The group of postdocs includes all scientific/academic staff with a completed doctoral degree and employed on a fixed-term basis. Postdocs are employed in qualification positions (goal: habilitation or equivalent) or in project positions within the scope of an externally funded fixed-term project.
The group of postdocs includes both the postdocs in the early phase (approx. 0-2 years after their doctorate) as well as in the advanced phase (approx. 2-6 years after their doctorate). The qualification objectives, too, are heterogeneous: Apart from the traditional habilitation, it is also possible to obtain habilitation-equivalent qualifications (see Career paths).
The group of postdocs is made up of salaried employees as well as of fixed-term civil servants. In accordance with the Agreement on Good Employment Conditions, the initial contract period should cover at least three years, generally on a 100% full-time basis, if the postdocs strive to qualify for a professorship. Apart from the own scientific qualifications, the scope of work also includes supporting the relevant workgroup in the processing of research topics, participation in project organisation & application as well as an active involvement in teaching (generally 2 semester periods per week). Compared to doctoral students, generally a higher degree of independent work is required here, which should ideally increase during the course of the postdoc period. And also an active involvement in the supervision of theses (BA/MA) including a proposed assessment is required, as the right to assess can be granted on application.
The general conditions for fixed-term employment relationships for scientific and academic qualification are set out in the Academic Fixed-Term Employment Regulation or the Regulations for Civil Servants in NRW.