Management training for new professors

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Through an initiative spearheaded by EPFL’s Senior Management, new tenure track assistant professors will be offered basic management training starting in March 2019.

Management may not be their primary calling, but it plays an important role in the career of any researcher or professor. And managerial skills don’t necessarily come easy to someone who has never had to take on that function. That’s why EPFL’s Senior Management has introduced an initiative to provide all new tenure track assistant professors with basic management training.

These professors are generally young when they arrive at EPFL –often from another country –and have little or no experience leading a team. And some are promoted to associate professor after completing their eight-year term. Therefore it’s important that they be equipped with the right management skills from the start.

At EPFL, we have developed a special training program for these young professors based on feedback from them directly as well as input from deans, mentors andPhD program heads. The curriculum has been planned out in detail to cover the skills they will need at every step ofthe way, from arriving at EPFL to hiring staff, leading multicultural teams and coaching PhD students. Program participants will also be able to get personalized advice and information on other forms of management support and training available at our school on topics such as on HR, scientific integrity, teaching and technology transfer.

The training program will last eight to ten months, with a first class of 24 participants starting in March2019. These initial participants were all hired as tenure track assistant professors within the past 30 months. Subsequent classes will consist exclusively of tenure track assistant professors who were hired within the school year –which will also help them get to know the other new arrivals in their peer group. If the program is successful, it may be offered to other EPFL professors as well.

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