6 Specifics of the Program

The Neuro-aCSis program offers numerous other benefits and support mechanisms in addition to the substantial funding amount. Below you will find an overview of some of them.

Guaranteed Time off from Clinical Work

A grant from the Neuro-aCSis program includes a protected release of 66% of the working time for research activities. For this purpose, a binding declaration of commitment regarding the protected research time is prepared by the clinic director and the person receiving funding prior to the start of the funding. In addition, the clinic director guarantees in writing that the corresponding clinical tasks of the person will be taken over by other employees during the funding period.

Deviations from this statement may be reported directly to the program management by the CS representation of the Executive Board. Furthermore, compliance with the protected research time is also assessed annually during interim evaluations. Tandems with experienced Advanced Clinician Scientists are designed to help Neuro-aCSis fellows manage their time and make the most of their own research opportunities.

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Eine Wissenschaftlerin und ein Wissenschaftler arbeiten hinter einer Glasfassade und mischen Chemikalien mit Großgeräten.
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Mentoring Program

The CS are accompanied by a two-person mentoring team for the entire duration of the grant. This consists of a scientific and an external clinical mentor.

Scientific: The director of the host laboratory/collaborating clinic, where the research project is carried out, is responsible for supervising the CS in the acquisition of the required knowledge and skills, scientific career guidance and the use of the required technologies. The person oversees the achievement of scientific milestones and support the development of scientific skills. The scientific mentor also advises on the planning of extramural grant applications.

Clinical: This person usually has a clinician-scientist background themselves, but does not work at UKB personally. This allows the CS to discuss general aspects of the career planning and management of clinical and scientific work, as well as potential problems encountered while working in the clinic or research laboratory.

The mentor team will provide ongoing advice and feedback, assess progress based on agreed-upon milestones, and ensure that the resident has sufficient time and resources for clinical training, research, and curricular education. This dialogue will continue beyond the duration of the Neuro-aCSis program so that mentors can support fellows as they continue their careers.

Qualification Program

During the funding period, CS are given access to a comprehensive qualification program. Here, they can choose from different modules and thus tailor the program to their personal needs. During the three-year funding period, a total of 12 credit points must be achieved, 5 from the Academic Skills portfolio, 5 from Transferable Skills, and 2 through regular attendance at a neuroscience lecture series.

The Academic Skills section includes, among other things, courses on good scientific practice and on various experimental laboratory techniques and methods for data processing. In the Transferable Skills section, courses on didactics and rhetoric, project management and career planning are offered. In addition, there are specific workshops on preparation for writing applications for third-party funding. In the last funding year, there is also the opportunity to participate in advanced training courses on the topic of leadership qualifications.

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Eine Wissenschaftlerin und ein Wissenschaftler arbeiten hinter einer Glasfassade und mischen Chemikalien mit Großgeräten.
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Scientific Network

Guidance in scientific and personal career development is a central aspect of the Neuro-aCSis program. An annual retreat provides CSs with an adequate framework to present and discuss their research projects and personal career development. The outstanding research conditions at the University Medical Center Bonn also offer extensive opportunities to get involved and network in already existing research networks. The CS are also actively involved in existing journal and data clubs. Furthermore, they are given the opportunity to attend seminar series on various topics or to present their research results at local, topic-specific conferences.

Similarly to the Young PI Network of the Cluster of Excellence ImmunoSensation2, CS will also be motivated to organize themselves in their own community for scientific exchange. In the context of the already well-established BONFOR symposium, there will also be a half-day section specifically on CS from the Neuro-aCSis program. Finally, they can apply for funds to attend international conferences or to invite guest speakers from abroad.

Uncomplicated Contact

The research time and also the corresponding financial support can only be used effectively if problems in the project planning are solved quickly. Experience has shown that CS are confronted with a large number of obstacles, especially administrative ones, at the beginning of the funding period. In order to be able to guarantee fast and uncomplicated assistance here, the Coordination Office for Internal Funding is available to the scientists as a first point of contact.

In addition to funding advice, the office offers direct support in administrative processes such as procurement, material transfer and event planning. Furthermore, it enables direct referral to competent contact persons and contact points at UKB and the University of Bonn.

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Eine Wissenschaftlerin und ein Wissenschaftler arbeiten hinter einer Glasfassade und mischen Chemikalien mit Großgeräten.
© colorbox.de

Scientific Autonomy

The CSs are allowed to manage the material funds from the Neuro-aCSis grant independently and autonomously. In addition, they are encouraged to publish their research results consistently as first author or, if the relevant requirements are met, also as last author.

In the second funding year, they also have the opportunity to apply for additional funding for a Technical Assistance or PhD position through the BONFOR program. Of course, CS may also submit applications for external funding to the DFG or other funding organizations. These efforts are actively supported by the Funding Advisory Service of the Medical Faculty and the University of Bonn.

Finally, the Dean, UKB Medical Director, and Executive Board will form a committee to support each fellow's individual career by discussing long-term employment opportunities and career options with the CS and respective clinical director.

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