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:
The PhD/Postdoc Career Center provides comprehensive information about doing a PhD. As a central contact point for all prospective and current doctoral candidates, it offers individual and multidisciplinary advice on doing a PhD at Osnabrück University. The PhD/Postdoc Career Center supports decision-making during transition periods. Advice is given to prospective doctoral candidates in the transition period between graduation and embarking on a PhD program. Support is also offered to doctoral candidates in the process of deciding which career to pursue after completing a PhD, irrespective of whether they remain in academia, whether they wish to become self-employed or whether they are interested in a career in business, administration or an organization. In addition, the PhD/Postdoc Career Center offers process-related advice during the PhD phase, whenever required.
The PhD/Postdoc Career Center offers postdocs multidisciplinary career guidance. Consultation focuses on how to develop career pathways in academic and non-research-based areas. Postdocs’ career development and professional development plans are taken into consideration in the process.
When it comes to providing consultation, the PhD/Postdoc Career Center cooperates closely with other facilities within the University:
- In the area of developing young scholars, the PhD/Postdoc Career Center collaborates closely with the Research Funding Advisors.
- 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 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. The PhD/Postdoc Career Center regularly organizes peer consulting workshops for doctoral candidates enabling them to support one another during the PhD process and to establish networks. In addition, international doctoral candidates and postdocs can make use of the networking options offered by the International Office.
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
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
Establishing contacts to companies
The PhD/Postdoc Career Center establishes contacts between doctoral candidates/postdocs and companies/organizations, making non-university fields of work more accessible. Contacts to companies are arranged individually, tailored to the needs of the doctoral candidates/postdoc. The PhD/Postdoc Career Center establishes contacts outside the realm of science in the form of visits to companies, talks with executives, internships or joint information days.
The PhD/Postdoc Career Center cooperates with over 50 regional companies and organizations. In matters concerning collaboration between science and business, the PhD/Postdoc Career Center works closely together with The Science and Technology Transfer Office (STTO) of the Osnabrück Universities.
Mentoring for young female scholars
The mentoring programs enable highly-qualified young female scholars to gain individual accompaniment and support with regard to their career advancement. The programs are one of the targeted and process-oriented instruments for developing young scholars and help to strengthen equal opportunities in the science system. The PhD/Postdoc-Career Center offers a mentoring program for female postdocs and junior professors as well as a program for female doctoral candidates. The program’s conceptual design is tailored to the needs of the respective target group and is based on the quality standards for mentoring in science established by the federalassociation Forum Mentoring e.V.
The “Career direct” program offered by the PhD/Postdoc Career Center provides bespoke support to young researchers seeking to develop their careers. Specific measures are supported in career transition phases within academia or outside it:
- Preparation for application procedures and appointment processes [application portfolio checking service, individual one-on-one coaching to prepare for interviews, appointment discussions, etc.]
- Targeted establishment of professional networks within academia and outside it [reimbursement of travel expenses for visiting (international) network partners (only for travels that are directly related to the next career step), reimbursement of costs for participating in job fairs and specialist trade fairs, etc.]
- Self-marketing [creating profiles on the own website and social platforms/online networks, for example XING, LinkedIn, femconsult]
- For doctoral candidates: Dr. Sabine Mehlmann (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- For postdocs and junior professors: Dr. Elke Bertke (email@example.com)
Conferences and events
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 young scholars 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
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.
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 young scholars in university and non-university fields of work, the compatibility of science and family as well as the academic employment law (Wissenschaftszeitvertragsgesetz).