Keep in touch
Image: © TU Dresden
Keep in touch (kit) is a structured contact keeping and re-entry program which is aimed at supporting researchers during their family starting period. With this project, ct.qmat means to support and relieve female and male researchers during their parental leave or while shouldering other family responsibilities, to intercept women’s fall out of scientific and academic careers after having a baby, and finally to create a structure of reliability, plannability, inclusion possibilities, and advice.
The kit program is a cooperative endeavor between the Julius Maximilian University of Würzburg and Technische Universität Dresden.
The main objectives of the kit program are to help researchers to maintain contact with their research group while on maternity and/ or parental leave, and to offer a plan for re-entering the workplace after maternity and/ or parental leave. The program addresses parents(-to-be), independent of their gender.
Image: © Sebastian Drichelt
The primary focus of kit is on
(1) providing individual guidance in all issues concerning maternity/ parenthood and career: Researchers receive guidance from the project team according to their individual needs. Depending on their wishes, this can include advice, assistance in important meetings with management or university-internal bodies, referrals to further relevant bodies, and opportunities to talk at any time during the family starting phase.
(2) active involvement of scientific management in relevant administrative matters: Scientific management plays a decisive role during the family starting phase. The project provides various opportunities for exchange and information, in the form of conversation guidelines and briefings, in order to optimally support the management and to reduce the workload.
(3) matching with peer-mentors as a link to the research group for the time of absence: Peer-mentors provide support to parents(-to-be) and thus make it easier for them to carry out their academic responsibilities during pregnancy and to stay in contact with their research group during family-related leave. Mentors can be team colleagues who help stay in regular contact with the university environment during leave. They, being researchers and parents themselves, can provide support across the university with their experience in questions of creating a better work-life balance. A peer-mentor can be proposed by mentees themselves or s/he can be assigned by the project team from an own pool of mentors.
Taking into account site-specific conditions and circumstances, the practical implementation of the kit program might slightly differ between Würzburg and Dresden.
In Würzburg, the program runs under the short name WÜkit and is managed by Natalie Nikolaus, M.A.Päd., who can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Dresden counterpart is currently in development by Unit 9.3 Diversity Management. However, we can provide you with an appropriate contact person in all relevant issues. For that, please contact Dr. Alina Markova at email@example.com.