International Researcher Day
2023: Doing Your Postdoc in Hamburg
The Hamburg Research Academy invites all postdocs in Hamburg to participate in the International Researcher Day on 8 November 2023. This year's program is specifically tailored to the needs of international postdocs in Hamburg. The English-language event offers a rich program that will give you valuable information for a successful postdoc phase and addresses the specifics of the German academic system. In addition, there will be plenty of opportunity to exchange ideas and connect with other researchers.
The International Researcher Day 2023 consists of three parts, the first takes place online and the other two on-site. You can decide which parts you would like to attend and select them when you register.
Part 1: Explore (9:30 am - 12 noon, online)
How can you successfully navigate your postdoc phase? The online event "Navigating a Successful Academic Career. Essentials for Postdocs" will highlight some key aspects that are particularly relevant for early-stage postdocs.
Part 2: Reflect (1:30-5:30 pm, at the HRA)
From time management to leading in a sandwich position and research funding to building a competence portfolio: in the afternoon, you can choose one of six workshops and dive deeper into a topic.
Part 3: Discuss (6:30-8:30 pm, at the Museum of Nature – Zoology)
In the evening, we invite you to the panel discussion "Juggling Science Communication: Communicating Research While Navigating the Academic System" at the Museum of Nature (formerly Zoological Museum), where we critically examine the call for more science communication.
Program – Part 1: Explore (9:30 am - 12 noon, online)
Navigating a Successful Academic Career. Essentials for Postdocs
Within the 2-hour online session we are interactively exploring essential points making a postdoc phase successful. Starting a scientific postdoc involves careful planning and introspection. Before embarking on this journey, one must understand their personal and career goals, and gather information about the academic labor market and postdoc requirements. It's crucial to identify the distinctions between a PhD researcher and an early postdoc, striving for independence in research. Familiarity with the (German) funding landscape, mastering the skill of writing successful research proposals, and determining when to apply for third-party funding is essential. It's also vital to plan for potential future positions or even consider exit strategies from academia.
Dr. ès sc. habil. Alexander Schiller is a chemist (LMU Munich, EPF Lausanne, UC Santa Cruz) and works now as certified trainer, coach and facilitator for scientists. His company, Schiller & Mertens, has trained over 11 000 scientists worldwide in hundreds of seminars, coachings, consultings and lectures since 2011. The DFG Heisenberg fellow Dr. Schiller was a junior professor from 2009 to 2017. Dr. Schiller’s experience as researcher and group leader enables him to focus on the real needs of scientists. Moreover, he uses examples from everyday life in research.
9:30 am – Welcome
10 am – Session
12 noon – End
Program – Part 2: Reflect (1:30-5:30 pm, at the HRA)
Please note: Select one of the following workshops in the registration form.
Time & Self-management – Reconciling Every Day’s Challenges Efficiently
Time management techniques are not difficult to understand, but often hard to implement in the postdoc life full of projects, conferences, deadlines, grant applications, teaching, traveling and of course private life. Therefore, the course offers the opportunity to develop individual solutions for your everyday worklife and your current challenges. The aim is to make you more productive, while having less stress and enough time for yourself, family and friends.
In detail, the following points are covered:
- Best practices of time management and prioritization
- Productive use of time management tools and techniques
- Inclusion of individual time sinks and your daily rhythm
Dr. Alexander Egeling is a certified trainer and coach, mostly specializing on scientists. He studied and worked at universities in Germany, Australia, and Canada. Specializing in (research) management, career planning and communication, he has more than 10 years of experience in higher education training.
Leading in an Academic Sandwich Position – Balancing Between PI and Doctoral Candidates
Many postdocs struggle with their position: They know what PhDs do and invest a lot of time in supervision. But if the PI demands changes they have to consider it although they might not agree. The workshop addresses the challenges sandwich leaders have to face and shows that sandwich leaders not only have to "lead" doctoral candidates but also other colleagues and their PI. Knowing the colleagues' and the bosses' interests and motivations is a key to shape the relationship and to influence the bosses' decisions – and in the end to better balance the different needs of e.g. PhDs and PIs.
Dr. Jan Schmidt is trainer, facilitator and moderator with 10 years of experience as head of a graduate academy. He focuses on leadership, communication and career development and provides trainings and workshops in various universities as well as in non-scientific contexts.
Building Your Competence Portfolio for an Academic Career
The profiles of postdoc, group leader or professor require changing skill sets. Researchers are often focussing on skills directly connected to research itself. However, in order to successfully navigate an academic career track, additional skills particularly in strategy, management, and communication become more crucial along the way.
The workshop will cover the following topics and you get the chance to discuss your questions.
- Academic career tracks in Germany
- Relevant skill sets in academia at different career stages
- Strategy vs. lucky coincidences: How to prepare for the uncertain
- Identifying your personal skill portfolio
- Developing your narrative/profile as a researcher
- Communicating your skills & „fit“
Dr. Birte Seffert is heading the career advisory and coaching services at GSO, a Berlin-based Non-Profit empowering researchers to build careers in Germany in and outside of academia. She has been working with international Postdocs and PhD students for many years at universities in Aachen, Cottbus, and Berlin and is trained as a systemic coach and loves giving interactive workshops and 1-on-1 career counseling.
