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Focus on early career researchers

Open letter to the heads of the Berlin University Alliance

News from Feb 25, 2021

With an open letter, early career researchers address the heads of the partner institutions of the Berlin University Alliance (BUA) – Freie Universität Berlin, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Technische Universität Berlin, Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin. In the letter, they address challenges that early career researchers are facing – such as increasingly negative mental health impacts. They submit constructive suggestions to improve the situation.

The Berlin University Alliance has set itself the goal of improving conditions for all doctoral candidates of the four partner institutions. „Promoting Talent“ is therefore one of their objectives. The „Graduate Studies Support Program“ bundles qualification offers for all doctoral candidates of the partner institutions – including events on mental health/resilience.

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Dr. Sabine Kunst, president of the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin and spokesperson of the Berlin University Alliance: “We are pleased that as a result of an event organized by the Berlin University Alliance, early career researchers are actively engaging in the discourse on mental health and doctoral conditions, and advocating for improvements. As BUA, we are aware – especially in these pandemic times – that mental health is an increasingly important issue in the higher education landscape, and one that we are paying particular attention to within our objective “Promoting Talent”. We want to attract and retain early career researchers, which is why the qualification of doctoral candidates is a core concern of BUA. We are combining the strengths of all four institutions and have thus made the broad educational offering for doctoral candidates even more complete and of higher quality. In this context, we have noticed a strong demand for questions on the topic of mental health and are already increasingly addressing this topic in our offers and events. Our goal is to harmonize and improve promotional conditions in the BUA. We are in talks with all the partner institutions to set up concrete projects that address this issue in the long term. The letter has just been published and, of course, we will address the concerns of the early career researchers who wrote it and engage in dialogue with them.”

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