Supporting the next generation of researchers
How to achieve and work with a starting grant, the relationship between mentor and mentee and examples of academic career paths was on the agenda at second workshop of SWEAH: s career supporting course for postdoctoral fellows. The course is called “From junior to senior researcher in research on ageing and health” meant to help prepare junior researchers for successful careers as independent senior researchers within the research field of ageing and health.
CASE is responsible for SWEAH (the National Graduate School on Ageing and Health), coordinating education and training on the graduate and postdoc levels. SWEAH involves PhD students and their supervisors at 15 universities, as well as in Region Skåne.
This second workshop included a seminar with feedback on draft project proposals from assigned critical friends from CASE: Professor Susanne Iwarsson, Associate Professor Steven Schmidt and Assistant researcher Carlos Chiatti.
Malin Parmar, Professor in cellular neuroscience, Lund University, held a lecture about how to achieve and work with an ERC Starting Grant in Research on Ageing and Health.
-This is the best course I have ever attended, it’s so well structured, and I get ongoing feedback. I’m originally from Italy and therefore only had fragmented information about my academic career possibilities in Sweden, this is very helpful, says Rosalia Camporeale, postdoctoral fellow at the department of transport and roads, Lund University.
Jimmie Kristensson, Associate professor and vice Dean of the faculty of medicine and Carlos Chiatti , Assistant researcher at CASE, both from Lund University, shared their own career experiences with the participants.
-As junior researcher you seldom get this kind of information. I learned that failure is normal, that it is part of a learning process. Succeeding with a grant application seems to be partially luck and partially due to prior experience. This is a very enlightening experience that has given me new inspiration to carry on, says Jing Wu, postdoctoral fellow at the department of sociology and work science, Gothenburg University.
Currently, SWEAH is starting up a mentor programme for affiliated postdoctoral fellows. During the workshop, Katarina Billing, certified psychologist and professional coach, held a much-appreciated section about the roles in a mentor-mentee relationship.
-This is unique, the possibility to get a senior researcher from your own field of research as mentor. SWEAH offers us a supportive research environment that is sustainable for the future. That is difficult to find on your own, Rosalia Camporeale and Jing Wu, both agree.
During the course, Rosalia Camporeale and Jing Wu have also gotten to know other postdoctoral fellows from several of SWEAH’s 15 partner universities. As a result, they are now planning for a common research project together with other SWEAH affiliated postdoctoral fellows,
-That is why SWEAH is so relevant, we are part of a strong and sustainable network for junior researchers from many different disciplines that all have one thing in common, we are all conducting research within the field of ageing and health, they both agree.
Next up is the course examination, that will be organized as online group seminars in the beginning of October.
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