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Centre for Young Scientists

Centre

Technische Universität Chemnitz is particularly committed to the needs of young academics intending to take a doctoral degree. The aim is to provide favourable conditions for the research of young academics, doctoral candidates and postdocs. Against this background, the Centre for Young Scientists was established in 2014.

The Centre for Young Scientists is a cross-faculty coordination and service institution. Services range from from offering help during the doctoral and postdoctoral phase to in-service trainings, consultations and networking opportunities for young academics. Moreover, the institution committed itself to the sustainable promotion and enhancement of a higher education infrastructure accompanied by measures serving identity development. These include both sensitization and guidance of university members as well as a new impetus towards comprehensive standards, e.g. principles of good scientific practice.

The services at the Centre for Young Scientists complement the education and consultation offers of the faculties.


Range of services:

  • Interdisciplinary trainings for young academics
  • Provision of comprehensive information related to doctoral degree and habilitation
  • Consultation on cross-faculty matters
  • Individual support in particularly challenging phases
  • Supporting the interdisciplinary exchange between young academics
  • Assistance in defining professional goals and developing career plans

Review 2016

Looking back at 2016, the Centre for Young Scientist (ZfwN) can draw an overall positive balance. A total of 27 workshops took place. All of them addressing PhD students, PostDocs and junior professors with the goal of supporting, advising and encouraging them in the pursuit of their doctoral thesis, scientific work or career planning. In additional to the German workshop programme, 13 of these workshops were held in English. Main topics for this year's workshop were:

  • Academic writing
  • Presenting scientific content
  • Scientific publishing
  • Research projects & acquisition of external funds
  • Performance, expression and effect
  • Personal skills
  • Intercultural competences
  • Career after the doctorate

Eight of the workshops were organized within the project InProTUC. InProTUC (International Promovieren an der TU Chemnitz) is located at the ZfwN and funded by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). The project supports doctoral candidates of Chemnitz University of Technology as well as international PhDs in terms of realising international research visits, insight visits as well as conferences attendances aboard (so called mobilities) by paying travel and subsistence allowances. In addition to the mentioned workshop programme, two information events were hosted in 2016 during which InProTUC and its funding opportunities were presented under the title „Boost your Career with International Experience“.

Over the entire year, a total of 20 research visits abroad, six research visits by international students at Chemnitz University of Technology as well as 25 participations of doctoral candidates at international conferences were funded under InProTUC. Additionally, one insight visit at Chemnitz University of Technology was realised. Furthermore, preparatory meetings with lecturers of potential partner institutions took place. Six lectures from Italy, Thailand, India, Chile, Norway and the US came together with their German colleagues in Chemnitz in order to plan and organise joint research, further cooperation and international exchange.

In addition to the mobilities and the workshop programme, the ZfwN hosts a yearly conference on the topic of the doctorate. On the 3rd November 2016, the Day for Young Scientists was held for the fourth time. Among the 120 guest were doctoral students, PostDocs, professors and junior professors as well as students interested in pursuing a doctorate. They attended a number of informative and professional presentations from lecturers, experts in fields of economy and research and doctoral students themselves. One of the speakers was Prof. Dr. Robert Schlögl from Fritz-Haber-Institute of the Max-Planck-Society. Besides the presentations, the event left room for networking and sharing experiences and ended with a Science Slam during which four contestants competed again each other with 7 minute long presentations trying to excite the audience for their own research topics.

In 2016, the Yearbook of the Graduates was published. It names all the PhD graduates from 2014 and 2015 and presents a few selected dissertations from the eight faculties of Chemnitz University of Technology.

Furthermore, the ZwfN organised the kick-off session of the Graduate School Human Factors: Information, Assistance, Automation on 26th Mai 2016. The focus of the Graduate School lays on different cooperation designs about the use of advances technical systems. More than 30 guests attended the presentations by professors from Chemnitz University of Technology, doctoral students from the Graduate School and Prof. Dr. Karel A. Brookhuis from University of Groningen (Netherlands).

In order to ensure the quality of the services provided by the ZfwN, the evaluation of workshops and mobilities by the participants are standard. Additionally, a survey for doctoral students, PostDocs and students of the Chemnitz University of Technology was done in October. Subject of the inquiry were participants experiences with the ZfwN, their questions about PhD programme, career planning and their feedback for the ZfwN. Thanks to a large turnout, the results will be used by the ZfwN to improve and adjust their offerings.

At the end of 2016, a personal change took place at the ZfwN. Prof. Dr. Heinrich Lang was superseded as the director of the Centre for Young Scientists by Prof. Dr. Jörn Ihlemann.

The review available for download: Here

Review 2015

Reviewing the year 2015, the Centre for Young Scientists (ZfwN) has an overall positive outcome. The ZfwN successfully conducted 17 workshops with the goal to support doctoral candidates, postdocs and junior professors in the process of their doctorate and/or in their scientific carriers. The main focus of the workshops is summarized as follows:

  • Academic writing
  • Presenting scientific content
  • Scientific publishing
  • Performance, expression and effect
  • Research projects & resource acquisition
  • Personal skills
  • Intercultural competences
  • Career after the doctorate

Furthermore, workshops on Good Scientific Practice, Networking and Teaching were offered. The workshops on the development of personal skills were highly demanded: Improved Reading, Time-Management as well as Planning the Doctorate only to name few.

The courses were mostly held in German (14 out of 17 workshops), three were carried out in English. In total 180 people participated in the workshops and over 95% of them were satisfied or very satisfied and would recommend the course.

In 2015, the Day for Young Scientists took place for the third time. On the 19th November lectures on good scientific practice by Prof. Dr. Brigitte Jockusch (Ombudswoman for science of Deutsche Forschungsgesellschaft) and on structured doctorate by Prof. Dr. Bernadette Malinowski (dean of the Faculty of Humanities at TU Chemnitz) were held. Between presentations, the young academics had the chance to network with each other as well as with the speakers.

InProTUC (International Promovieren an der TU Chemnitz) is a project located at the ZfwN and funded by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). The project supports doctoral candidates of the TU Chemnitz as well as international PhDs in terms of realizing international research visits, insight visits as well as conferences attendances aboard (so called mobilities) by paying travel and subsistence allowances. In 2015, InProTUC supported 72 of those mobilites, among them 25 research visits (21 aboard and four at the TU Chemnitz). Furthermore, 47 doctoral students attended conferences abroad with the support of the project. In terms of training, InProTUC was able to expand the range of courses available also for international doctoral candidates. Five of the courses were held in English and two in German. There was a high demand for courses in the field of international research cooperation. Topics ranged from scientific publishing and Designing Academic posters to the development of professional networks.

Furthermore, the graduate school "Human Factors: Information, Assistance, Automation" was established on 1st July, 2015 under the umbrella of the ZfwN followed by an internal kick-off event on 3rd July allowing an exchange between professors and doctoral candidates. Doctoral candidates can become members of the graduate school if their research is interdisciplinary and touches the fields media, demography, mobility/ autonomic driving and production with production assistance systems. Several conferences were attended by the members of the graduate school where doctoral candidates got to present their own projects and to discuss those with other researchers. Also, external speakers were invited to TU Chemnitz to encourage and supplement the discourse on site.

The review available for download: here

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