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Women’s Career Day: Conflicts can be good

What is important in a scientific career? What are strategies to apply for funding? What challenges need to be overcome? The “Women’s Career Day 2017” offered multiple answers to these questions.

The Women’s Career Day is organized annually for PhD students and Post Docs. Credit: M. Grefe, SFB 676

The participants at the career days in March 2017 could choose from four parallel one-day workshops covering the topics “Conflict resolution skills”, “Grant writing and European research funding”, “Career orientation training”, and “Leadership in Academia”. Considering the participant’s international backgrounds, all workshops were held in English.

Workshop trainer Maike Staben wants to convey a new attitude towards conflicts. Credit: M. Grefe, SFB 67

“For me, this is extremely helpful,” says Deniza Chekrygina. The PhD student (PIER) joined the workshop on “Conflict Resolutions Skills”. “We were talking about conflicts that can emerge for women in academia, hierarchical conflicts and gender related conflicts. This is really important because usually you don’t emphasize it because men don’t understand it,” Chekrygina says. In the beginning, the workshop approached the topic by working on fictional conflicts. This allows for eye-opening experiences, workshop trainer Maike Staben explains. “There is a positive aspect about conflicts,” she says and makes clear that understanding this approach is crucial for reaching the workshop’s goal: to change one’s attitude towards conflicts. Thinking from this new perspective, the group started to work on conflicts experienced in real-life.

PhD student Katrin Adamczyk (CUI) was especially interested in the workshop for grant writing and European research funding. “The workshop introduced us to programs and offers of national and international organisations. Furthermore, we learned about strategies and techniques of what to consider for grant writing and it’s formalities. This practical approach really helps and offers hands-on tools to get going,” Adamczyk emphasizes. The practical workshop in small groups ties in with a prior event that provided her with the theoretical background.

“It’s great to see that the Women’s Career Day at Campus Bahrenfeld has been established as a forum for personal and professional exchange for female scientists here on campus, and that we experience such great feedback and participation each year,” says equal opportunities officer Marie Lutz.

The Women’s Career Day is organized annually for PhD students and Post Docs. The tailor-made workshops offer different topics to female scientist to develop their individual perspective on careers in science and hand-on tools for career development as well as other soft-skills. Free childcare is provided to enable every scientist to participate in the workshops.

The event is a joint venture by CUI, EMBL, the collaborative research centres 676, 925, and PIER. Text: Adler, CUI