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The scientific dossier can de defined as a collection of verifiable information concerning the activities and scientific output of a researcher.
The scientific dossier plays a fundamental role at different stages of the academic career. It is the first thing to be assessed when someone is being considered for a post or when a post is made permanent. It also plays an important role in the awarding of subsidies or grants.
Throughout their academic career, researchers are required to build up their scientific dossier.
The decisive domains for the assessment of a scientific dossier are :
teaching and supervision ;
scientific influence ;
scientific responsibilities and integration in the institution.
Research activities are assessed on the basis of scientific output (publications, conferences, posters, etc.). Publications play a key role and are the primary indicator in the assessment of research activities. The number of publications is important, but also their quality, which is judged according to the prestige or « rating » of the journals in which articles are published (peer-reviewed journals, national or international or with a high impact factor). In some disciplines, articles are signed by a first author, second author, etc. This classification is crucially important in the assessment of a scientific dossier. For this reason it is very important to find out as much as possible about the publishing and referencing practices and habits of authors in your field and the right to be cited as co-author, particularly in the context of work completed during a postdoctoral appointment.
Teaching and supervision
Despite the significance attached to publications in the assessment of a scientific dossier, teaching skills are becoming increasingly important. It is vital to be able to demonstrate the existence of wide-ranging teaching experience (in terms of both subjects and levels) and supervisory activities. However, it is essentially teaching experience that is taken into account. Supervising dissertations, negotiating the possibility of teaching and supervising graduates or doctoral students are ways of acquiring these skills within the framework of a postdoctoral appointment. It is not always easy to demonstrate the importance of teaching and supervision in your scientific dossier. Advanced courses offered by universities and federal institutes of technology are one way of doing so.
Researchers are expected to have a network of contacts and scientific collaborations that extend the influence of their research beyond the institution to which they are attached by generating new research projects and exchanges between institutions. It is in this context that much store is also set by geographical mobility.
Scientific responsibilities and integration in the institution
Another quality expected of researchers is involvement in faculty life, administrative and team management skills and the ability to collaborate with other members of the university community. The securing of external funding is likewise highly regarded and increasingly required.