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Two | 2015

A selection of current news items for managers of Early Career Researchers.


Do you mentor others, or train mentors? This useful piece examines the principles of effective mentor-mentee conversations, equally valid for face-to-face and virtual modes of communication.

Managing others and creating effective teams are often a challenge in an academic environment. This interesting article describes a musician’s approach to leadership and how to play your own role in the team so that it can perform with the unity and virtuosity of the best musical ensembles. A strong message is that leadership can - and should - occur at any level.

Do your early career researchers fail to attend career development events because they feel they cannot (or should not) spare the time? This article has some helpful advice for managers and researchers on how to communicate the importance of ongoing training to their supervisors, and how to manage time to help increase the chances of being able to attend relevant events.

The majority of PhD holders do not remain in academic research over the long term, yet career paths beyond academia are still often referred to as ‘alternative careers’. Here is a welcome and timely plea to banish an inaccurate term.

The ‘European Charter for Researchers’, providing guidelines for researchers and their employers’ roles, responsibilities and entitlements, is celebrating its 10th anniversary. Take-up of the Charter and its sister ‘Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers’ has been patchy across the European Union, but this piece offers a good overview of the Charter’s mission and its impact on researchers’ careers.

What is the future of the postdoc as a career stage? This article speculates on future models that could help manage this phase better. Suggestions include limiting the time a researcher is allowed to remain in the postdoc phase, creating elite and ‘super postdoc’ career paths and making entry into the postdoc phase the main bottleneck of the academic career path.

‘The Postdoctoral Experience Revisited’ (2014) is a valuable look at how postdoc programs in the US have been managed, their impacts and how institutional practices are changing. It makes recommendations on potential improvements and securing better data to guide further refinements that are relevant more broadly to research managers involved in postdoctoral training and career development. You can buy the book, download a free PDF or read it online at the National Academies Press webpage

If you ever needed a justification for your chocolate consumption, here it is: a nation’s high average chocolate intake is highly correlated with producing more Nobel Prize winners!

PostdocTraining Update

Our next Career Control for Researchers career planning program commences on 1 June 2015. For more information about the program and how to enrol your early career researchers, contact us at info@postdoctraining.com or visit www.careercontrolforresearchers.com.

We hope you find this brief news digest helpful.
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