BRAINCITY recruited highly motivated individuals and provided them with excellent conditions for the development of their own research in line with BRAINCITY’s goals. We anticipate that this approach will strengthen BRAINCITY over the initial five year funding period, ensuring its dynamic growth and long‐term prospects beyond this period. Recruitment of candidates was based on the scientific excellence of their past achievements and the proposed research plan as well as the complementarity of their future research with other groups at BRAINCITY and the institute’s stated strategic goals. Group Leaders are offered generous lab space, excellent access to core facilities, including the animal house and administrative/accounting/technology transfer support. BRAINCITY provides competitive salaries for both Group Leaders and postdocs/technicians/PhD students.
Recruiting the best
Group Leaders at BRAINCITY were recruited by recommendation of BRAINCITY ISC.
Group Leaders at BRAINCITY were recruited by recommendation of BRAINCITY ISC from among international candidates through open competitions based on transparent criteria. The criteria for hiring Group Leaders were based on an evaluation of their achievements, future research plans, and their compatibility with the scope of BRAINCITY research agenda. Ideal candidates were at the early stages of their career with a potential comparable to that of laureates of the ERC starting/consolidator grant program. BRAINCITY was, however, also considering senior leaders of high profile for recruitment. The hiring process was supported by EMBL, a strategic partner of BRAINCITY, who provided guidance in setting up appropriate management procedures and in recruitment and evaluation of the BRAINCITY Group Leaders.
Group Leader candidates were open to pursue projects of their choice in line with BRAINCITY research agenda and their research activities will therefore shape the future of BRAINCITY. The group leaders have full freedom to develop their own scientific projects and responsibility for forming and leading an independent research group. Initial fixed-term positions were offered with the possibility of obtaining tenure at the Nencki Institute upon successful review. Appointments include core funding and internationally competitive salaries for the PI and several group members, as well as access to state-of-the-art research facilities, and the possibility to apply for large equipment funding.
Ensuring gender diversity
BRAINCITY continues The Nencki Institute’s tradition.
The Nencki Institute has a strong track record in recruiting outstanding female lab heads and BRAINCITY continues this tradition by incorporating mechanisms to minimize conscious and unconscious bias in recruitments, especially at the Group Leader level. The search committees included female scientists, and at least one woman was invited to interview in each recruitment round.
The intention to recruit a diverse faculty was explicitly discussed by the search committee prior to recruitment and pro-active mechanisms were used to encourage and solicit applications from outstanding underrepresented groups, including women (invitation of promising researchers to give seminars, personal solicitation at scientific conferences, pre-recruitment symposia). Now in BRAINCITY we have 2 groups led by women and 3 led by men scientists.
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