The CRU326 implemented a management board (MB), which consists of the spokesperson, the research coordinator, two additional PIs, the clinical representative, and the equal opportunities representative. The MB meet monthly to coordinate the interdisciplinary knowledge transfer among departments, clinicians and scientists. Main aims are setting milestones and supervising the project's progress by requesting regular reports, managing the decentralised biobanks and identifying further crosslinks and novel areas of closer collaboration between projects and topics. In addition, the MB together with the PM organises workshops, retreats and symposia, and is responsible for improving the skills of the CRU members. Regular joint meetings for clinicians and scientists to strengthen knowledge and methodical transfer and to conduct translational research are established by the MB. This highly tightens collaboration and is, thus, considered an essential platform to improve understanding between clinical and basic scientist’s views.
Integration of the CRU within the Medical Faculty
In additon, we established links with the cluster of excellence 'Cells in Motion' (CiM) for gender equality measures and several career development tools of the Medical Faculty (see below).
Workshops & International Visibility
The management board organises different symposia open for all researchers in the field, such as our bi-monthly seminar series. National and international experts as well as the reviewers of the CRU326 were and will be invited, and do not only give state-of-the-art lectures, but also critically reflect and advise on the progress of the CRU326 in light of international competition and its global visibility.
For the interdisciplinary training of postdoctoral fellows and graduate students, we established another bi-monthly seminar series where CRU326 students present work in progress ('internal speakers meeting'). In addition, a mentoring programme for MSc and PhD students was established within the gender equality measurements of this clinical research unit. In accordance with the recently developed 'Career Planner of the Medical Faculty', it guides young members through their scientific career to establish themselves as independent researchers. Moreover, further activity includes workshops on scientific writing, project planning, grant applications and financial management. Complementary start-up funding ('pilot projects') are made available to promising early-career researchers as such that they can pursue independent projects following completion of their doctorates. Candidates are selected by the MB after competitive evaluation. For this, please pay attention to our regular pilot project calls.
Equal Opportunities & Gender Equality
Achieving equal opportunities and gender equality is a strategically important goal of the CRU326. In order to promote these goals, the following measures were installed.
- Firstly, our activities are embedded in the existing measures of several other research centres at the Medical Faculty. These include workshops for women on scientific and soft skills, like networking or leadership, offered on a regular basis. Furthermore, existing lecture series for young scientists and clinicians will be opened for our members. These joint measures greatly enhance and strengthen the effectiveness of our gender equality activities, which otherwise can only be of limited power.
- Secondly, specific meetings and workshops are offered for our female scientists in order to promote networking within the scientific community and to enable collaborations. This activity strengthens the position within the scientific community as well as enhances the competitiveness of our female researchers. Furthermore, travel and workshop grants are offered for young female researchers.
- Thirdly, we aim to support and enhance the balancing of family and career of CRU and CRU-associated employees by offering child care funding and installing a 'LabAid' sponsorship system.
- Additionally and already mentioned before, a mentoring programme especially tailored to the needs of our young female scientists was established. Individually selected (female) PIs all over the world guide and advise young female members of the CRU through their next career steps. Each mentor develops a personalised career plan in accordance with the mentee on which the individual progress will be monitored on a year-by-year basis. If you are interested in participating in our mentoring program, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Flexible working schedule, employment of laboratory assistance to compensate for parental leave and an advisory network constituted by established scientists, both male and female, ready to guide on issues related to better coordination of work and family needs do accompany these activities on gender equality!