Have you successfully completed your PhD and plan to pursue an academic career? Then the so-called postdoctoral phase begins for you. The information on the following pages is primarily aimed at postdoctoral researchers who completed their doctorate up to four years ago. However, advanced postdocs, junior research group leaders or junior professors will also find helpful information and suitable programs for career development.
Outstanding research performance is the basic prerequisite for a successful career in science. In the early postdoctoral phase – usually two to four years after your PhD – the aim is to gain orientation for your future career in academia, gain further experience in research and teaching at the university, and sharpen your scientific profile. This encompasses publishing, applying for third-party funds, participating in conferences, and expanding your (international) scientific network.
In the advanced postdoctoral phase the highest priority is to obtain the appointability for a professorship with life-long tenure. You should enhance your visibility in your research field, explore new areas of research and gain more experience in leading a research group and in independent teaching. One option to optain the appointability for a professorship is the Habilitation (postdoctoral qualification in Germany), others include the junior research group leadership or a junior professorship.
Academic Short-Term Labor Contract Act
The Academic Short-Term Labor Contract Act (WissZeitVG) regulates how long you may be employed in academia in Germany with a fixed-term contract. The basic rule is six years before plus six years after obtaining the doctorate. However, there are numerous special regulations and possibilities for extension, for example for periods of childcare.
The Human Resources Department of Universität Hamburg can provide you with detailed information; further, the Family Office has compiled information on the WissZeitVG here.