Training the first generation of Weather Change Scientists

The ARC Centre of Excellence for the Weather of the 21st Century (21st Century Weather) will establish a fully integrated Researcher Development Program. This program, spanning seven years and led by a dedicated Associate Director, will provide unrivalled breadth and depth of training and support for researchers in the Centre. Whilst the program will be particularly focused on HDR students and early career researchers, the centre’s more senior researchers will also have a wide range of opportunities for training and professional development. 

A key goal of the Centre is to provide all its members with the opportunity to thrive and develop not only in their research and professional abilities, but in their readiness to lead. Raising the leadership abilities of students, research fellows and more senior staff is the aim of the 21st Century Weather Future Leaders initiative. 

At the heart of this initiative is an innovative mentoring program that involves not only centre students, research fellows and CIs, but that integrates with the Centre’s national and international science partners and industry and government partners. In addition to traditional workshops that offer training and networking opportunities, the Centre will implement this program using mentoring circles which are networks of mentors and mentees that bring together a wide range of experience across institutions, areas, and sectors. 

The Centre’s leadership development initiatives will be guided by the needs of stakeholders – who in many instances become employers of Centre graduates and alumni. 

Already partners have indicated that they are usually very impressed with the academic rigour that climate and weather science graduates bring to their workplaces. However they sometimes lack other essential workplace skills such as an ability to work consistently to deadlines and to work in cross-functional teams. 

The Centre will use feedback like this to refine and enhance its researcher development program activities in its mission to train the world’s first generation of weather change scientists.