Drs. Jacqueline Duijn is Head of HRM and health, safety and environment services at Leiden University.
“We wanted to offer our tenure trackers a training program to guide them in their careers. These young scientists are our future professors so it's important to invest in their personal development. They will be working in a very complex environment and will have to depend not only on their academic expertise, but also on their skills, judgement, and ability to manage people.
Aletta developed a custom-made coaching program especially focused on our tenure trackers. The program has three different modules: personal effectiveness, situational leadership, and acquisition and earning power. These abilities are important for tenure trackers because academics often are extremely good in their discipline but don't necessarily have a natural talent for, say, leadership. Once they are professors, they will be required to play an exemplary role. They will have to judge people on their expertise and behavior, they will have to make difficult decisions and defend their vision and opinion. In the face of such challenges, it's important to know who you are and what you want.
The participants experience an open and relaxed atmosphere during the training sessions. This enables them to be vulnerable, to speak up, and to give each other constructive feedback. The content of the sessions varies; there is a theory part, but there is also plenty of room for practical exercises and engaging in discussions and debates. The training is rated very highly by the participants overall. That is not surprising since during the course they learn skills that are of daily use to them. And that's something they will cherish throughout their lives.”