16 November 2023
Under the banner of "Doing Your Postdoc in Hamburg", roughly 70 postdocs and advanced doctoral researchers participated in the International Researcher Day on 8 November 2023. The day included an online event, various in-person workshops, and a panel discussion—a multitude of opportunities to gather information, reflect, and discuss. For the mostly international participants, the day was a great opportunity to network with others and share the experiences they had already made in Hamburg.
Explore: How can I make my postdoc phase a success?
The day started with an online event: "Navigating a Successful Academic Career— Essentials for Postdocs". Workshop leader Alexander Schiller talked about the requirements and conditions of the postdoc phase, focusing on long-term academic career planning. The guiding principle was thinking in terms of the big picture: how can you keep the overall objective in your sights and set priorities and define goals for the future at the very start of your postdoctoral work? Schiller emphasized that the postdoctoral phase is not, of course, a permanent job; nonetheless, it is a central transitional phase in the course of a career. Thus, good networks and careful planning are especially important at this stage.
Reflect: What do I need in this current phase of my career?
The afternoon took place in person at the Hamburg Research Academy. The participants attended different workshops with different areas of focus: time management, external funding, skills portfolios, and active networking were discussed in detail in small groups, with opportunity for individual questions.
Discuss: And science communication on top of it all?!
The evening event at the end of the day also provided an opportunity for personal exchange: at the Museum of Nature – Zoology, participants discussed the possibilities and challenges of science communication with a panel of experts in research, politics, and communications. There is an article summarizing the results of the Juggling Science Communication panel discussion.
Network: Exchange with other (international) researchers in Hamburg
It was clear that personal exchange was especially important for participants. Whether they had only recently arrived or have lived longer in Hamburg, everyone used the opportunity to meet other (international) postdocs in different fields and from different HRA member universities. They touched upon other simple but essential concerns: settling into a new city, navigating new work environments, making friends, and dealing with red tape.