The research of the CRC 1316 is based on doctoral researchers that are educated to reach a solid expertise in the very interdisciplinary field of transient atmospheric non-equilibrium plasmas and their interfaces to solids and liquids. The support of early career researchers (ECR) is targeted at the individual academic levels ranging from master students, doctoral researchers, to independent PostDocs. The ultimate goal is to generate/qualify independent responsible researchers that are embedded in an international network. This goal is realized by the establishment of an integrated research training group (MGK) consisting of lectures, training workshop, and hands-on exercises for the ECRs.
The MGK will be the central platform to build up the interdisciplinary expertise among the doctoral researchers at the interfaces between plasma physics–surface science–(surface) chemistry–biology. Doctoral researchers with a background in plasma physics are asked to attend a targeted training in solid-state physics, biology, and chemistry, and vice versa. Accordingly, doctoral researchers from other research fields join the corresponding lectures. All courses will also be open to local students as well as taught in English in order to include international students. Furthermore, these courses will serve as a local advertisement for the CRC 1316 and as a networking platform for master students and new doctoral researchers. First contact between the CRC 1316 and promising PhD candidates is made, who can be motivated to apply for a position within the CRC. These courses are also highly attractive for incoming students who are offered the whole range of welcome and orientation services by the international office of the Ruhr-Universit ¨ at Bochum prior to and upon arrival – in particular accommodation, legal advice, intercultural awareness, and access to language courses.
The lectures are given by the PI or invited experts. It is also combined with some hands on exercises, which are either demonstration experiments on diagnostics, or lecture hall programming courses on available simulation tools.
The MGK builds on the expertise from coordinating the European graduate school MC-ITN RAPID on reactive atmospheric pressure plasma science (2013-2017) as well as on the integrated training school of the SFB-TR 87 (2010- ). The training program of the CRC 1316 is complementary to that of the SFB-TR 87 dealing with low pressure plasmas, because the focus in the CRC 1316 is on atmospheric pressure plasmas and on (plasma) chemistry. The basic courses on the fundamentals on plasma diagnostics, the fundamentals of modelling, or fundamental knowledge in chemistry will be joint events of all research consortia at RUB.
By continuous and long-standing development at RUB in supporting early career researchers formats like international workshops, monitoring of the ECR progress by career development plans (CDP), and annual progress reports (APR), as well as mentoring for the ECRs by PIs in academia and industry are well established procedures at RUB.
The specific measured regarding equal opportunities can be separated into general measures to promote women in natural sciences in general and targeted measures to promote especially women to become PIs in research and to pursue an academic career. The general measures are as follows:
1. Recruitment of female students: The CRC will contribute to marketing events such as ”Abi-Messe” or general RUB outreach activities with the goal to motivate high school students to study natural sciences. In addition, the possibility of supervising special school thesis projects will be established and advertised in the framework of the Young University. Finally, the CRC will also contribute to the project week once a year at the faculty for physics and astronomy that is especially targeted at female high school students.
2. Gender specific outreach activities : The CRC 1316 will contribute to the outreach activities of the SFBTR 87 by providing input to the website ”Plasma for Girls”. It has been shown that women representation in natural sciences is missing in the media and thus only few identification possibilities exist for young girls. This can be counteracted by this website, information material, but especially by school visits of female researchers to provide role models for high school students. In addition, target audience appropriate information material and give-aways will be produced. Finally, the PIs of the CRC are also committed to contribute to the outreach activities of the faculty for physics and astronomy targeted at female high school students such as the ”Girl’s day” or the ”Project Week for Girls”.
3. Cooperations: The following cooperations between the CRC and the RUB offices regarding equal opportunity measures are anticipated:
Cooperation with the Central Equal Opprtunities Officer of RUB Cooperation with the Decentral Equal Opportunities Officer of the Faculty for Physics and Astronomy at the RUB. Cooperation with the Young University Membership in the network of women and gender research NRW Partner at the Roundtable ”Equal Opportunities and Gender Develeopment” regarding all gender specific measures in DFG funded programs at RUB University Network Family North-Rhine-Westfalia
4. Combination of family and work : Equal opportunities are also supported by RUB’s infrastructure which provides individual child care, the university kindergarten UniKids (on campus, 7am-8pm, bilingual), and a dual career programme. Specific funds are dedicated to supporting parental leave. The CRC will also provide dedicated funding to support flexible working hours to ensure an efficient balance between work and family. Such support may consist of: child care support for scientists travelling to scientific conferences child care support for scientists during time consuming extensive measurement campaigns flexible child care support for scientists during project meetings The Administrative Department ”Organisational and Professional Development” offers counselling for the realisation of these equal opportunity procedures within the research groups.
The goal of recruiting at least 30% of female researchers for the doctoral researcher and PostDoc positions within the CRC 1316 is only the first step. This is supported by the general measures above. The promotion of these female ECR’s, however, to an academic career on the long term has to overcome the most critical step - the transition from a doctoral researcher or PostDoc to a PI in academia. Therefore, dedicated measures will be established to provide role models for female scientists and convince them to pursue a career in academia:
5. Mentoring of master students : According to the goal of the CRC, 30% of the recruited ECRs are supposed to be female. It is intended to form a mentoring network, where these ECRs are mentors for prospective female master students. The PIs of the CRC noticed that the recruitment of new female master students was always very successful, if a network of female PhD students was already existing in the corresponding institutions. This ECR-mentor network will be supported by the CRC by providing specific training courses for the mentors. In addition, regular events between mentors and mentees are organized.