Skills which are sometimes overlooked are incredibly important to essential things which can determine how successful your work is - developing original and creative ways of thinking, communication of your work beyond your lab, communicating with your research team and colleagues, communication with students to encourage the next generation of scientists. These skills are not optional extras, they are essential, but who gets any training on these issues? Almost nobody!! This section provides a chance to explore these themes.
Supervision and mentoring
Everything has been written on what makes a good supervisor or an effective mentor. But unfortunately, recommendations formulated with a lot of “should” are not enough, and practices in the lab point to a different world: PhD students and postdocs keep complaining of being considered as “extra pairs of hands in the lab” or worse than that, of failure by supervisors “to treat subordinates and junior colleagues with respect due to any human being, utter lack of professionalism or rivalry and abuse”! (quoted from a recent forum initiated by PostdocNet - http://nextwave.sciencemag.org/pdn 2003). What is needed is a change in practices and in values. To read more, please click the title...
Written pieces reveal competences; writing develops and enhances skills and competences. Click title to read about how to improve your communication skills and browse resources.
Researchers are challenged to give evidence of the skills they have acquired and developed. Pressure has been increasing to bridge the gap between education and society and to rethink graduate education in front of the difficulties graduates experience when seeking employment. Click title to read article and browse the listed resources.
“The purpose of teaching responsible conduct of research (RCR) is to promote integrity in the work of scientists, scholars, and professionals involved in the field of scientific inquiry and practice. Responsible and ethical research behavior of scientists, research institutions, and government agencies, has historically relied on a system of self-regulation based on shared ethical principles and generally accepted practices (…) Blatant forms of research misconduct in the past including cases involving fabrication, falsification or plagiarism resulted in political attention and reaction during the 1980s.(…)” see RCR Education Resources at http://rcrec.org/r/index.php. Please click the title to read more...
For more information on any of these topics, please see the website fo the Reflexives project
The ESConet (European Science Communication network) provides training seminars on the communication of science particularly for early stage researchers. Topics include writing and presenting skills, presenting your work to policy makers, the media and lay audiences. Click title to read more...