Education, engagement, and career development for early career scientists
In August 2023, the German Center for Mental Health (DZPG) offered early career scientists (ECS) a one-week Berlin Summer School on “Promoting mental health as a science and as a profession” at Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin. It helps ECS acquire skills related to research and professional advancement in mental health careers and present and discuss pressing mental health issues in 2023.
Organized in collaboration with the Association for the Improvement of Mental Health Programs, the Summer School was chaired by Andreas Heinz, Anja Bondke Persson and Norman Sartorius, and coordinated by Assina Seitz, Shuyan Liu, and ECS representatives at the DZPG and at the partner site in Berlin and Potsdam.
It was composed of two parts, one dealing with the acquisition of leadership and professional skills and the second containing a series of presentations by leading experts covering a wide range of topics about multicentre studies, youth mental health, digital intervention, and stigma. Importantly, the Summer School offered an opportunity to receive career advice and to strengthen the commitment to patient and public involvement and engagement, equality, diversity, inclusion, and promotion of ECS.
The lectures were given by our experts in the field, such as Jonathan Czollek, Andreas Fallgatter, Andreas Heinz, Christine Knaevelsrud, Silke Lipinski, Christian Otte, Anja Bondke Persson, Norman Sartorius, and Silvia Schneider. It reached a wider audience including ECS who come from Colombia, Croatia, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Kenya, Pakistan, Turkey, Ukraine, and the United States.
By the end of Summer School, the audience gave valuable and constructive feedback. Overall, the audience rated the Summer School of very good quality and very useful and their expectations were completely fulfilled.
Of 11 topics (Part 1), the audience found that learning how to “make a presentation”, “answer a question”, and “decide on priorities?” were most useful for their professional life. They also wish to know about how to “make a study design”, “write a scientific article”, and “balance life and work”.
Regarding lectures by leading experts (Part 2), the audience was eager to learn more about psychotherapy research, digital mental health, clinical studies, psychometrics / patient-reported outcomes, and patient and public involvement. Lectures on fighting stigma and discrimination, addressing youth mental health and diversity, and promoting early career scientists, and giving career advice were highly appreciated.
Moreover, the trending topics not yet being addressed included “ethics”, “statistics”, “medical education”, “clinical research with/about neglected populations”, “diversity policy”, “population health moderation and intervention”, “migration and mental health”, and “role models/projects from other countries/global”. Lastly, the audience also hopes for the networking events.
ECS are agents of change, our future leaders, and driving forces in promoting mental health. Thus, making investments to educate, engage, excite, and empower them will provide dividends now and in the future.
The DZPG will continue to foster training programmes, student and academic exchanges, collaborative research, and pooling of resources to acquire grants and scholarships. It will also support the establishment of hubs for networks and promote the expansion of international competence in Germany.
written by Shuyan Liu
“Early career scientists are the future, the world needs science, and science needs young talents.” --- Shuyan Liu
On behalf of the spokespersons at the partner sites and the head office: Peter Falkai, Andreas J. Fallgatter, Gabriel Gerlinger, Rüdiger Hannig, Andreas Heinz, Silke Lipinski, Andreas Meyer-Lindenberg, Silvia Schneider, and Martin Walter
and at the partner site Berlin/Potsdam: Nadja Samia Bahr, Irina Baskow, Isabel Dziobek, Christoph Correll, Paul Gellert, Melissa Gül Halil, Christine Heim, Christine Knaevelsrud, Christian Otte, Michael Rapp, and Matthias Rose.
On behalf of ECS representatives at the DZPG: Simone Behrens, Edda Bilek, Isabel Brandhorst, Vera Clemens, Lejla Colic, Christoph Korn, János Kálmán, Lina Riedl, Janine Selle, Robert Stark, Verena Pflug, David Popovic, Jana Tegelbeckers, Christina Totzeck, and Ruth von Brachel.
and at the partner site Berlin/Potsdam: Mareike Bayer, Maria Böttche, Woo Ri Chae, Shuyan Liu, Nora Moog, Alexander Obbarius, Julie O’Sullivan, and Mira Tschorn.
In collaboration with the Association for the Improvement of Mental Health Programs, in Geneva, represented by Norman Sartorius.
and Nachwuchsförderung at Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin, represented by Achim Kramer and Anja Bondke Persson.
Supported by German Center for Mental Health (DZPG)
The Summer School was funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung [BMBF]) and the federal state of Berlin within the initial phase of the German Center for Mental Health (DZPG) (grant: 01EE2301G)
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