YIN, a group consisting of research group leaders and junior professors in the early stages of our scientific careers, was created in 2008 as part of KIT’s Excellence Initiative program. Our members occupy that critical step between post-docs and tenured professors, an important, but often overlooked period. The continued existence of YIN is a testament to role it fills and service it provides to our members. Our mission, comprised of thefollowing three statements, has and will continue to guide YIN.
We encourage each YIN member to become a better group leader. YIN members can take part in continuing education courses tailored to the needs of young group leaders in cooperation with PEBA. These courses include topics such as developing leadership abilities, improving research and teaching performance, as well as personal coaching. Rather than a static offering of courses, our members suggest and vote on desired themes to ensure that these courses directly meet our needs. YIN members can also discuss and compare their experiences with other members and alumni. These discussions can help new members navigate KIT and older members plan their next steps.
We represent the interests of independent young investigators at KIT. Our group leaders face an uncertain future given changes to the academic landscape and leadership priorities at KIT. YIN represents our interests by working with and persuading the administration to best define our official standing, the supervision of doctoral students, and other rights and responsibilities. This area has received renewed interest in the last year, as highlighted within this newsletter, as KIT reevaluates the pathway towards KIT professor and the role of independent group leaders. YIN has also hosted discussions with representatives from Baden-Württemberg and
various funding sources to understand and shape the policies affecting our members.
YIN strives to make KIT an ideal place for young scientists. YIN helps its members thrive in their research pursuits by encouraging collaborative discussions and projects. The YIN Grants provide a further incentive to pursue new ideas and engage in transdisciplinary projects. YIN has also invited leading scientists to speak to YIN members directly and to an open audience as part of the YIN Lecture Series. In addition, YIN maintains a network of alumni and contacts with industry with which our members can discuss research opportunities.
While our three mission statements have remained relatively unchanged throughout the years, our interpretation has evolved in response to member interests. We sincerely hope that YIN will continue to help our members grow, prove their independence and receive recognition in their respective fields. We also want KIT to remain an
attractive place for young investigators. These goals require the active participation of our members and the support of the KIT community.