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As an interdisciplinary facility of Osnabrück University, the PhD/Postdoc Career Center enables doctoral candidates from all subject areas at the University to structure their PhD and supports the further training of postdocs. The PhD/Postdoc Career Center provides training opportunities for doctoral candidates and postdocs specially tailored to their needs as well as individual advancement to optimize their scientific work and to enable them to gain labor market-related skills. The services offered by the PhD/Postdoc Career Center seek to provide targeted support to doctoral candidates and postdocs of Osnabrück University in shaping their university or non-university career paths and in preparing them for the successful assumption of leadership responsibility within and outside academia.

The central elements offered by the PhD/Postdoc Career Center are:

Individual advice

The ZePrOs offers a target-group specific information and consulting service.

The ZePrOs is the central point of contact for doctoral candidates and those interested in doing a doctorate for all interdisciplinary questions concerning the doctorate.

The main focus of the advice for those interested in doing a doctorate includes support in the decision-making process with regard to taking up a doctorate and advice on the possibilities of financing a doctorate.

The main focus of advice for doctoral candidates includes advice on opportunities for further interdisciplinary qualification during the doctorate and support in the development of professional target perspectives after the doctorate. In addition, we also offer - as needed - process-accompanying counseling during the doctorate. Here, in addition to questions of motivation and time management, questions of discontinuation or continuation of the doctorate can also be a topic. Within the framework of the university's conflict management, the ZePrOs informs and advises doctoral candidates on the possibilities and ways of resolving conflicts that may arise during the doctorate.

For the target group of postdocs, the ZePrOs offers interdisciplinary advice and orientation from the entry to the advanced postdoc phase. 

We are happy to provide information about qualification paths in science and requirements on the way to a professorship. If required, this also includes the topic of third-party funding as a possibility for career development and the acquisition of scientific independence. We are happy to provide new postdocs with an overview of networking opportunities, qualification offers and instruments for individual career development ("career talks"). In a phase of professional (re)orientation, we offer support in decision-making and reflection on professional options within and outside of science. This includes the identification of further education needs, especially with regard to the offers of the ZePrOs. The ZePrOs is also a contact point for postdocs in case of conflicts in the context of work and research.

The ZePrOs offers information and individual support during the entire phase of the junior professorship. As a junior professor, you will be accompanied by a permanent contact person at the ZePrOs from the beginning of your employment. The counseling service includes support in decision-making and work processes, in conflicts in the work and research context, and in the performance of your leadership role. During the consultation, your further training needs are identified and, if desired, an individual qualification plan is developed, which can be further developed according to needs and processes.

When it comes to providing consultation, the PhD/Postdoc Career Center cooperates closely with other facilities within the University:

  • In the area of developing early career researchers, the PhD/Postdoc Career Center collaborates closely with the Research Consultants.
  • International doctoral candidates and post-docs are supported in close cooperation with the International Office and the Language Center of Osnabrück University.
  • In matters concerning the reconciliation of family, partnership and work, the PhD/Postdoc Career Center offers professional advice in cooperation with the Equal Opportunity Office of Osnabrück University.

The individual counseling is confidential. You can make an appointment for a consultation at any time by e-mail or by telephone.

Contact persons:
Contact person for those interested in doctoral studies: Dr. Leonie Windt
Contact person for doctoral candidates: Dr. Sabine Mehlmann
Contact person for postdocs: Dr. Marie-Kathrin Drauschke
Contact person for junior professors: Dr. Frank Krön

Interdisciplinary networking

The PhD/Postdoc Career Center offers doctoral candidates and postdocs the opportunity to engage in interdisciplinary and disciplinary networking. These activities include multidisciplinary seminars, workshops and discussion evenings as well as conferences, colloquia and round tables organized by the PhD/Postdoc Career Center or by the doctoral candidates themselves. For doctoral candidates and postdocs, the ZePrOs offers, if required, workshops for the introduction to collegial consultation, which serve the mutual support in the doctoral process or the postdoc phase and the formation of networks. In addition, international doctoral candidates and postdocs can make use of the networking options offered by the International Office.

Training program

A training program geared towards the needs of doctoral candidates and postdocs enables them to gain academic and multidisciplinary professional key competencies. The areas of competence addressed in the training program are geared in part towards meeting the individual requirements of doctoral candidates and postdocs during the PhD or postdoc period. The target groups are also supported in the acquisition of key competencies relevant to their careers, preparing them for assuming leadership responsibility in university and non-university settings. The PhD/Postdoc Career Center offers this interdisciplinary training in close collaboration with

Further and Continuing Education (Hochschuldidaktik, in German),

Language Center,

The Science and Technology Transfer Office (STTO) and the

University’s Professional Skills Development Office (KoPrO, in German).

Courses and events offered by the PhD/Postdoc Career Center cover the following areas of competence:

  • Science and methods
  • Leadership skills
  • Self-management skills and career planning
  • Work techniques, language and media skills

More information

Mentoring Programs for early career researchers

The mentoring programs provide qualified early career researchers with individual career development support. The programs are among the targeted and process-oriented instruments for promoting early career researchers and contribute to the enhancement of equal opportunities in the science system. The ZePrOs offers a mentoring program for female doctoral candidates as well as a program for postdocs in alternation. The program concept is adapted to the needs of the target groups and is based on the quality standards for mentoring in science of Forum Mentoring e.V.


