CECAD promotion of young scientists and continuing professional education

In the competitive world of cutting-edge research, it is essential to have extremely well-educated scientists. For this reason, CECAD actively supports and promotes up-and-coming young scientists at all stages of their careers, not only by continuing professional education but also by encouraging their scientific independence. The Cologne Graduate School of Ageing Research lies at the very heart of CECAD’s programme to support PhD students in ageing research.

Highly qualified and motivated young research scientists contribute greatly to CECAD’s outstanding success. In addition to providing these young scientists with optimal research conditions, one of CECAD’s priorities is to offer specific measures for advancement at every stage of their careers.

Besides offering an excellent research environment, key elements in promoting young scientists include continuing professional education and encouraging their scientific independence.

The course ‘Model systems of Aging and Aging-related Diseases’ is intended for Master’s students, in order for them to gain their first experience of the methods and techniques used in ageing research. Students pursuing a PhD in life sciences or postgraduate medicine can extend their scientific training through seminars and lectures organized by CECAD. CECAD also offers an extensive range of workshops for its graduate students and postdoctoral workers. Seminars such as ‘Scientific writing’ and ‘Scientific poster design’ offer opportunities for additional scientific training. Travel grants are available for those wanting to attend international conferences and for PhD student or postdoc retreats. Thus, CECAD fosters both regional and international contact with other research workers.

To promote scientific independence, selected CECAD postdoc researchers are awarded a two-year research grant worth EUR 10,000/year. The grant itself covers material costs while additional financing is provided for a technical assistant. This financial support, together with general lab management seminars and active networking amongst the CECAD junior research groups, has already provided many of its postdoc recipients with a springboard to leading their own teams in renowned research institutes.

Another of CECAD’s major goals is to encourage the junior research group leads, by making sure that they have the necessary resources, mentoring, and in-house training - support that is made all the more effective by the optimal networking of the ageing-research community in Cologne. The competitive quality of CECAD’s young scientist promotion is reflected in the fact that professorships for three CECAD junior research groups have been established in Cologne. The success of all the research groups can also be measured by the external funding they have attracted, including sponsorhip from the Emmy Noether programme and ERC grants, as well as scientific prizes and awards.

General information

Useful links for junior researchers in life sciences