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Career Advice for Postdocs

Forschungszentrum Jülich is always looking for excellent young talent for its research. Following the launch of the doctoral platform a few weeks ago, there is now another offer that is primarily aimed at postdocs and doctoral candidates in the final phase of their doctorate: at the Jülich Career Center & Postdoc Office, they can work out career development opportunities and possible next career steps – whether inside or outside science and in science management.

Eine Frau in einem karierten Hemd schaut vor einem künstlichen Himmel mit aufgehangenen Wolken durch ein Fernrohr.Copyright: Sergey Nivens -

The Career Center offers individual career advice and coaching, career-oriented events and training, networking opportunities and internal consulting services.

The Career Center also wants to promote the dialogue between young academics and their managers. This is why managers can also seek advice at the Career Center.

The Career Center is funded by the Helmholtz Association’s Initiative and Networking Fund.

Career Center Website

Three questions to the coordinators

Dr. Katharina Klein is responsible for strategy and networking at the Career Center, Andrea Bosten for Career Counseling & Coaching. They explain what the Career Center is about.

Who exactly does the Career Center address and with which questions can it help young scientists?

The offers of the Career Center are primarily aimed at postdocs, but also at doctoral students in the final phase of their doctorate. This group encounters a variety of career opportunities and career paths, which can lie both inside and outside of science. The aim is to give young scientists the opportunity to deal thoroughly with their own career planning as early as possible and to support them in this in the best possible way. It is not about finding specific job offers. Rather, we offer them help to develop existing possibilities and the corresponding development options within and outside of science. We are of course taking individual wishes and qualifications into account. However, young academics who have specific questions about application processes or requirements in the various professional fields are just as welcome to seek advice from the Career Center.

What exactly does the Career Center offer?

The Career Center is the first point of contact for postdocs. It provides orientation and information about all offers relevant to this target group. This includes the advisory services already offered by the various institutes and business units on campus such as advice on scholarships and individual support programmes, or personnel development offers and mentoring programmes. In addition, the Career Center offers individual career advice and coaching, career-oriented events and training. We also offer young scientists access to networks if they want to establish contacts and use them for their own career development, e.g. with other postdocs, but also with external network partners from the various professional fields of science management or the industry.

The Career Center thus assumes a pilot function for existing FZJ offers and, in addition, provides its own consulting, coaching, information and network services in career development and planning. You also offer advice to managers of young scientists. What is the service behind this?

The managers are the people who are closest to the postdocs and who know their scientific requirements best, which is why we see the managers as the “first personnel developers”. Accordingly, they also belong to the target group of the Career Center in the broader sense. They are included in the advising of young scientists in a structured manner.

In addition, the Career Center would especially like to strengthen the direct dialogue between manager and postdoc as an important component of career planning and career development. This can be done through the joint development of a personnel development plan, for example, for which the Career Center is happy to provide guidance.

At the same time, the Career Center also offers managers relevant consulting or further training opportunities for conducting career development dialogues.


Bernd Spindler
Project Manager of the Career Center
Phone: +49 2461 61-8097