Web­casts: Ca­reer plan­ning for doc­tor­al can­did­ates and post-docs

Our webcasts aim to help you with career guidance and strategic career planning. You can choose from four topic modules as well as the option of an accompanying individual consultation:

Web­cast 1: Pro­fess­or wanted! Plan­ning and op­tim­ising your ca­reer in aca­demia

Target group Doctoral cadidates (in the second half of their doctorate), post-docs
Video length 3 hours
Language German or English
Accompanying materials Handout, sample CVs, “Academic profile” questionnaire

The post-doc phase is crucial for those wishing to further their academic career, and it is subject to the constant tension between dependent employment and academic independence. Academics face a number of professional challenges: developing a research profile, independent publishing activity, compiling a teaching portfolio, participating in academic communication, building up a network of colleagues and co-operation partners, planning academic stays abroad, etc. When are which tasks particularly important? What has the highest priority? How important is a post-doctoral qualification? What is an appropriate time frame? This webcast tells you all the key requirements (covering more than just publications and third-party funding) and milestones for a career in academia, and gives you concrete tips and advice on how to prioritise these requirements as well as strategic considerations during the post-doc phase on the path to a professorship.


Web­cast 2: First au­di­tion? Ap­ply­ing for Pro­fess­or­ships

Target group mainly Postdocs
Video length 3,25 hours
Language German or English
Handout, analysis sheet job advertisement, example CVs, list of collected interview questions

The aim of the webcast is to provide participants with detailed information about all phases of the appointment procedure for professorships (focus Germany), and to give them concrete advice and tips for their applications. The webcast will first deal with the procedure and the formal aspects of the appointment process. Afterwards, all necessary application documents (especially CV, cover letter, research and teaching concept) will be discussed in detail and partly illustrated with sample materials. The third part addresses all aspects of the hearing. Participants will learn about the requirements for the application talk and the demonstration lecture. In addition, the most frequently asked questions in the interview with the selection committee will be discussed.

Web­cast 3: I’m out of here! Path­ways out of aca­demia

Target group Doctoral candidates and post-docs
Video length 3 hours
Language German
Accompanying materials Handout, professional motivation questionnaire, skills and expertise questionnaire, sample CVs

It has become the norm for academics to pursue a career outside the traditional university professorship pathway after completing their PhD, or even after a few years as a post-doc. Therefore, sooner or later, many researchers start to think about a career outside academia and have to consider questions such as: Am I suited to a job outside academia? How can I find appropriate jobs? Do I have any skills and experience that make me an interesting candidate for jobs in the open market? Is there anything outside of academic research that I’d really like to do?

In this webcast, you’ll get

  1. Information on the situation for PhD graduates on the non-academic job market
  2. Concrete advice on how and where you can look for options suitable for you
  3. An initial overview of examples of fields of work for PhD graduates outside academia
  4. Suggestions and advice on how to identify and reflect on your own professional motivators and how to showcase the skills you’ve acquired in academia during the application process
  5. Concrete tips on applying for jobs outside academia

Web­cast 4: Postdoc wanted! Ap­ply for postdoc po­s­i­tions

Target Group Doctoral candidates and post-docs
Video length 3,25h
Language German
Accompanying materials

Handout, example CVs, list of collected interview questions

A job application in science differs from other industries in numerous ways: What does a scientific application portfolio look like? Which competencies from my previous scientific career should I particularly emphasize? What characterizes a good cover letter? And how can I stand out from other applicants? At the beginning, the webcast primarily deals with the phase before the invitation to a job interview or lecture. Here, we will first discuss the different job formats for postdocs (e.g. research associate, junior professor) as well as the requirements for a complete academic profile. Subsequently, you will learn how to present yourself optimally and adapted to the scientific community in written form, what special features there are in the design of a curriculum vitae, how teaching experience and teaching evaluations can find their way into the application documents, and you will receive tips for the cover letter. Building on this, the webcast will address the post-invitation phase of getting to know someone in person, from preparing for an interview, to critical science-specific interview questions, to giving a job application talk. Applications for traditional staff positions as well as junior professorships are discussed.


How do the web­casts work?

All of the webcasts comprise a video (password-protected stream via Vimeo) and accompanying materials for download via Dropbox (handout, worksheets, etc.).

To register, please contact Staff Development using the form below. (Note: Please enter “Webcast 1/2/3/4” as the course number). Once you’ve registered, we’ll send you a link to access the video and the materials. Both will be available for a limited period of time for you to access as and when it best suits you. The webcasts and associated individual consultations are available free of charge for Paderborn University doctoral cadidates and post-docs.

Please note: Webcasts 3 and 4 are only available in German.


The webcasts are produced by Dr Dieta Kuchenbrandt, a qualified psychologist and trained coach and management consultant. After several years as a post-doctoral researcher at Bielefeld University and as an interim professor at Osnabrück University, Dr Kuchenbrandt is now a lecturer and consultant specialising in the needs of academics. Her work focuses on academic career planning as well as applications for professorships and post-doc positions.  

Associated individual consultations

To accompany the webcasts, individual consultations (45 min. in length) are available on request for those interested. Participants can use these consultations to, for example, get feedback on their CV/application documents, reflect on their own academic profile and identify next steps, as well as to discuss a wealth of other specific questions. Consultations are available in German and English. If you would like to take advantage of an individual consultation, please indicate this in the “Comments” section when registering for the webcast. The individual consultations accompanying the webcasts on academic careers (Webcasts 1, 2 and 4) are provided by Dr Dieta Kuchenbrandt. The consultations accompanying the webcast on pathways out of academia (webcast 3) are provided by her colleague Dr Cécile Schain.


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