Strategic Third-Party Funding Acquisition
Successful third-party funding acquisition is one crucial performance indicator in science. Moreover, good scientific projects need financial support from third party funding. In light of limited public funding, the securing of sources of financial support is an important task for a scientist. Funding opportunities are manifold. Each funding program requires different criteria for eligibility and grant proposals differ. Moreover, which funding line applies crucially depends on the stage of career of a scientist.
In this short workshop, the participants reflect on the suitability of the different funding programs for their individual career development. Very briefly they will also be introduced to the essentials of a grant proposal.
Prof. Dr. Annette Kolb is nationally active as a freelance trainer, consultant and coach for scientists. Her activities focus on topics such as strategic third-party funding acquisition and strategic career planning. Before starting her independent work in 2014, she was a professor in the Department of Biosciences at Goethe University Frankfurt and from 2015-2020 a research associate in the science coordination staff of the Senckenberg Gesellschaft für Naturforschung.
Uncover Your Values – The Art of Creating a Career that You Love
Studies show that people take better decisions when they consider more options. That's why this workshop encourages participants in the early stages of their postdoc to reflect on their values and create at least one alternative career path outside academia. Participants will also learn how to explore the job market and find out more about the options that interest them. As a result, participants will feel empowered and confident about their next career steps within academia and beyond.
As a career coach and certified systemic consult and mindful leadership trainer, Dr. Kerstin Mauth has coached numerous scientists and scholars in career related change processes, in conflicts, in situations of difficult decision making, and in planning their careers inside and outside academia. She specializes in personal and career development, self-leadership as well as mindful leadership.
Prepare What You Can't Prepare For – Networking in Academia
Successful academic networking rests on a number of things, chiefly among them authentic communication skills. Authenticity might be hindered because one is uncomfortable being in situations in which one needs to react spontaneously, e.g., in typical small talk exchanges, during Q&As, while chairing meetings. Handling situations like that might be even more difficult when having to communicate in English. Even though each situation is unique, all have a few basics in common, and preparing for them is possible. In this workshop you will be introduced to a set of communication skills and strategies that will allow you to be prepared for what you can’t prepare for and be authentic when networking in an academic setting.
Dr. Kimberly Crow, a German-American, studied sociology, psychology, and social psychology and earned her doctorate in political science. Since 2003, she has been coaching scientists from various disciplines in writing and presenting in English.
1:30 pm – Arrival and networking
2 pm – Workshop 1-6 (selected during registration) including a 30-minute break
5:30 pm – Optional group walk to the Museum of Nature (Part 3)
Program – Part 3: Discuss (6:30-8:30 pm, at the Museum of Nature)
Panel Discussion: Juggling Science Communication
Research communication and transfer are becoming increasingly important in the academic system – not merely as buzzwords and something „nice to have“, but as an integral part of the role as a researcher. However, researchers face multiple challenges and demands from various fronts, particularly during the postdoc phase. Why can it be beneficial to engage in research communication activities, and how to find the time and resources for these additional responsibilities?
The Hamburg Research Academy cordially invites you to the English-language panel discussion "Juggling Science Communication: Communicating Research While Navigating the Academic System" at the Museum of Nature – Zoology. Following the panel, there will be a get-together with finger food, providing an opportunity to continue the discussion and explore the museum. The event is part of the International Researcher Day, but you are welcome to attend it independently.
6 pm – Doors open
6:30 pm – Panel discussion
7:30 pm – Get-together with finger food and the opportunity to visit the exhibition
The panel guests will be announced shortly.
Am I allowed to participate?
No matter if you are doing a doctorate, if you are a postdoc, if you are in Hamburg for a research stay as a guest or if you are not an "international researcher": All early career researchers at HRA member institutions and associated institutions are welcome to participate. However, this year’s program is particularly designed for international postdocs. Everyone is invited to the panel discussion.
Do I have to participate the entire day or may I choose individual sessions?
You are welcome to create your individual program in the registration process.
Which video conferencing software will be used for the event?
The first part will take place online via Zoom. The other two parts will take place on site: at the Hamburg Research Academy and the Museum of Nature.
Will I receive a certificate of attendance?
Sorry, we do not provide certificates of attendance for this event.
Will there be opportunities for personal exchange and getting to know each other?
Yes, after the panel discussion, there will be a get-together with finger food starting at 7:30 pm. Additionally, there will be an opportunity to engage in conversations before the workshops at the Hamburg Research Academy starting at 1:30 pm, as well as during the 30-minute coffee break within the workshops.
Is there a participation fee?
Participation is free of charge. Prior registration is necessary, as places in the individual sessions are sometimes limited.
I am no longer able to participate. What can I do?
Please cancel your registration by using the link in the confirmation email. Unexcused absences result in an automatic exclusion from all HRA events for 10 months. More information
Please register using our registration form. There you can select the parts from the program in which you would like to participate.