Symposium of the Graduate Academy: Postdocs in the career jungle

"A career in the German science system currently resembles more of a path through the jungle", Prof. Dr. Manfred Prenzel of TU Munich summarized his experiences. After achieving their doctoral degree the young researchers are trying to survive in this jungle - but some are eaten by tigers. In order to survive, postdocs need to be guided and at the moment "we are building guideposts" added Prof. Dr. Peter-André Alt, president of the Freie Universität Berlin.

These guideposts and the complicated career paths of young scientists were discussed in the conference "The German science system and its postdocs" on 26 and 27 November in Jena. The conference was organised by the Graduate Academy of Friedrich Schiller University Jena on the occasion of the opening of the House of young researchers "Zur Rosen".

In three panel discussions participants debated how the postdoc-phase can be shaped in future. Possible paths should be made more visible in order to avoid the withdrawal of highly qualified scientists. Prof. Dr. Richard Bessel from the University of York said in his lecture: "When it comes to talented postdocs, it is not worth to be export world champion."

A detailed documentation of the conference was published here. Videos of the lectures and panel discussions can be found here (in German only).

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