Career development

Postdoctoral researchers at ZMT are young, highly motivated scientists from a range of academic disciplines looking to expand their scholarly profiles and networks. Members of the postdoc community at ZMT are distinguished by the diversity of their career plans and institutional status. At present, they include young (first or second contract following their doctorates) and experienced scientists (third or later contract) that do not head their own working groups (in contrast to working group heads and junior research group heads). Postdocs are eminently qualified and work with a high degree of independence, experience, and motivation.

At this stage of their careers, ZMT aspires to support the 30 postdocs who work at the institute, offering them an ideal environment in which to develop skills and exploit their full potential. Its aims therefore include:

  • preparation for leadership roles in academic life and beyond
  • supporting independent profile and career development
  • boosting the awareness of existing resources and personal role perception
  • promoting social and academic networking among postdocs

Within the ZMT Academy, postdoctoral researchers can take advantage of specific programmes that aim to develop their skills and career options (annual retreat and training in leadership skills). They are assisted in enquiries relating to personalised professional development activities. These, for example include the Leibniz Mentoring Programme or professional training and coaching. Postdoctoral students are encouraged to establish junior research groups and are actively supported throughout the application process (e.g. with personal advice and coaching, followed by preparation for selection interviews).

Every year, ZMT invites its postdoctoral researchers to compete for project funding. The successful project ideas must align with ZMT’s mission and overall strategy, while at the same time offering opportunities for innovative research. The projects are applied for and carried out by two postdocs from different working groups.

International postdoctoral and guest researchers who are financed, for example, by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, the Leibniz DAAD Research Fellowship for Postdoctoral Students, or the Hanse-Wissenschaftskolleg (HWK) in Delmenhorst, are supported by the ZMT Academy and integrated into the day-to-day life at the institute. More information for guest researchers can be found here.

Postdoc representatives

Every year, two postdoc representatives are elected to serve for a period of one year. They contribute ideas and concepts for postdoctoral funding programmes together with the ZMT Academy and are responsible for putting forward their peers’ suggestions and requirements. The postdoc representatives are an integral part of the Doctoral Studies Circle and contribute to discussions about the function of ZMT and its vision for the future during strategy meetings. They are also involved in cross-institutional cooperation at postdoc level within the Leibniz Association.

In a large and multidisciplinary institute such as ZMT, sharing experience, knowledge, and insights among postdocs benefits both the institute and the postdocs themselves. Postdocs at ZMT have the privilege to become actively integrated in decision-making processes, giving them the opportunity to boost their profiles within ZMT and beyond.

Vacancies for postdoctoral researchers at ZMT can be found here.