The CEMarin alumni concept
The CEMarin generally defines its alumni as persons who have received a Master’s or Doctorate degree or completed a postdoc position at one of the member institutions of the CEMarin and who have received individual funding from the CEMarin.
The CEMarin (Corporation Center of Excellence in Marine Sciences) is an international non- profit organization. Founded in 2009 by Colombian and German universities and research institutions, the CEMarin aims at promoting interdisciplinary research, scientific training and outreach in marine sciences. More than 90 scientists from fields such as marine biology, chemistry, geography, oceanography, engineering, socio-economy and environmental law participate in the CEMarin as lecturers, administrators, early stage- and postdoctoral researchers. Hence, a key focus of CEMarin’s strategic plan is the efficient scientific networking of the member institutions and its researchers.
In order to promote and strengthen the scientific community and its contribution to social development, it is necessary to combine innovative approaches of researchers from different career stages and various fields of marine sciences. The CEMarin firmly believes that the close scientific networking of active scientists and alumni within CEMarin is of great mutual benefit to achieve this goal. The CEMarin and all its members profit from the scientific experience, knowledge and contacts of its alumni, and the alumni benefit greatly from the networking opportunities, access to interdisciplinary expertise, research funding and career opportunities offered by the CEMarin. With this international network the CEMarin builds the foundation to answer the urgent environmental and socio-economical questions in the changing marine ecosystems of Latin America.
Specifics of the CEMarin alumni work
Since the CEMarin -unlike universities or research funding institutions- inherently relies on a long-term relationship with its researchers, and the contact with its former students and scientists is an integral part of its networking, there are some special characteristics of CEMarin’s alumni work.
CEMarin alumni definition
The CEMarin alumni definition (see above) is -as far as the period of funding is concerned- more open than, for example, the DAAD alumni definition, which requires at least 3 months of funding, or the alumni definition of the alma mater, which typically requires a degree lasting several years.
Different alumni categories within the CEMarin
Most CEMarin alumni are already integrated in multiple alumni systems. Since all CEMarin alumni must have graduated from a member institution of CEMarin or have spent a postdoc period there, they are also alumni of their alma mater. In the case of cotutelle doctorates they are even alumni at two alma mater. In addition, a number of CEMarin alumni have also received several months of funding from the DAAD, which also makes them DAAD alumni. This means that some CEMarin graduates receive 4 different alumni statuses at the same time.
Different researcher categories within the CEMarin
The CEMarin currently has four categories of scientists with different rights and obligations:
- CEMarin Researchers (senior scientists at a member institution of the CEMarin – they are fully eligible to apply for all important CEMarin funding lines)
- CEMarin Early Stage Researchers (graduate students or postdocs at one of the CEMarin member institutions – they are eligible to apply for CEMarin graduate calls)
- CEMarin Alumni (former beneficiary of the CEMarin, who are no longer at a member institution – they are eligible to apply for some but not all CEMarin funding lines)
- CEMarin Associate Researchers (researchers who collaborate with the CEMarin but are not employed at a member institution of the CEMarin – they are eligible to apply for some but not all CEMarin funding lines)
This means that a person who remains at his or her university after graduation or moves to another CEMarin member institution is not listed as a CEMarin alumni but as a CEMarin Researcher – with more rights in terms of research funding or vote in the CEMarin Mini Summits. In addition, CEMarin Associate Researchers cannot by definition become CEMarin Alumni, even if they have received funding, because they have not graduated from a member institution of the CEMarin. These two aspects lead to the fact that the CEMarin has a comparatively low number of official alumni. Nevertheless, it must be stressed once again that many principles of good alumni work are already an integral part of CEMarin’s regular networking activities:
- to build lifetime relationships with scholarship holders,
- to intensify subject- and theme-based networking,
- to support cross-border networking,
- to make efficient use of the expertise and projects of the network.
The CEMarin therefore strives to increase the long-term benefits of networking without creating additional bureaucratic hurdles or contributing to an inflation of the alumni concept. This is also because the position of the CEMarin Alumni coordinator will expire in 12/2020 and its tasks will be taken over by the scientific coordinator. Consequently, the CEMarin aims to keep the permanent organizational load of the alumni division at a moderate level, reflecting the proportionately low number of members within the network classified as alumni.
Whenever possible, there is no sharp distinction between active CEMarin researchers and CEMarin alumni. Only in a few exceptional cases, e.g. for topic-specific calls, does the CEMarin use the term ‘CEMarin alumni’ for legal reasons. This is also the reason why the CEMarin, for example, does not intend to set up its own alumni website. In addition, CEMarin is currently discussing whether the existing CEMarin alumni category should be integrated into the CEMarin associate researcher category.
This does not include the alma mater and DAAD alumni programs. In fact, the CEMarin is currently working on integrating all previous qualifying CEMarin alumni into the Alumniportal Deutschland
Targets of the CEMarin alumni work
The CEMarin is committed to a lifelong relationship with its alumni for mutual benefit through extensive equality with active members. In particular, alumni benefit from the scientific and career networks of the CEMarin, while building their own scientific careers. Moreover, the network enables them to stay in touch with friends and colleagues, and to benefit from news and announcements. Specifically, the CEMarin alumni network aims at providing a platform for its alumni that comprises five specific targets:
- Maintaining contact between CEMarin members and alumni through the CEMarin web site
- Alumni may take advantage of personal consulting by the CEMarin communication manager through telephone, email or online chat
- Direct communication between CEMarin members and alumni during CEMarin mini summits, workshops and international conferences
- Access for CEMarin alumni to electronic CEMarin publications and data bases
2. News and announcements
- Integration of alumni in the CEMarin distributor (news, research calls, announcements of upcoming events, job offers, information on CEMarin awards etc.)
- Bi-annual CEMarin newsletters with a specific alumni section
3. Career services
- Information on internships and job offers at the CEMarin
- Announcement of job opportunities at the alumni’s institutions and companies
- Participation of alumni in CEMarin’s career development workshops and seminars
- Mutual internships at institutions of CEMarin researchers and alumni
- Support from the CEMarin during the fundraising process for financing research projects
- Opportunity to apply for Research Calls of the CEMarin
4. Scientific networking
- Fee waivers for CEMarin alumni to participate in CEMarin workshops and conferences
- CEMarin travel grants for CEMarin alumni
- Possibility for CEMarin Alumni to participate as co-applicants in internal CEMarin research calls
- Access for CEMarin alumni to CEMarin’s research data base
- Targeted linking of CEMarin members and alumni for national and international research calls
- Co-supervision of CEMarin Early Stage Researchers by CEMarin alumni
- Opportunities for mutual national and international research stays
5. Training and education
- Participation of CEMarin alumni in CEMarin workshops, excursions and conferences
- Access of alumni to CEMarin’s key note lectures
- Recruitment of CEMarin alumni as lecturers for CEMarin training and education events
- Co-supervision of CEMarin Early Stage Researchers by CEMarin alumni
Last update: april 2020