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The Society of Fellows brings a breath of fresh air to the Danish Institute of Advanced Study

The Society is a springboard for community, collaboration, and consolidated relationships within the Danish Institute for Advanced Study (DIAS) and across the University of Southern Denmark.

2024 marks the beginning of a new era in DIAS, spearheaded by the launch of the Society of Fellows, an initiative by and for DIAS Fellows. The Society aims to enhance excellence in curiosity-driven research, create avenues for academic leadership experience, and showcase work conducted by DIAS Fellows. This, Anthony Fernandez, Fellow of Health Science, conceptualises as way to jump-start collaboration:

“We are to present our research to each other, both to practice public dissemination for broader audiences and to ensure that everyone is up to speed on what each other are working on. That gives us a much better position to potentially collaborate.”

On a similar note, the Society represents a determined effort to increase the sense of belonging among DIAS Fellows and pave the way for successful integration of newcomers by providing a community and a home base. This has been in great demand among Fellows, and according to Bryan Yazell, Fellow of Humanities, the Society represents a shift in culture:

“The Society of Fellows is a way to facilitate a more cohesive identity among us: an identity tied to DIAS that projects a collective sense of what we do here. It is also a way to gain a level of autonomy and become more self-determined in terms of what we want to do in the future.”

This, Bryan Yazell proposes, can be of great benefit for DIAS in terms impact and institutional identity.

Streamlined support and mentorship

For DIAS Fellows, The Society of Fellows will provide avenues to learn both from and with each other. Fellows are to present their research to one another in a series of weekly seminars, but the seminars will furthermore function as a career lab, exploring topics like grant application, research team management, and international recruitment.

The idea is to zero in on topics that are crucial for all Fellows to be familiar with, but in practice are subject to varying levels of knowhow among them, according to Bryan Yazell and Anthony Fernandez. The career lab can help ensure that DIAS Fellows gain a sufficient and streamlined level of knowledge, guidance, and support. Seminars will also contain insights from DIAS Chairs, who are to contribute to the Society as mentors, for instance by sharing their profound experience on the inner workings of research:

“We are hoping to use [the Society] to bring in more Chairs and develop those relationships to be more constructive, so that we each get the most possible out of DIAS,” describes Bryan Yazell.

Accordingly, the Society of Fellows comes with great promise to facilitate cutting-edge collaboration within DIAS, while simultaneously consolidating the professional bond between Fellows and Chairs.

A door-opener for connection

In line with DIAS’ aim to provide channels of inclusion for researchers at the University of Southern Denmark, the Society of Fellows is set to open the doors to DIAS for promising young researchers at SDU:

“We are hoping to run events that are of interest to [researchers at] the university, for instance on grant writing, research team management, or international recruitment. It would be good to have some of those events open for assistant professors and postdocs at the university, who would like to come in and have that experience with us,” explains Anthony Fernandez.

“The main idea is more integration and more focus on career and research development in a way that is useful to many and follows a bottom-up approach,” Bryan Yazell continues.

Both envision that this initiative comes with great potential to revitalise collaboration across research environments at the university and to improve the sense of interconnectedness between SDU researchers in and outside DIAS.

25 new fellows to push DIAS beyond the frontiers of knowledge

Under the leadership of Sten Rynning, the DIAS Fellow programme is currently developing to further reflect and emphasise the institute’s ambition to hire and nourish young research talents. Whereas DIAS Fellows have historically held four-year contracts at the assistant professor level, with the potential for a two-year extension as an associate professor, DIAS now offers tenure track opportunities for early-career researchers with exceptional talent and potential. As a result, 25 DIAS Fellow positions will be filled and distributed across the five faculties at the University of Southern Denmark over the next five years.

As a hub for curiosity-driven research, DIAS merges excellence and ambition with a creative and playful approach. Correspondingly, the DIAS Fellow programme allows researchers with exceptional talent to hone their skills, gain unique career opportunities, and take part in a vibrant intellectual landscape.

Read more about DIAS’ tenure track Fellow positions.

Redaktionen afsluttet: 20.02.2024