Why go for coaching?

Have you just accepted a postdoctoral position, but are unsure whether you want to remain in research in the long term? Have you become a team leader for the first time, and are not sure how to cope with your management role, or how best to develop your own style of management? You are sure that you want to work towards becoming a professor, but you are not sure which strategy you would be best advised to take to get there? Are you faced with having to decide between various options, and you’re not sure which is the best path to take?

If you are faced with questions such as these you may find coaching helpful.

We offer coaching in-house. It is carried out by the head of the Office of Research Career Development and Graduate Centre Dr. Stefanie Herberger and Dr. Silke Schnurbusch. They have been certified by the German Association for Coaching and Training (dvct) and have many years’ experience in advising and coaching young researchers.

If you are interested in coaching during your postdoc or habilitation phase, please feel free to make an appointment directly via e-mail (see contact).

Coaching can help you resolve difficult situations, open up new perspectives for your career or discover which skills you could or should work on to reach your goals. When faced with challenging situations such as reflecting on the various career paths open to you, taking decisions, dealing with change or taking a change of direction, coaching can help you develop strategies for the next steps, providing you with tailored support aimed at coming to a solution whilst taking available resources into consideration.

Please note that coaching is not the same as

  • Advice aimed at answering specific questions.
  • Training aimed at teaching specific skills or knowledge or meeting specific learning outcomes.
  • Psychiatric therapy of any nature aimed at treating psychiatric issues, disorders or illnesses. In these instances, the person seeking help is not usually in a position to use their own resources to help themselves. The first port of call in such an instance would usually be, for example, the psychotherapy outpatients’ clinic or the University counselling service

If you are looking for information on the various career options available at FAU, if you are trying to find out who you should contact or what services are available at our University, or if you have questions about your habilitation or funding programmes, please attend an advice session with us and you will be given specific answers to your questions.

Coaching, however, is aimed at encouraging you to find personal answers to complex individual questions arising during your qualification phase. The coach does not provide you with ready-made answers. They are there to help and act as a sounding board, but at the end of the day it is up to you to work out which solution suits you best. The focus is on you – not the factual knowledge of the coach.

In the Graduate Centre the coaching we give focuses on:

  • General career development
  • Academic career development and planning
  • Developing other career options after completing your doctoral degree or postdoctoral phase
  • Challenges faced by young researchers when balancing family and career

The coaching process typically lasts for 5 appointments of 90 minutes each. The number of meetings actually required may vary depending on the topics covered. As we only have restricted capacity, we would ask you to get in touch early on, as you may need to wait some time before you can come for the first meeting.

All documents and information relating to the coaching process are strictly confidential, as is everything discussed during sessions.


If you are interested in coaching during your postdoctoral or habilitation phase, please feel free to arrange an appointment directly by e-mail.

Dr. Stefanie Herberger

Referatsleiterin; Entwicklung wissenschaftlicher Nachwuchs, Strategische Weiterqualifizierung, Coaching, Kooperationen

Department of Strategic Planning
Graduate Centre and Young Researchers Support

Dr. Silke Schnurbusch

Leitung Karriereprogramm FAUnext, Coaching, Entwicklung wissenschaftlicher Nachwuchs, Nachwuchsgruppenleitung FAU-NGL

Department of Strategic Planning
Graduate Centre and Young Researchers Support