A6 - Competence profiles, grids and professional development: A complementary German approach to a competence development framework for early stage researchers

Day 1 at 14:45 - UniWiND/GUAT, the German University Association of Advanced Graduate Training, is an association of 33 universities that share the common objective of advancing the quality of academic education for early stage researchers, i.e. doctoral candidates and postdocs, in Germany. The association's members are organised in working groups to exchange professional experiences, initiate innovative concepts, and develop best practice models transcending disciplinary and university boundaries. One of the UniWiND/GUAT working groups addresses ‘Competence Profiles of Early Stage Researchers for Academic and Non-Academic Careers'. The German context of graduate training - involving graduate programs and umbrella institutions for graduate training - set the stage for the working group. An initial analysis of existing development frameworks, grids and models - among these the Vitae Researcher Development Framework - led to the conclusion that an approach complementing the existing models was desirable. Hence a primary objective of the group became the development of a specific development framework for doctoral candidates and postdoctoral researchers providing a conceptual basis for counselling and the design of training programs within the German context. The working group's approach is based on its members' extensive professional experience. Existing approaches and proven measures in graduate training programs of the German member institutions have been complemented by new ideas and considerations. Strand - All Researchers (practice).
Day Day 1
Session A
Start time 14:45
Strand All Researchers (practice)
Code A6
Presenters Dr Sibel Vurgun - Program Manager for Qualification and Skills, Dahlem Research School (DRS), Freie Universität Berlin, Germany
Dr Christian Dumpitak - Managing Director, iGRAD, rdisciplinary Graduate and Research Academy Düsseldorf, Heinrich-Heine-University Düsseldorf, Germany


The workshop covered:

A first draft of the working group's competence development framework was presented and discussed. This complementary model takes the German academic training system into account, identifying general "competence clusters" that are usually developed throughout the early stage researcher period. By considering competence development processes of adults these competence clusters were then associated with typical phases and challenges of the dissertation process. Based on this outcome, first conclusions and recommendations were drawn regarding the optimisation of counselling and training programs for early stage researchers addressing individual development phases in a more specific way.

Workshop outcomes:

At the end of this session participants:

  • developed a deeper awareness of challenges and opportunities in fitting their graduate institution's services and offers to the actual needs of developing researchers at various stages of their career as well as young researchers aiming at alternative career options.


Information, interaction and discussion.