A report by LSI staff on the recent EMBO Lab Leadership course we ran in Exeter:
The LSI hosted a 4-day EMBO Laboratory Management Course as a part of its mentoring programme, to support the junior PIs and Research Fellows at the Institute from 21 -25 January 2019.
Young scientists often rise to their Principal Investigator (PI) position due to their outstanding science and their excellent publication list which enables them to get a faculty position or win a prestigious fellowship and start their own research group. Building up such a research group however, is not only about extraordinary visions and new scientific directions, new challenges come to the surface often for the first time: leadership, recruitment, management of staff, resolving conflicts, managing budgets, and many more.
Therefore, Professor Gáspár Jékely, LSI Associate Director for Impact & Delivery organised an EMBO Lab Leadership course to support the junior PIs and Research Fellows at LSI. “I started my lab 12 years ago and remember several challenges I faced. By encouraging our junior colleagues to attend this course, we would like to help them to avoid some of the pitfalls of leading a group,” said Gáspár Jékely.
Sixteen junior scientists from the LSI had the chance to participate, learn about leadership skills, tools and concepts and test their new skills in role play and interviews.
One of them, Wolfram Moebius an LSI PI, who initially thought of the course, told us about his experience. “The Lab Leadership Course did not only provide me with valuable techniques but also connected me to a group of colleagues with a diversity of personalities. I am looking forward to being able to ask for their advice, influenced by their leadership styles and underpinned by the techniques we learned.”
The way to be an excellent leader is not always easy, however the encouraging message from CJ Fitzsimons, coach of the EMBO Lab Leadership course and head of the Leadership Sculptors GmbH: “Excellent leadership is learnable!”.