and event formats to close this gap. Over the past few years, it has developed a number of event formats to promote exchange between research and application. For instance, Research Days allow companies insights into relevant research projects and the opportunity to initiate possible joint projects or licensing, Start-up Days offer a comprehensive range of lectures and workshops on a wide variety of topics related to setting up a business for scientists. GNeuS fellows will be invited to investigate in these opportunities.

Knowledge Transfer: Cutting-edge research generates new knowledge and IP that needs to i) be protected and ii) reach the areas of any stakeholders in society where there is a real need for current findings. MZL partners propose a special range of activities that are collectively referred to as “knowledge transfer”, to transcend technology transfer, public outreach, and train new academic talent.

Many of these knowledge transfer activities were initially developed only through the motivation of the researchers and then strategically supported over time, often becoming institutionalized. This has created a close dialogue with various stakeholders from politics, administration, business, civil society, education, and media. GNeuS will promote knowledge transfer activities to its fellows accordingly.

To emphasise the benefits of technology transfer, the GNeuS offer includes the XPLORE pre-incubation initiative (organized by UnternehmerTUM) and the newly established Jülich Innovation & Entrepreneurship Certificate (JUICE). They both aim to support founders and start-ups with tech-based ideas. With these programs, GNeuS fellows will gain necessary skills to commercialize their idea and manage a start-up incubation phase. XPLORE and JUICE welcome annually about 80 and 50 teams per year, with 2 courses per year, respectively. If the fellows consider going further, GNeuS fellows may also benefit from the step dedicated to market entry called XPRENEURS (UTUM) which offers one-to-one supervision (FZJ).

Considering that GNeuS fellows are tomorrow’s PIs, GNeuS will commit to give them strong leadership skills to enable them to create better team spirit and increase the creativity and productivity of their teams. On-line courses, completed with Career Counselling & Coaching office support, will give them skills on complex project management / multiple projects management, intercultural leadership, transformational leadership, effective delegation, empowerment of staff, change management & negotiating, etc.

In line with practices on the international science scene, the GNeuS Management Office will dedicate time to explicit rules and procedures safeguarding good scientific practice.

High-quality training courses will be fundamental in order to initiate a cultural change towards the implementation of Open Science principles. On top of the expertise and competencies already available within the GNeuS partners (EXACT), GNeuS is aiming to use FOSTER PLUS initiative courses and trainer directory in order to provide GNeuS fellows significant background, based on the valuable Open Science training handbook that will be first step towards developing open access and an open science spirit.

The central Library of FZJ will also offer scientists advice on open access and data management providing information on current standards according the European regulations, as well as on publishers and on the audience reached by its journals.

In addition to expanding their international network, we also recommend that postdocs network with MLZ teams both within and outside of their area of expertise in order to exchange experiences and best-practice solutions as well as representing the interests of their field. They will have the opportunity to practice these skills during the GNeuS Fellows Symposium to be organized.