The MZPG CONNECT - Early Career Support Program

1. Aims of the CONNECT - Early Career Support Program

This funding is provided within the MZPG main areas of "Resilience and prevention in mental illness". Especially welcomed are projects of early or late translation and projects that establish links to research at the Leibniz Institute for Resilience Research. The program is open to both clinician and medical/natural scientists.

2. Funding in Clinical and Translational Research Tracks

The program is open both for junior scientists at the MZPG in clinical education and junior scientists not working in clinical practice. There are two tracks of funding:

Track A supports junior scientists in clinical education (Clinician Scientists). The funding enables exemption from clinical activities. Moreover, the research time is partially credited to the education program (in accordance with the regulations of the State Medical Association (LÄK RLP / Chamber of physicians of Rhineland-Palatinate). Depending on the project applied for, a 50% exemption from clinical work during the funding period and the possibility to apply for additional project-specific funds is provided. In Track B, junior researchers who are not clinically active (medical/natural scientists) are funded with their own position and the provision of project-specific funds. Funding is allocated based on the work program applied for.

The objectives are to establish an independent scientific profile within the MZPG and to qualify for the acquisition of additional third-party funds for the establishment of an own research group.

3. Eligibility requirements

Applicants are expected to meet the following requirements:

· Above average academic degree

· Doctorate or equivalent degree with "magna cum laude" or better. Completion no more than four years ago. Times of parental leave will be taken into account.

· Outstanding publication performance in internationally leading peer-reviewed journals in the field.

· In the case of clinician scientists, confirmation from the respective MZPG clinic management that funding for the clinical position (50%) has been secured over the funding period and that 50% of the time off for the research project has been granted.

· Selection of two MZPG-associated mentors who will advise the junior scientist in the planning and implementation of the project.

· Submission of a work program that is coordinated with the director of the clinic or institute and the two mentors.

4. Selection procedure

After a written application and personal presentation the funding committee of the CONNECT - Early Career Support Program will select eligible candidates based on their scientific excellence of previous achievements and the applied work program. The funding committee of the CONNECT - Early Career Support Program is composed of members of the MZPG institutions.

5. Mentoring

The mentoring program consists of two components. Each applicant names two mentors from the MZPG in the application. The mentors provide ongoing support for the project with an annual progress report. In addition, a project presentation is held after 18 months, in which the mentors and members of the funding committee participate. This is followed by an interim evaluation with recommendations for project management and further funding.

6.  Structured program for further education

The CONNECT - Early Career Support Program includes a structured curriculum that promotes the further development of subject-specific knowledge as well as qualifications for management tasks and third-party funding. Together with their mentors, each sponsored person puts together an individual training curriculum based on their personal goals and starting situation. Since the sponsored persons are integrated into the TransMed programs for the advancement of Clinician Scientists and Medical Scientists, the complete range of courses in the area of scientific further education and transferable skills is open to them.