RESEARCH-BASED APPROACH TO ENGLISH COURSES DESIGN FOR EARLY-CAREER SCIENTISTS
In the context of globalization and internationalization of the modern world, the requirements to a person, to a specialist have changed, and it accordingly changes the requirements to educational institutions, which are training specialists for innovative thinking, competitive in the global job market. Since 2013, National Research Tomsk Polytechnic University (TPU) is a participant of the Russian Academic Excellence Project 5-100, the purpose of which is to maximize the competitive position of a group of leading Russian universities in the global research and education market. In this regard, the latest TPU strategic programme has been developed with the aim to increase its research and innovations potential as well as the university global impact and presence. One of the measures to reach this aim is to attract talented early-career scientists, postdoctoral fellows and graduate students into the university. A pool of young talented researchers is vital for scientific research and technological advancement of a university, both at national and international scale. A modern early-career researcher is a mobile scientist with specific competences and skills, which enable him to perform research on a world class level, present research results in publications in high quality peer-reviewed journals. Also a young researcher should be able to competently present himself, his expertise and achievements in the scientific field at different events, including scientific gatherings, job interviews for postdoctoral positions, etc. In accordance with these requirements to professional portfolio of a mobile early-career researcher, the necessity for English language proficiency is quite high. As a response to this challenge, TPU has developed and is currently piloting the course for early-career scientists and postgraduate students in mastering English as a foreign language with focus on skills for academic and scientific purposes. This article discusses methodological principles of such course design. One of the key principles is research-oriented approach, when the progress after completion of such course is measured by learning outcomes valuable for young scientist professional performance and career. Participants of such course demonstrate the ability to effectively communicate in professional scientific community presenting research results, networking and disseminating their knowledge and experience, thus contributing to the development of university international academic environment and, as a result, to the improvement of TPU positions as a leading scientific, educational and research center. The mechanisms of shaping the course objectives, learning outcomes and adequate assessment techniques based on specifics of early career scientists’ skills are presented as one of TPU best practices within this publication.