Workshops (Soft skills and interdisciplinary key qualifications)
To prepare our doctoral candidates for their scientific career in the best possible way, we will offer the following soft skill and research-related interdisciplinary hard skill courses.
Workshop „Good scientific practice” (obligatory). We support the implementation of ‘Rules of Good Scientific Practice’ as demanded by the DFG and in particular, the proper presentation of data and criteria for authorship. Dr. Dumpitak from the Research Center in Jülich will organize this essential 2-day workshop with lectures, practical courses, and problem-oriented learning sessions.
Workshop “Biostatistics” (obligatory). The 2-day course, which will be offered by A. Engelbrecht, a statistician from Erlangen, who already held the course for the former RTG1660, consists of short presentations about the most relevant statistical applications and examples from biomedical experiments. In addition, the participants will analyze their data in a practical setting and discuss them with colleagues.
Workshops “Scientific Communication” (in part obligatory). To strengthen the key qualification “Scientific Communication,” we will organize two 2,5-day courses. The first is optional and will concentrate on the elements of oral and poster presentations and one-to-one discussions (elevator pitch) of scientific data. The second course is obligatory and will focus on scientific writing in English. In order to maintain the interactive style of the 2,5-day courses, the number of participants is limited to 12. To provide all fellows with these key qualifications, each course is, therefore, offered twice every two years. Dr. Deborah Bennett, who already offered courses for the RTG1660, will join us as a lecturer (Budget in Section 188.8.131.52).
Additional courses and workshops “Special and interdisciplinary key qualifications.” Additional optional interdisciplinary ½ – to 1-day courses are primarily designed to provide the methodological and technical skills necessary for a scientific career, e.g., flow cytometry, bioinformatics, Excel and Word courses, and literature search. Some of these events will be offered by the FAU Graduate School and can be integrated into the curriculum of RTG module I+II (Figure 5), Jour Fixe, and Paul-Ehrlich-Club. Also, the doctoral candidates can participate in the workshop program of the FAU Graduate Center (about 45 workshops per semester on different topics are offered – see https://www.fau.de/graduiertenzentrum/kurse-und-veranstaltungen/).
Training courses on research involving animal experiments and genetically modified organisms. All doctoral Dr. rer. nat. candidates are strongly encouraged to participate in an animal experimentation course (FELASA B) taught by Dr. Jurgons from the “Präklinisches Experimentelles Tierzentrum (PETZ, the preclinical animal research center at FAU). The RTG will, therefore, cover the costs of 17 Dr. rer. nat. candidates.
Handling of research data. The transparent documentation of research data based on the FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable) principle (https://www.go-fair.org/fair-principles/) will be an essential part of our RTG (see 3.9). We will, therefore, offer courses about data management in cooperation with the “Regionales Rechenzentrum Erlangen (RRZE)” and Frau Dr. Birte Lindstädt from the Zentralbibliothek MED of the Informationszentrum Lebenswissenschaften, Köln (www.zbmed.de). In addition, we will offer an overview of practical experiences with ELNs by Dr. Alfons Weig (University of Bayreuth) and company-organized online tutorials and implement the electronic laboratory notebook system as a pilot with the first cohort of Dr. rer. nat. candidates.
Career development measures. To introduce our doctoral fellows to professional career choices and job opportunities outside of the academic research environment, we will use our contacts established with Roche in Penzberg, Boehringer Ingelheim in Biberach, and Miltenyi in Köln to organize excursions to pharmaceutical companies. Furthermore, we will invite colleagues from pharmaceutical companies to our Paul-Ehrlich-Club. Finally, together with the doctoral fellows, we will organize a local symposium entitled “Career Day – Professional opportunities for scientists beyond academia.” We will invite experts from companies, public officers, and colleagues from different fields and institutions, e.g., the WHO, the Paul Ehrlich Institute, pharmaceutical companies, biotech companies, and journal editors. In addition, we will organize a scientific speed dating of all RTG doctoral candidates with the speakers to foster networking. A workshop on “job-hunting strategies” in academia and beyond complements the symposium, which also features personal coaching of doctoral fellows. Interview skills are trained with practical exercises. On day 2, participants receive a detailed check of their CV and individual coaching.