Dr. Yoko Yamaguchi and Dr. Eiri Ono (K-CONNEX) discuss personnel development for Ph.D. and Postdocs at Heidelberg University

On September 15th we were visited by Dr. Yoko Yamaguchi and Dr. Eiri Ono. Both are University Research Administrators at the Center for Enhancing Next Generation Research which is part of the Keihanshin Consortium for Fostering the Next Generation of Global Leaders in Research (K-CONNEX). In order to exchange ideas on how to support and nourish students and young researchers they partook in meetings with Heidelberg University representatives from different departments related to student and young researcher support.

Katrin Peerenboom (Heidelberg University Career Center) gave insight into the Program for Personnel Development for Postdocs which is part of the Excellence Initiative. It supports postdoctoral researchers in personal career planning, the development of relevant academic skills in non-subject-specific fields and interdisciplinary networking. It provides training through the management program “Towards a Professorship”, individual coaching and Career Talks.

Sita Schane (Teaching and Learning Center) and Anke Rösel (Graduate Academy) introduced programs for students up to Ph.D.-level. The Teaching and Learning Center offers courses that help to develop key skills in writing, organizing (including Work-Life-Balance) and teaching. The Graduate Academy additionally offers support for Ph.D. students in promoting scholarships and offering courses specifically for Ph.D. students. They also presented the Baden-Württemberg Teaching Certificate program, a state program that offers courses for lecturers and professors to advance their teaching skills, which is beneficial for students in every area and at level.

The meetings were much appreciated by Dr. Yamaguchi and Dr. Ono, who expressed that the presentations were very inspiring. Also the importance of the exchange of ideas for fostering future researcher generation was acknowledged by all participants. In the word of Dr. Yamaguchi: “Though the cultural differences exist between Germany and Japan, we believe that the exchange of our case-studies should bring effective progressions of academic activities each other. “