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Leadership Programme dovetails theory and practice

The further female scientists advance in their career path, the more the perception of their own role changes: While postgraduate and postdoctoral students mainly still see themselves as researchers and partly also as teachers, the picture alters in the course of habilitation. Professors define themselves as researchers, teachers, leaders and science managers. This is the results of the research of Dr. Kristin Knipfer, Senior Researcher in Research and Science Management at the Technische Universität München, and Prof. Brooke Shaughnessy, Junior Professor at the LMU. Together the trainers of the School of Management held the first module of the Academic Leadership Programme end of September 2014 on campus Bahrenfeld.

The programme was developed as a series of workshops by the Hamburg Centre for Ultrafast Imaging (CUI) in co-operation with the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, the MIN-Faculty and the Career Center. On four occasions, spread across the winter term, advanced researchers like postdoctoral students, young group leaders, private tutors and junior professors engage intensively in the topic of leadership. “Spreading the modules across the term is an important aspect of the programme”, Marie Lutz says. The scientists would be able to transfer the theoretical input into practice and then return to the next module with the experience acquired. Lutz: “This way we aim to dovetail theory and practice.”

Being in charge of the first module of the programme, Marie Lutz succeeded Wiebke Kircheisen as Equal Opportunity Officer with CUI. Wiebke Kircheisen was significantly involved in design and organisation of the programme. Since intensive seminar work and an extensive component of reflection with self-evaluation and evaluation by the relative work group are part of the workshops, the amount of participants is limited to 15. The participants come from different research areas, but according to Lutz “the challenges which female scientists encounter in leadership and in defining their individual leadership profile are similar regardless of the respective discipline”.

After the first event “Leadership Identity: Developing as a Leader”at the Centre for Free-Electron Laser Science (CFEL) on campus Bahrenfeld, the next module with the title “Leadership Style: How to Lead Effectively” will take part at the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, followed by the Geomatikum (Getting a Leadership Position) and another module at CFEL (Wrap-Up and Reflections). As for previous events it is especially important to offer the workshops in English. Lutz: “We are doing international top class research. This is reflected in the internationality of our scientists. Several participants reported that they would not have been able to participate in a programme in German.”