In a series of recent career advice articles (1, 2) in Science, Lucas Laursen gave an overview of opportunities for scientist to acquire leadership and management skills, which we believe are essential for today’s challenges in an academic environment. The articles give a good overview and mention a number of important leadership and management tasks scientists face and which we address in our courses. Improving time management, setting priorities, delegating, dealing with conflicts, motivating co-workers and recruiting the right staff at the right time are a few examples.
Even though our courses are predominantly targeted to postdoctoral researchers and group leaders, we also offer workshops for PhD students at early career stages. Furthermore, we offer specific workshops for administrative and technical staff with leadership responsibilities in a scientific environment and for core facility managers. Obviously, junior scientists face different challenges than more senior academics, who in turn deal with other issues than administrators do. Thus, our workshops are individually tailored to the corresponding target audience we are catering for. For example, for core facility managers, budgeting and financial planning plays a more important role than for postdoctoral scientists.
We are able to adequately respond to specific requirements of our clients, because we have a large team of trainers with diverse backgrounds, most of them with many years of experience as scientists themselves. Therefore, we understand and can directly relate to actual problems and challenges our clients face on a regular basis. No matter what professional roles and positions our course participants have, all our workshops have a common goal: to enable our participants to productively deal with diverse professional challenges by providing a set of tried and tested tools, directly applicable to their everyday work. We have been doing this successfully for ten years now.