The main topic that the postdocs wanted to focus on this year was "Career in (German) Academia". | Photo: J. Reinhard, ZMT

23/10/2020 | The annual Postdoc Retreat already become a tradition at ZMT. Due to the measure undertaken as a result of Corona pandemic the retreat took in a virtual space rather than a face-to face encounter away from the office.

On the first day, the up to 12 participants (postdocs, senior scientists and junior research group leaders at ZMT) presented their research profiles and exchanged ideas in small groups on cooperation possibilities.

The main topic that the postdocs wanted to focus on this year was "Career in (German) Academia". On the second day, the participants were given an overview by Dr. Janine Reinhard of the academic system and shown which steps are necessary to get a permanent position. There were impulses to identify own career wishes and strategies as well as information on formal steps such as a habilitation or tenure track professorships. Other career profile requirements such as third-party funding, teaching and supervision experience or honours and awards were also discussed. One focus was on strategies for recruiting a junior research group. Based on her won experiences ZMT junior research group leader Dr. Marie Fujitani could give some valuable insights into the topic.

Prof. Dr. Nils Moosdorf (ZMT & University of Kiel) was available for a Q&A session and spoke very honestly about the challenges of an academic career path and answered many questions.

We plan to hold a retreat again next year and hopefully in an ‘analogue’ setting.


The programme:

October 8 / 14-18h | I. Matchmaking – facilitate cooperation among postdocs

• Introduction (Program, Intro Participants, Ice-Breaker, Intro ZMT Academy)

• Present yourself and your research to other postdocs ( Short pitches from participants)

• Exchange and Matchmaking facilitation via break-out-room


October 9 / 9:30-13h | II. Career in (German) Academia

• Input: How does the German Academic System work? How do I get a professorship? Important steps: Junior Research Group, Habilitation, etc.

• Impulse: The academic career profile • Self-reflection: Where do I stand, where do I want to go? Next steps?

• Discussion: Q&A Session with ZMT’s Prof. Dr. Nils Moosdorf

• Closing of the retreat