HGS-HIRe Softskills

It is widely accepted that demonstrating a broad range of generic and transferable skills is an essential development requirement for research students irrespective of how they see their career developing.

In most graduate programs the transferable skills - or softskills - education is organized by topical courses with a strong focus on a single skill like scientific writing, time management or presentation skills.

HGS-HIRe is breaking new ground and has developed, together with experienced trainers from the UK, an integrated series of three courses focusing on various transferable skills together, combining different aspects of professional, personal development.

Participating on these courses and other related events throughout the participantship in HGS-HIRe will, we believe, help you become a more effective researcher. It will enhance the way you contribute to your chosen area of science and technology and it will also help support your development along your future career path.

Our mid term goal is that all HGS-HIRe participants participate in these courses. Participants should take one course per year of participantship. The second course can only be taken after completion of the first course, the third only after the second. Depending on your progress in your PhD you might not be able to take all three courses. HGS-HIRe will offer a combined extra course in 2011 for participants in their third year.

Here is a basic layout of the three courses:

Making an Impact as an Effective Researcher

The first course will focus on building the core skills required to make a strong personal impact in the work place and to be able to contribute effectively when working in teams.
The course will help raise awareness about individual preferences and their impact of others. It will explore how an individual can use their strengths to most effect, whether they are presenting to an audience of academics or working in a cross disciplinary research team. Participants will also have the opportunity to work in a number of teams and gain feedback on their impact and performance.

Leading teams in a Research Environment

The second course will build on the key aspects of the first and will focus more on leadership and the challenges of leading teams, particularly those in the research environment.
The course will focus on three aspects Leading Self, Leading Others and Leading Projects. Activities will be built around a range of interactions working in different groups and teams. The course will also revisit and refine aspects of presentation skills covered in the first programme.

Leadership and Career Development

The third course will provide participants with an opportunity to look ahead and build their understanding, skills and confidence in the key areas of career planning, career development and the further development of their leadership style.

Using the participants' skills and expertise, the course will explore what is important for them in terms of ongoing career development. Working individually and in groups participants will be encouraged to build a clear picture of what they want to do, who they want to be, and how they want to get there. They will also build on their understanding of personal leadership, career planning and the skills and competencies organisations require when recruiting and developing employees.

What participants say about the courses

All tutors were motivated and enthusiastic!
-- Cathrin Wälzlein

At the beginning I wasn't sure if and in what manner the course will be useful for me. But the more events and activities occurred the more I was impressed what I've learnt... about others, me and interesting group dynamics and how to work better within a group.
-- Robert Jaeger

Very good learning environment, excellent atmosphere.
-- Ioannis Bouras

Tutors are very good, practically perfect.
-- Patrick Puppel

It exceeded my expectations by giving so much practical insights.
-- Robert Lüchtenborg

Very much suited for the needs in my current situation. The information was given to me a in convincing and self-evident way.
-- Tobias Göcke

The course helped me to understand my own abilities and potential, to develop a plan for my future professional career and personal development.
-- Valerii Panin

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