The selection of relevant topics results from both the current political situation of the university environment as well as from discussions with MVUB members, meetings with MVUB representatives from all faculties, Board meetings, and individual concerns. MVUB hence acts as a sensor for urgent concerns from the intermediate staff.
Diversification of positions
MVUB advocates broad hierarchy structures and the diversification of positions. Tenured professorships cannot and should not be the only target available for young academics. Positions should be designed in which work content ideally corresponds with the demands on personnel. MVUB supports alternative career paths which offer real choices besides tenure in the form of the typical professorial chair.
MVUB advocates measures that allow the compatibility of career and family, a secondary profession and/or other life plans. We support the implementation of ideas that promote new ways of thinking and the disengagement from traditional inflexible structures.
Mentoring / Career Management
Career planning needs to be both intensified and made more transparent starting from doctoral (PhD) study level. Perspectives and alternatives to an academic career should be outlined at an early stage. The chances of reaching tenure should be presented in a realistic and transparent way.
MVUB supports supervision and mentoring programs for intermediate staff in order to prevent exclusive dependence on direct supervisors early on.
Regulations for Postdoc Phase
Currently, the postdoc phase presents itself as very unstructured and undefined regarding duration and demands. The requirements of conducting research projects more or less autonomously and establishing oneself as a researcher on an international scale often proves to be extremely difficult to fulfill considering the simultaneous operational demands from the departments, such as administrative workload and supervising and teaching duties.
MVUB strongly advocates sensible regulations and structures for this important phase.
Position Paper Assistant Professors
In cooperation with the Office for Gender Equality, an MVUB task force has compiled a position paper on the «Working conditions and career perspectives of assistant professors and associated professors at the University of Bern». The paper postulates measures such as voice in important committees, regular participation in decision-making bodies dealing with the use of infrastructure, such as the distribution of departmental means, and the allocation of a minimum of assisting staff.
MVUB advocates an adequate implementation of these measures.
Acquisition of External Funding
Acquiring external funds is a key skill for researchers. In Switzerland, research funding is determined substantially by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) and the participation in European research programs. Information events are organized by the corresponding institutions.
Aside from these, there is a number of alternative funding options such as foundations/trusts, corporations and agencies which provide important contributions to research funding for specific disciplines.
For less experienced intermediate staff, the funding activities of these institutions are frequently neither well-known nor easily accessible. MVUB aims to remedy this with its information event titled ‘Fundraising’, which is open to all MVUB members.
The next event takes place in 2016 and will be advertised on our website and in the newsletter.
Interconnecting the Faculties and improved communication flow as QA measures for MVUB
In recent years, MVUB has been very active in implementing quality assurance measures. One focus lies in the constant improvement of the communication flow within and outside of the University, and particularly in stimulating the interconnection of intermediate staff within the Faculties.
MVUB takes part in the discussion on sustainability and supports the activities of the Centre for Development and Environment (CDE) and the Commission for Sustainable Development.