Postdoc Programme

Promotion of Postdoctoral Researchers

German research institutions offer only few long-term employment opportunities for scientists at the postdoctoral level, and career paths towards faculty positions are limited.
Thus, the majority of postdoctoral researchers will leave academia within a few years after their PhD and take up positions in industry or administration.

Within CEPLAS we will therefore establish a comprehensive career and personal development programme. The programme aims at providing our postdoctoral fellows with the best possible skills and expertise to allow them to achieve their personal career goals in all areas by offering appropriate mentoring, coaching and training experiences.

For each postdoc we design an Individual Development Plan (IDP).
The IDP comprises several parts which shall help our Postdocs to be optimally prepared for their future career.

1. Supervision agreement

  • Each postdoc is assigned to a sub-project. In addition each postdoc is supported by two supervising CEPLAS investigators.
  • The supervision agreement defines tasks and duties of both, the postdoc and the supervising researchers
  • The postdoc and the supervising researchers will meet on a regular basis and define both, the research goals, as well as the goals for personal development. The Progress is documented through regular meeting reports.

2. Training programme
CEPLAS postdocs are offered a wide range of training courses categorised by core competencies expected of graduate researchers and postdocs, based on definitions from the National Postdoctoral Association (NPA):

  • Discipline-specific conceptual knowledge
  • Research skill development
  • Communication skills
  • Professionalism
  • Leadership and management skills
  • Responsible conduct of research

A list of examples of upcoming courses can be found here:
Courses. Postdocs are encouraged to learn more about the core competencies and to explore related resources.

3. Industry Exploration Tool
To bring our Postdocs early in contact with Industry, and thus with potential future employers, we offer:

  • Assistance in finding cooperation partners for joint research projects
  • Assistance in organizing internships at companies
  • Assistance with finding a mentor from industry
  • Excursions to Industry
  • Career talks with scientists from industry

Depending on the postdoc’s project, we seek to find a suitable individual cooperation partner to offer the possibility for lab exchanges and insights into research in an industry environment.

4. Mentoring
One-to-one mentoring is included into the IDP (Individual Development Plan) as it can have a significant positive impact on ones career. Ideally, mentor and mentée are completely independent with respect to research and institutional embedment. Our postdocs are expected to choose their mentors themselves and to meet at least four times during their contract time.

Mobility fund
CEPLAS postdocs can apply for special funding through the mobility fund.