Career Day for Doctoral Researchers in Natural Sciences

Unsure what to do after your PhD? Visit our Career Day on 25 March 2024 to find out more about the professional world outside of academia. Various workshops and lectures will be offered prior to the Career Day. You can register for all events here.

Postdocs and students are also welcome, but doctoral researchers will be given priority in the allocation of workshop seats. 

Registration Deadline: 11 February 2024

25.03.24 - Preliminary Programme

09:30 - 09:45 Welcome

Welcome by the Organizers

09:45 - 10:30 Doctorate and Career Success

Silke Hell, Konstanz Research School

Language: English

10:30 - 11:00 Think about your career!

Melanie Moosbuchner, Academic Staff Development

11:00 - 11:15 Coffee Break

Time to network and discuss with your colleagues

11:15 - 13:15 Career Pathways outside Academia

Alumnis and guest will present their career pathways after their PhD. Our guest are

- Conor Heins, VERSES
Hiroko Shimada-Kreft, BioNTech
- Stefan Wolf, SLP Wolf Consulting
- Benjamin Merkel, Bodensee Patent

13:15 - 14:15 Meet the Guests and Lunch

Use the possibility to continue discussion with our alumni and guests.

14:15 - 16:15 Companies around the Lake

Companies around the lake will introduce themselves and their research.
Organized by BioLAGO


11. - 12.03.24 How to shape your future - Career Planning for Doctoral Reserachers

Trainer: Matthias Merkelbach, Impulsplus
Time: 9:00 - 17:00 h
Room: M630

What are my unique abilities and interests critical in determining the right career path for me?
Can I combine my ideas about a fulfilled life with a university career?
How can I develop a strategy for embarking on an academic career path or other career choices?

This seminar helps to answer these – and other - questions for those who want to plan their career development strategically. It focuses on supporting experienced scientists and researchers. It offers them possibilities to reflect upon future university careers or alternative career choices. Based on their individual profiles, participants develop their own vision for their future personal and professional lives.

  • You reflect upon your professional career path and develop a well-orchestrated plan
  • You develop a biographically-based profile that highlights und evaluates your individual qualifications, skills and job visions
  • You explore different occupational alternatives: Career at university/research center or “outside”, e.g. in a company
  • You get information about formal and hidden requirements for careers at university with special focus on Germany and Switzerland

Contents in brief

  • Creating your profile of skills and qualifications, highlighting your strengths and accomplishments
  • Choosing your own criteria and values for work and life
  • Developing a vision for your own professional and private life
  • Review and evaluation of personal development goals
  • Detect your professional network
  • Next steps: application procedures and job interview


  •  Individual work and team work
  •  Individual coaching session
  • Visualizing methods
  • Presentation and group discussion

13.03.24 Competence Analysis

Trainer: Melanie Moosbuchner, Academic Staff Development
Time: 9:00 - 13:00
Location: M630

Overview: The "Competence Analysis" session is a practical exploration aimed at identifying and leveraging your strengths, setting targeted goals, and enhancing your overall competence for success in academia and beyond.

Workshop Objectives:

  1. Self-Reflection and Awareness:
    • Explore the importance of self-awareness in personal and professional growth.
    • Engage in reflective exercises to identify individual strengths and areas for development.
  2. Competence Mapping:
    • Learn effective techniques for mapping competencies relevant careers in and outside of academia.
    • Understand the practical alignment of competencies with research goals and career paths.
    • Pinpoint areas where (future) demands, skills and competences not correspond yet.
  3. Personal Competence Planning:
    • Set goals for your competence development tailored to your individual research and career aspirations.
    • Learn about options for competence development and certificates useful for demonstrating your transferable skills offered by the Academic Staff Development unit. 
  4. Effective Communication of Competencies:
    • Learn to articulate competencies professionally in various contexts (surface level).
    • You may elaborate in more detail on how to use the insights of this workshop to create convincing application documents for careers outside of academia and to communicate your strengths in job interviews in the respective other workshops offered during the career weeks

Workshop Format: This interactive workshop combines short presentations, group discussions, and hands-on activities. Participants are invited to collaborate and share experiences and insights with fellow researchers.

