New Career Development Program helps young researchers succeed

- If you want to build a research career, it's not enough to be highly skilled or to have a great talent, says UiB's Pro-Rector Margareth Hagen.

Margareth Hagen
Pro-Rector Margareth Hagen have initiated the new Career Development Program.
Emil Weatherhead Breistein

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In September 2017, UiB launches the Career Program "Momentum" for young researchers. The program is a new initiative, where postdoctoral candidates and associate professors at the university can apply to participate.

- The Rectorate wants to focus on younger researchers who wish to invest in a scientific career. The career program is an important part of this initiative, says Pro-Rector Margareth Hagen.

Participants will receive mentor follow-up and special seminars. They will learn how to handle challenges such as balancing research activities, several projects, interaction between research and education, collaboration with administrative support, business links, interdisciplinary initiatives, and internationalization.

- Not enough to be highly skilled

The background for the initiative is an academic landscape in rapid development, which places high demands on professional management and development of research projects. Through the program, participants get access to valuable networks and skills to develop their own personal career.

- The academic landscape has become more international, competitive and based on externally funded research. If one wants to build a research career, it's not enough to be highly skilled, or have a great talent, Hagen says.

- You could be fortunate and succeed by pure luck, but it is preferable to have a plan, know the craft and be aware of what it takes if you want to succeed as a researcher. This is also essential when developing a good working environment for yourself. Researchers have to know how to create a network, how to build a good resume, which is the better journal, and how to target the EU research programmes. As employer and institution, we have a responsibility to assist.

Application deadline for the career program is October 6th, 2017.

Will introduce more initiatives for younger researchers

In addition to the Momentum Career Development Program, there is also a new ERC program for researchers under construction. The purpose of this program is to support selected researchers in preparing competitive proposals to the ERC in the period 2018-2020.

- By 2022, all our faculties shall have a professional environment of high international standard. One way to achieve this is through systematic career development for younger research talent, so that they can compete for ERC funds, says Hagen.

The focus of this program is on Starting Grants. Candidates will receive a tailor-made module-based program, directed towards a particular announcement and year. Important modules in the program are a mentoring scheme, where candidates receive support from senior, advanced researchers and help in evaluating and building a strong CV. The ERC program will also include courses in presentation skills, ethics, bibliometry and a study trip to Brussels.