SCIENCE Young Investigator Coaching (YIC)

At SCIENCE, young scientists have the opportunity to join the Young Investigator Coaching (YIC) programme. YIC is an intensive coaching programme focusing on professional and personal challenges related to external collaboration and career development. The programme is an example of how SCIENCE works to bridge the gap between the research and the business community.

Target group, purpose and outcome

The YIC programme targets postdocs, assistant professors and associate professors employed at SCIENCE.

The purpose of the programme is to help the participants take their research and career forward focusing on company collaborations. To achieve this, the programme offers intensive coaching sessions using experienced coaches from the business community. The sessions revolve around the participants' self-sustained career challenges and desired career goals, where the industry's role plays an implicit part. The sessions will also provide the participants with valuable insights on relation-building and research collaboration from a business perspective.

Amongst other recognized and beneficial results are developing personal skills, getting input on aspirations and reflections on everyday choices in their academic lives and future career paths and on how to handle personal challenges.

A ground rule in the YIC programme is confidentiality and an often-used sentence is “What is said in the YIC room stays in the YIC room”.

The programme is exclusive with a selected group of 10-12 participants each year. Read about the 2019 programme.

Concept

SCIENCE Young Investigator Coaching programme takes the participants through a learning process during five sessions, figure 1.
Figure 1: The five session in the YIC program
Figure 1: The five session in the YIC program
  

Initially the participants prepare a case and a pitch during two internal coaching sessions where aligning expectations is part of the process. The focus in the case is on establishing relations with external stakeholders, with special focus on hurdles, challenges, successes, how to overcome the hurdles/challenges and suggestions for the next steps.

Next are the two coaching sessions where the experienced external coaches takes each participant through an intensive coaching session with focus on their case and how they presented it during a pitch. The coaching sessions are all about helping the participants to take their career forward by challenging them on their approach and appearance, their main priorities and their next steps. Moreover, the sessions will include plenum discussions with reflections and feedback from fellow researchers.

Focus in the fifth session is on the participant’s reflections on their outcome from the coaching sessions and on how that will take their career forward.

When completing the programme, we expect to be able to offer each participant a personal external mentor for a period of six months (awaiting evaluation of pilot).

History

The initiative was launched in 2012 in an attempt to bridge the gap between the university and the industry following faculty discussions with Managing Director at Novo Nordisk, Lars Rebien Sørensen and Senior Department Manager Peter Horn Møller from Novozymes.

In 2018, 88 scientists across the faculty’s departments have completed the YIC programme (until 2018 called Young Investigator Network).

YIC Alumni network

An alumni association of past participants has been set up to facilitate continued discussion between young researchers across the faculty and to contribute to cultural development with respect to external collaboration. Read more about the YIC Alumni