Offers for career support

The ZePrOs offers a wide range of career support measures for the individual design of the doctoral and postdoctoral phases as well as junior professorships and demand-oriented support during career transitions:

"Career direct"
An offer for doctoral candidates, postdocs and junior professors

With the offer "Career direct", the ZePrOs supports early career researchers in steps that contribute to their individual career development. Targeted measures are supported in professional transition phases within science and when moving to non-university fields of work.

"Career direct" supports you with the following measures: 

  • professional orientation and preparation for application and appointment procedures [e.g. individual coaching for the development of competence profiles to open up occupational fields for academics* as well as preparation for applications, job interviews and appointments
  • targeted development of professional networks within and outside academia [e.g. assumption of travel costs to (international) network partners (only for travel directly related to the next career step), assumption of costs for participation in job and trade fairs]
  • self-marketing [e.g. support in creating profiles on social platforms and online networks, such as XING, LinkedIn, femconsult, own homepage]

Contact persons:
Contact person for doctoral candidates: Dr. Sabine Mehlmann
Contact person for postdocs: Dr. Marie-Kathrin Drauschke
Contact person for junior professors: Dr. Frank Krön


"Leadership Coaching"
Individual coaching offer for postdocs and junior professors

Professional leadership skills play an increasingly important role in the science context. Good leadership has a direct impact on collaboration and the success of your team. Therefore, leadership experience is one of the central components of the scientific qualification profile, in addition to research and teaching. 

One-on-one coaching provides support for issues associated with taking on leadership responsibilities in your role as a junior scientist. During the coaching, you will have the opportunity to reflect on your role as a leader and to strengthen and expand your leadership skills. 
In individual coaching, junior scientists are advised by experienced external coaches who are familiar with the scientific context.

Contact persons:
Contact person for postdocs: Dr. Marie-Kathrin Drauschke
Contact person for junior professors: Dr. Frank Krön


Individual career support for female early career researchers

In addition to the existing mentoring programs, the ZePrOs offers "ProAcademia", another measure for individual career support, which is intended to counteract the loss of academic potential among female early career researchers and to promote equal opportunities in science. 

"ProAcademia" encompasses a broad spectrum of offers with which women who are planning or considering an academic career are supported according to their individual needs. These include individual counseling, peer coaching and tandem offers (across qualification phases), individual coaching for career development, and summer schools.

The goal of the services bundled in "ProAcademia" is to support female early career researchers in

  • clarifying individual career goals
  • the development of their scientific career
  • strengthening competencies relevant to an academic career
  • reflecting on structural barriers in the science system
  • cross-qualification networking

The offers within the framework of "ProAcademia" have a modular structure and are geared to the specific needs and requirements in the different qualification phases:

The individual offers in the respective modules can be taken up independently of each other. On the basis of an individual consultation, the individual needs are determined together with the female early career researchers and suitable offers are identified.

Contact persons:
Contact person for those interested in doctoral studies: Dr. Leonie Windt
Contact person for doctoral students: Dr. Sabine Mehlmann
Contact person for postdocs: Dr. Marie-Kathrin Drauschke
Contact person for junior professors: Dr. Frank Krön


Conferences and events

Wine and Discussion

Logo Wine and Discussion

The “Wine & Discussion” evenings are special events where PhD-students and postdocs get the chance to talk to experts from academia and the private sector. These evenings take place once a semester and focus on topics that are related to different career options following a doctorate. Experts from inside and outside academia share their experiences and inform early career researchers about the requirements for entering the professional fields they represent. Topics of previous events were, for example, "Career paths in research", "Perspective self-employment?”, “Start-up after the doctorate" and "Career Prospects in Science Management".

Good science! Osnabrueck symposium for good scientific practice

Castle of Osnabrueck University, Photo: Pollert

Every two years Osnabrück University organizes – headed by the PhD/Postdoc Career Center – a symposium on Good Scientific Practice. The conference offers participants the opportunity for an interdisciplinary and subject-related exchange on the subject of "good science" and on the question of how well scientific practice in science and studies can be sustainably secured. The program generally includes an interdisciplinary introduction to the "rules of good scientific practice" as well as subject-specific workshops for postdocs, doctoral candidates and advanced students, that focus on areas of conflicts and pitfalls in daily research.


Source: fotolia

The PhD/Postdoc Day is organized every two years by the PhD/Postdoc Career Center. The event offers doctoral candidates and postdocs as well as master students and graduates interested in doctoral studies at Osnabrück University the opportunity for interdisciplinary networking as well as opportunities for information and exchange on topics related to the decision-making process for a doctorate as well as the doctoral and postdoc phases as a whole.

At the PhD/Postdoc Day all institutions at Osnabrück University involved in academic staff development introduce their services in an information café including workshops, short lectures, information and consultation sessions.  Topics of previous events were, among others, possibilities of doctoral funding, forms of scientific publication, career paths and career perspectives of early career researchers in university and non-university fields of work, the compatibility of science and family as well as the academic employment law (Wissenschaftszeitvertragsgesetz).

#was_forschst_du? was a public event that took place during the PhD/Postdoc Days 2019.  Early career researchers from Osnabrück University gave exciting insights into their research activities in five-minute presentations. The presentations can be viewed online. #was_forscht_du? was organized by the Language Centre of Osnabrück University.