Intermediate Staff Association

Current topics

Diversification of positions

MVUB advocates flat hierarchy structures and the diversification of positions. Tenured professorships cannot and should not be the only goal for young academics.

Positions should be designed in which work content ideally corresponds with the demands on personnel. Jobs should be created in which the work content optimally meets the requirements of the job holders. The MVUB advocates for alternative career paths which offer real choices besides tenure in the form of the typical professorial chair.

Part-time careers

MVUB advocates measures that allow the compatibility of career and family, a secondary profession and/or other life plans. We support the implementation of ideas that promote new ways of thinking and the disengagement from traditional inflexible structures. More Information about the work-life-balance at the University of Bern can be found on the website linked below.

The postdoc phase often presents itself as very unstructured and undefined regarding duration and demands. The requirements of conducting research projects more or less autonomously and establishing oneself as a researcher on an international scale often proves to be extremely difficult to fulfill considering the simultaneous demands from the departments, such as administrative workload and supervising and teaching duties. MVUB strongly advocates sensible regulations and structures for this important phase. 

MVUB takes part in the discussion on sustainability and supports the activities of the Centre for Development and Environment (CDE) and the Commission for Sustainable Development.

Intense and transparent career planning planning is already needed at the doctoral study level (PhD). Perspectives and alternatives to an academic career should be outlined at an early stage. The chances of reaching tenure should be presented in a realistic and transparent way. The MVUB advocates for supervision and mentoring programs for intermediate staff in order to prevent exclusive dependence on direct supervisors early on.

In cooperation with the Office for Gender Equality, an MVUB task force has compiled a position paper on the «Working conditions and career perspectives of assistant professors and associated professors at the University of Bern». The paper postulates measures such as assured participation in important committees, regular participation in decision-making bodies dealing with the use of infrastructure, such as the distribution of departmental means, and the allocation of a minimum of assisting staff. The MVUB advocates an adequate implementation of these measures.

Networking of the faculties and improved communication flow as QA measures: In recent years, the MVUB has been very active in implementing quality assurance measures. One focus lies in the constant improvement of the communication flow within and outside of the university, and particularly in stimulating intermediate staff to network within the faculties.

Acquiring external funding is a key skill for researchers. In Switzerland, research funding is substantially determined by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) and the participation in European research programs. For these funds there are established information events organized by the corresponding institution. There are various alternative funding opportunities, such as private and public foundations, firms, departments and offices that will support your research at a higher education institution depending on your field of study. Especially inexperienced intermediate staff is often insufficiently informed about these lesser-known funding options.