RMU Postdoc Career Weeks 2024

Rhine-Main Universities (RMU) alliance showcases prospects for advanced doctoral students and postdocs.

The Rhine-Main Universities are holding their third Postdoc Career Weeks from June 17 to 28, 2024. The venue rotates each year between Technical University of Darmstadt (TU Darmstadt), Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) and this year’s host, Goethe University Frankfurt. The Career Weeks offer postdocs and advanced doctoral students from the three universities a varied program of events to help them plan their careers. To make it easier for participants from the three locations to join, the Postdoc Career Weeks are largely held online.

The three Rhine-Main universities joined forces in 2015, forming a strategic alliance in research, teaching and study – including providing support to researchers in their postdoc phase. The Postdoc Career Weeks are aimed at postdocs at all stages of their careers and at advanced doctoral students, and address topics that illuminate various aspects of being a postdoc. While some events put together this year provide information about different promotional institutions and programs in Germany and the EU – ranging from tips for one’s first application for third-party funding to information on the German Research Foundation’s (DFG) Heisenberg Program and the ERC grants available from the EU –, participants can also obtain an overview of the assistance offered by the graduate academies of the RMU alliance and their joint programs. Another focus is on postdocs sharing their experiences on various career paths both inside and outside academia. For instance, tenure-track professors and ERC starting grantees from all three universities will describe their careers, share their experiences with the participants, and answer their questions.

Many scientists in their postdoc phase either wonder how they can advance their scientific careers or prepare for a career outside science. Workshops will therefore be offered on career planning for postdocs in the humanities, cultural and social sciences, and on career options for postdocs in the natural and life sciences, to give them an opportunity to discuss these important questions with experienced trainers and develop their own career plans.

To inform attendees about possible career options outside science, the Postdoc Career Weeks include presentations about a wide variety of different professions where postdocs and their qualifications are in demand. To that end, postdocs now employed at the Federal Foreign Office and the Max Planck Society, as well as those now working in science management or consulting will talk about their career paths – offering authentic insights into their various occupations and ready to answer questions.

In addition to the above-mentioned formats, the Postdoc Career Weeks will also feature events on numerous other topics, including maternity and science, the Academic Fixed-Term Contract Act (WissZeitVG), spin-offs as well as the rights, obligations and prospects for junior and tenure track professorships.

The RMU Postdoc Career Weeks began on June 17 with a virtual panel discussion featuring representatives from the three participating universities. Prof. Sabine Andresen, Vice-President Equal Opportunities, Career Development & Advancement, Diversity and Gender Equality (Goethe University Frankfurt), Prof. Franziska Lang, Vice President Academic Careers (Technical University of Darmstadt), and Prof. Julia Weinmann-Menke, Director of the Gutenberg Council for Young Researchers (JGU), spoke about the key career factors on the way to a chair and shed light on topics like experiences gathered abroad and acquiring third-party funding.

To create a space for face-to-face networking among the postdocs and advanced doctoral students in the RMU alliance, an in-person event was held on Goethe University Frankfurt’s Westend Campus on June 18, 2024. The event was opened by Professor Sandra Ciesek, Director of University Hospital Frankfurt’s Institute of Medical Virology, who recounted her experience as a science communicator – an important topic for postdocs and doctoral students. Afterward, all participants were invited to use several different networking options while enjoying snacks and drinks.

Program and registration: https://www.rhein-main-universitaeten.de/rmu-postdoc-career-weeks-2024
Participants are welcome to submit questions to the organizers: Emine Sahingöz (Research Support) or Eva Noller (GRADE/Research Support): ecr@uni-frankfurt.de

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