AVA Advanced Researcher Skills School

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AVA and OMA Fellows attending the School.

All of the AVA Fellows attended an Advanced School on researcher skills training. The 4-day long event was held at the University of Liverpool between 23-27 June 2019.  This intense School aimed at preparing them for their future career, whether that would be in academia or industry. They were also joined by Fellows from OMA ITN which provided an excellent networking opportunity.

The first day morning was dedicated to tips and tricks for successful grant writing, whereas the afternoon covered discussions about differences between working in academia and industry.

Tuesday was delivered by career planning expert Sally Beyer who prepared an engaging and thought-provoking session where the Fellows evaluated their own skills, desires and aspirations. They used his evaluation to identify career pathways that are suitable for them. The afternoon then targeted CV writing and job interview skills.

Fellows evaluating their skills to discover their ideal career path.

Science, business and outreach communication was the topic for Wednesday, where the Fellows learned how to present themselves in a concise, catchy and memorable way to a variety of different audiences, such as businesses, editors or school children. 

The School was completed by a full-day training on international project management and communication, delivered by Dr Fraser Robertson from AVA partner Fistral. The Fellows collectively selected this as the best and most engaging session of the week and appreciated the opportunity to learn how to communicate with many different personality types.

Professor Carsten Welsch who developed the training concept as part of the previous oPAC and LA3NET networks, said: “Throughout the week, we focused on the specific skills that researchers need in order to be successful in their work – independent on whether they target a career in academia or industry. The School gave many opportunities to discuss different career avenues, the challenges researchers find in different sectors, and to reflect on how the Fellows can use the skills that they have now developed within the AVA project to boost their employability.”

This approach to researcher training has been presented at a number of national and international learning and teaching conferences and will continue to serve as a model for future trainings.

Special thanks go to the Liverpool staff members who contributed to the training and the Project TEAM for their help in the organization!