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Graduate Centre

Starting the postdoctoral phase

After your doctoral degree

Have you completed your doctoral degree and are you thinking about a career in research? Or have you already got a postdoctoral position or project at a chair? Then you are now in the early postdoctoral phase which usually lasts two years. During this time you should decide whether you wish to pursue a career in university research in the long term, or whether you would like to work in research in a non-university environment or go in a different direction altogether.

After completing your doctoral degree, you will generally receive a new employment contract with the University when you begin the postdoctoral phase. In this context, we recommend you familiarise yourself with the conditions set out in the Fixed-Term Research Contracts Act (Wissenschaftszeitvertragsgesetz). An overview of the most important topics that you should discuss with your future manager with regard to your contract is provided in the check list for good practice for supervising and completing work on postdoctoral qualifications. You and your future manager can use this check list as a guideline when discussing a new contract or extending an existing contract.

Alongside your current research project, you should develop a plan B in addition to your main career goal. Are you unsure what a suitable plan B might be? We provide support and advice on this topic. For example, you can register for our workshop ‘Karriereplanung in der Wissenschaft’ (research career planning) which is held each semester. Or contact us to organise a consultation session. We will be happy to arrange an appointment with you.