Keeping sight of your professional development and the next steps in your career is crucial already during your doctoral studies. The higher education institutions in Hamburg can help you hone your professional skills and acquire key competencies to prepare you for a career in university research and beyond, in academic management, industry, or society. You will receive professional support for your individual career planning and qualification strategy in workshops, interactive sessions, and career counseling.
Offers from Hamburg's higher education institutions
The following offers address primarily doctoral and early career researchers from the respective institution. Please check the linked websites carefully to see if you are eligible to participate. Additionally, you find offers in our online course portal that are open to all users of the Hamburg Research Academy.
- With the career development cycle, the HR development department of Universität Hamburg (UHH) helps you clarify your goals, plan how you mean to achieve these, further yourself, and advance in your career. The career development cycle comprises five areas:
- Reflect – Clarify your personal interests, values, skills, and motivation.
- Explore – Explore fields of activity and familiarize yourself with new areas.
- Define – Define your professional goals and plan the next steps.
- Qualify – Refresh and expand your knowledge and skills.
- Implement – Work towards achieving your goals and apply all you have learned.
For more information on additional interdisciplinary qualifications in English and German, please contact your faculty, department, graduate school, or collaborative research center.
- The doctoral studies office (in German only) at Hamburg University of Applied Sciences (HAW) organizes regular workshops and events on academic practices (goal and time management for doctoral students) and on preparation for the oral defense (individual oral defense and viva training). The doctoral studies office supports you in initiating and carrying out doctoral studies in cooperation with higher education institutions in Germany and abroad and accompanies these cooperative doctorates even beyond graduation.
- The Graduate Academy for Technology and Innovation at Hamburg University of Technology (TUHH) hosts a series of workshops and training courses. They are offered in German and English.
- The Promotionskolleg (in German only) at HafenCity University Hamburg (HCU) holds regular workshops for postdoctoral researchers on applying for external funding, the main funding institutions (federal ministries, DFG, EU, foundations), and international research mobility.
- Pro Exzellenzia offers leadership workshops and events for highly-qualified women. The workshops are intended for female graduates of Hamburg higher education institutions in the areas of mathematics, informatics, the natural sciences, technology, art, music, architecture, and the humanities who have their primary residence in Hamburg.
Higher education training
Professional support for further qualifying teachers is available at Hamburg’s higher education institutions.
The Hamburg Center for University Teaching and Learning (HUL) (all links in German only) at Universität Hamburg (UHH) offers practical workshops and certificate courses.
In addition, the HUL offers counselling on teaching quality, digitalisation, and competency development as well as a variety of networking events.
The Studies & Didactics Office (in German only) at Hamburg University of Applied Sciences (HAW) is devoted to higher education teaching. It has developed a skills-based learning and evaluation (KOMWEID) (in German only) concept along with related workshops.
The Center for Teaching and Learning (CLL) at Hamburg University of Technology (TUHH) offers higher education teaching workshops and funding programs.
Starting a business
Do you have an innovative idea and want to set up a scalable business model as a young researcher? The start-up scene is booming and offers excellent career prospects. You can approach various institutions specializing in academic research to make your start-up idea a reality.
- The platform beyourpilot is the central access for potential founders of all Universities in Hamburg. Here you will find access to a broad consultancy network of the Universities and find information on financing opportunities for your knowledge-based and innovative start-up project as well as on events for potential founders and start-ups.
- Startup Dock (in German only) is the Start-up Unit of the Hamburg University of Technology (TUHH), which is partially open for students of other Universities. If you want to realize a technology-based idea, you will receive professional advice and training offers here to help further your entrepreneurial thinking and activities.
- Hamburg Innovation (HI) (in German only) offers advising and coaching in the fields of technology and services specifically for graduates and university staff. HI cooperates with the start-up units of all universities in Hamburg
- EXIST is a funding program of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi). Besides reliable information on setting up a business, the EXIST start-up grants in particular may be of interest. If you are interested, please contact the start-up unit of your university.
- Hamburg’s H.E.I. start-up initiative (in German only) offers free advising and events for all sectors on starting a business in Hamburg.
- The Start-Up Service (in German only) at Universität Hamburg (UHH) provides preliminary advice and links to start-up funding options.
Career paths outside academia
Your academic qualifications open up an array of career paths outside of academia. Statistically speaking, only 1 percent of doctoral graduates are unemployed (according to a study by the German Federal Statistical Office from 2011) and almost 50 percent of all chairpersons of DAX companies have a doctoral qualification.
However, many people are unsure how to transition to a non-academic career. The Hamburg Research Academy offers a range of support in this area:
- individual career coaching in cooperation with the HR Development at Universität Hamburg
- a regular, German-language information session on how to write a letter of application and curriculum vitae
- workshops on career development
- career programs for doctoral researchers in the final phase of their dissertation and postdoctoral researchers at all career levels
- career days for those embarking on a non-academic career
We recommend that you plan your non-academic career and start cultivating relevant contacts at an early stage. To give you some insight before you take these steps, we recommend you read the German publication on non-academic careers beyond the doctorate Perspektiven nach der Promotion. Berufswege außerhalb der Wissenschaft. Universität Hamburg participated in this study, published by the German University Association of Advanced Graduate Training (GUAT/UniWiND) in 2018. In Sections 1 to 13, you will find profiles of people with doctorates who have established successful careers outside of academia. Section 2 consists of interviews with over 40 companies giving their perspective on employing persons with doctoral qualifications.
Good to know:
We recommend the following publications before you plan the next steps in your career:
- Richard Nelson Bolles, What Color Is Your Parachute? A Practical Manual for Job-Hunters and Career-Changers (Ten Speed Press, 2018).
- Mirjam Müller, Karriere nach der Wissenschaft: Alternative Berufswege für Promovierte (Campus Verlag, 2017).
Tips and recommendations
- Are you looking for jobs within academia? We have compiled a selection of job and career portals as well as links to current job opportunities at Hamburg's higher education institutions.
- Trade fairs, e.g., Stellenwerk Hamburg’s career fair, can provide useful stimulus. For an overview of international career fairs for doctoral and early career researchers, please see the Research in Germany website. (Links in German only)