The scientific successes already achieved during the this first funding period provides overwhelming evidence of the excellent scientific environment the early-career scientists enjoy through their interac- tion with the principal investigators (PIs) and supporting staff within the respective scientific projects of our ToCoTronics SFB 1170. As we will detail below, this on-the-job training has been accompanied by a framework of lectures, colloquia, and schools which in its entity complements the scientific ed- ucation. This custom-tailored subject-specific scientific training program is complemented by general skills training elements. Planning and coordination of this integral training is performed by the inte- grated Research Training Group (i-RTG). Whereas topical lectures and seminars are organized by the i-RTG board with input from PIs, postdoctoral researchers, and PhD students, the JMU Research Academy, University of Würzburg’s central facility for academic staff development, offers a wide range of general skills training courses. Selected courses which best fit the needs and interests of the PhD students and postdoctoral researchers in this SFB 1170 are selected by the i-RTG board, in close interaction with similar activities at the Quantum Matter Academy of ct.qmat.
The scientific training combines local elements carried out within the SFB 1170 with ex loco activi- ties. For example, SFB 1170 colloquium speakers are also invited to present lectures on their field of expertise related to the physics of topological materials and materials with strong Coulomb and spin- orbit interaction. We are also planning a new ring lecture which will be recorded as a slidecast and be made available to ToCoTronics personnel via an archive to further improve the cooperation and mutual understanding of experimental and theoretical techniques applied in this SFB 1170. Further- more, with the help of i-RTG funds, our students will be given the opportunity of visiting international summer or fall schools already in the initial phase of their PhD project.
We are aware, however, that a successful preparation of our graduates for the professional career will not only depend on their scientific skills in experimental or theoretical solid-state physics, but also on transferrable, non-scientific skills which become more and more important in a highly cross-linked and interdisciplinary work environment. Therefore, we complement the scientific education provided within ToCoTronics by a wide training and educational course program which provides the graduates with a broader background of qualifications useful for their future professional career, may it be in academia or industry. Furthermore, we plan to continue the highly successful series of ToCoTronics International Fall Schools, which were responsibly organized and executed by our most active PhD students and which attracted a total of about 200 registered participants in 2016 and 2018.
The training program events, which are addressed at a target group of about 100 early-career scientists within the SFB 1170, have generally generated a large turnout and often stimulated a lively participation. By continuing the successful components of iRTG’s education program and further strengthening it by new components we expect to continue the excellent service of this SFB 1170 in preparing our early-career scientists for their professional future.