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Women's Career Day 2017

Conflicts can be good

What is important in a scientific career? What are strategies to apply for funding? What challenges need to be overcome? The “Women’s Career Day 2017” offered multiple answers to these questions.

The participants at the career days in March 2017 could choose from four parallel one-day workshops covering the topics “Conflict resolution skills”, “Grant writing and European research funding”, “Career orientation training”, and “Leadership in Academia”. Considering the participant’s international backgrounds, all workshops were held in English.

“For me, this is extremely helpful,” says Deniza Chekrygina. The PhD student (PIER) joined the workshop on “Conflict Resolutions Skills”. “We were talking about conflicts that can emerge for women in academia, hierarchical conflicts and gender related conflicts. This is really important because usually you don’t emphasize it because men don’t understand it,” Chekrygina says. In the beginning, the workshop approached the topic by working on fictional conflicts. This allows for eye-opening experiences, workshop trainer Maike Staben explains. “There is a positive aspect about conflicts,” she says and makes clear that understanding this approach is crucial for reaching the workshop’s goal: to change one’s attitude towards conflicts. Thinking from this new perspective, the group started to work on conflicts experienced in real-life.

PhD student Katrin Adamczyk (CUI) was especially interested in the workshop for grant writing and European research funding. “The workshop introduced us to programs and offers of national and international organisations. Furthermore, we learned about strategies and techniques of what to consider for grant writing and it’s formalities. This practical approach really helps and offers hands-on tools to get going,” Adamczyk emphasizes. The practical workshop in small groups ties in with a prior event that provided her with the theoretical background.

“It’s great to see that the Women’s Career Day at Campus Bahrenfeld has been established as a forum for personal and professional exchange for female scientists here on campus, and that we experience such great feedback and participation each year,” says equal opportunities officer Marie Lutz.

The Women’s Career Day is organized annually for PhD students and Post Docs. The tailor-made workshops offer different topics to female scientist to develop their individual perspective on careers in science and hand-on tools for career development as well as other soft-skills. Free childcare is provided to enable every scientist to participate in the workshops.

The event is a joint venture by CUI, EMBL, the collaborative research centres 676, 925, and PIER.

Text: Adler, CUI

CUI News

Women's Career Day 2016

Qualified by numbers

“Gone are the days of the quiet scholar,” says Prof. Louise Morley, Director of the “Centre for Higher Education & Equity Research” (CHEER) at the University of Sussex. The economization of whole areas of society is to blame for the fatal development which does not spare science either, says the educationalist. For the first time the organizers from CUI, SFB 676, PIER and the co-operation partners RTG 1670, EMBL, CSSB and SFB 925 had invited to an evening event within the Women’s Career Day series in the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science (CFEL), which placed science into a greater societal context.

Under the title “Gender, neoliberalism and research in the global knowledge economy”, Morley sketched the impacts of neoliberalism: In this normative culture things are metricised, graded and qualified by numbers to maximize value. Morley: “We are looking at ourselves as investments. It’s not a question of people consenting, it’s about funding.” Neoliberalism rewards people or crushes them and thus plays with their emotions. In the end there are just winners or losers. “The question now is,” Morley said, “does this coincide with gender binaries?”

These provocative theses gave food for thought. Especially natural sciences using ultra-modern facilities need large sums of money, as one of the listeners added. Collaborations are good solutions, confirmed Morley – having in mind that this is also underlined by gender principals. “We hope that with these kind of lectures we can make people aware of the hidden mechanisms”, said Marie Lutz, Equal Opportunity Officer at CUI, who moderated the evening.

Beyond that, the main emphasis of the third Women’s Career Days was the training of practical skills. The topics ranged from project management via self-marketing for women to time-management within research and leadership training. “The fact that the workshops were booked quite early, stresses how relevant these topics are for our target group. I am particularly pleased that this year’s Women’s Career Day with 36 participants from 14 nations reflects how international our research groups are,” said Wiebke Kircheisen, Managing Director of the Collaborative Research Center “Particles Strings and the Early Universe” (SFB 676). Mirko Siemssen, Coordinator of PIER, the strategic partnership between DESY and Universität Hamburg, added: “If we continue successfully to respond to individual needs and at the same time to focus on the societal context, we are on the right track here in Bahrenfeld.”

Report in UHH newsletter

Recording of the talk by Louise Morley

Women's Career Day 2015

Communication and career paths for female academics

Well-informed, reflective and self-confident – these are criteria the female academics of the next generation are expected to fulfill if they want to be successful. During this year's Women’s Career Day 60 PhD candidates and postdocs learned important skills to help them do so.

In four parallel all-day workshops on February 20 and 21, the young researchers developed new perspectives on career paths and opportunities, conflict management and writing professional applications. The program was offered to female researchers from both Universität Hamburg’s MIN faculty and Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron (DESY).

In a workshop entitled “Navigator Wanted! Career Orientation for Women in Academia”, the participants learned the importance of good career planning. Another workshop focused on presentation techniques, with emphasis on vocal power and body language. Professional communication was also addressed in the workshop on conflict management, which further let participants use role plays to prepare for potential crisis situations. In the training on writing applications the participants developed their own application strategies and were familiarized with the current standards. Additionally, participants used the time between the workshops to exchange experience and network between the different institutions and disciplines.

This year’s installment of the annual Women’s Career Day was organized by various research centers of Universität Hamburg (CliSAP, CUI, RTG 1670, SFB 676, SFB 925) in cooperation with the MIN faculty and PHGS.

Interview with career coach Steffi Beckhaus in UHH news letter

Impressum  | last modified 28 Mar 2014