Certificate Programme for Junior Professors
With the heiTRACKS certificate programme, Heidelberg University accompanies its new junior professors in a structured and individual way during the whole of this six-year career phase. This applies regardless of whether they have tenure track status or not. It enables an optimum cross-disciplinary support for the junior professors and well-founded preparation for a full professorship (W3-Professur).
The programme consists of a basic module and an advanced module. After regular participation in the modules the junior professor receives a certificate.
Basic Module Career Planning
The basic module focuses on the early planning of the “junior professorship” career phase. The first stage, i.e. arriving and setting at Heidelberg University, is supported on the basis of individual needs. Soon after junior professors take up their positions, staff members of the Personnel Development Department offer them a personal entrance meeting about cross-disciplinary career planning.
The entrance meeting has the following content:
- tailoring the programme to the personal situation of the junior professor
- making an individual selection of topics to cover in the advanced module
Advanced Module Career Planning
The advanced module has three components. Each component has a number of content options, from which junior professors can choose based on personal needs, prior knowledge and requirements at the institute.
Component I: Training
GOAL: Structured, transferable skill development as preparation for the W3 professorship
The junior professors put together their individual “package” from the training offerings in the four topic areas below. To obtain the certificate, candidates must take at least 60 hours of course training during the six-year programme, with at least one course from each area:
Transferable skills and personal development
The focus here is on further developing individual transferable skills. The range of topics goes from leadership skills to project management to communication. The junior professors are also eligible to participate in the management programme “Towards a Professorship”.
In this topic area the junior professors receive support regarding their own research, with an emphasis on acquiring third-party funding. The coursework ranges from conveying information to individual support in submitting grant applications.
Teaching and learning
The aim here is to give support in planning and conducting research-oriented teaching. It includes, for example, individual coaching on teaching and learning methods, or the professional support of innovative teaching projects.
This topic covers aspects of internal administration and workflows at Heidelberg University. Offerings range from legal issues to budgeting to processes of personnel administration.
Component II: Events
GOAL: Knowledge about internal structures and networks at Heidelberg University
To obtain the certificate, the participants must attend at least six events during the six years.
Attending the events from the range on offer at Heidelberg University enables the junior professors to gain insights into internal structures and networks. This facilitates orientation and individual positioning, which are beneficial for successful work at Heidelberg University. It is also a good opportunity for setting up personal networks outside individual departments, which facilitates interdisciplinary work.
Component III: Individual consultation (optionally)
GOAL: Clarifying individual questions in the work context
Individual coaching provides participants a hand-selected professional coach to support focused professional development. Typical coaching topics might include leadership skills, role clarification, conflict management etc. The Personnel Development service works with junior professors to find the right coach based on the needs and goals of the participant.
Junior professors will be assisted to form a peer-coaching group after an introduction to the method by a professional coach. The group's goals are to resolve professional issues with the assistance of colleagues, interdisciplinary exchange, and to provide relation-building opportunities.