14. - 15.03.24 Strategic applications for Jobs outside Academia

Trainer: Barbara Hoffbauer, Kepos
Time: 9:00 - 17:00
Room: M630

The participants have already explored various career options outside academia and assessed their own fit for different paths.
In this workshop, the participants will identify the next steps they need to take to achieve their personal career goal(s). They will discover which of their specific technical and personal skills are valued in the non-academia job market. They will also learn how to find and apply for jobs effectively, whether through online ads, personal or professional networks, or speculative applications. What can they do to make sure their application stands out?
In the first part, the participants will learn how to craft a CV that showcases their unique strengths and aligns with their chosen career direction. They will also learn about the differences between applying for jobs in different sectors (public, private, non-profit) and countries (Germany, UK, US).
In the second part the participants will learn how to write cover letters that spark interest and curiosity in the reader. They will get tips on how to take initiative and tap into the hidden job market. A major component of the second part will be the oral self-presentation. The participants will have the opportunity to practice their interview skills, phone etiquette, and networking strategies. They will also learn how to handle tricky questions or unexpected challenges.
Another major component of this workshop is the feedback on the participants’ application documents (1 CV and 1 cover letter per participant).

18.03.24 Passgenau Bewerben außerhalb der Wissenschaft

Trainer: Melanie Moosbuchner, Academic Staff Development
Time: 9:00 - 16:00 h
Room: M630

Language: German

Damit ihr die Zeit im Workshop gut nutzen können, solltet ihr zwei Dinge vorbereiten:

  1. Der Workshop "Passgenau bewerben außerhalb der Wissenschaft" baut auf das ILIAS-Selbstlernmodul "Kompetenzreflexion" [m1] auf. Deshalb bitte vorbereitend die Reflexion 1 „Bestandsaufnahme berufsrelevanter Kompetenzen“ bearbeiten und Notizen mitbringen. Alternativ könnt ihr auch den Workshop „Competence Analysis“ (siehe Programm Career Days) besuchen.
  2. Da Bewerbungen immer zugeschnitten auf die jeweiligen Stellen sein sollten, bringt bitte zusätzlich  eine Stellenausschreibung mit, die euch grundsätzlich interessieren würde. Sie muss nicht aktuell sein.

In Bewerbungen und bei der vertieften Jobsuche geht es darum, die eigenen Fähigkeiten und Erfahrungen mit den Anforderungen abzugleichen, die vom Arbeitgeber gefordert werden, um dann in der schriftlichen Bewerbung und schließlich im Vorstellungsgespräch zu überzeugen.

Sowohl bei Lebenslauf und Anschreiben als auch für das Job Interview gelten dabei andere Konventionen außerhalb der Wissenschaft als in der akademischen Welt.

Der Workshop bietet Input und Feedback zu folgenden Fragen:

  • Welche Kompetenzen sind für die weitere Karriere nach der Promotion zentral?
  • Wie sind die Anforderungsprofile in Stellenausschreibungen zu verstehen?
  • Wie stellt man sein Kompetenzen im Bewerbungsprozess überzeugend dar?

Im „Passgenau Bewerben-Workshop“ habt ihr die Möglichkeit, an euren Bewerbungsunterlagen zu arbeiten, sei es dass ihr erste Ideen und Formulierungen sammelt oder an bereits bestehenden Unterlagen feilt.

Am Nachmittag erfahrt ihr, was euch in Bewerbungsgesprächen außerhalb der Wissenschaft erwartet und wie ihr euch gut präsentieren und den Verlauf des Gesprächs aktiv beeinflussen könnt.Ihr habt zudem die Gelegenheit, euch im wohlwollenden und geschützten Rahmen in einer Simulation praktisch auszuprobieren.

Ziele des Workshops

  • Analyse konkreter Stellenausschreibungen hinsichtlich explizierter Kann- und Muss-Anforderungen
  • Abgleich von Anforderungen und persönlichen Kompetenzen
  • Passgenaue, überzeugende Darstellung der geforderten Kompetenzen in Lebenslauf und Anschreiben
  • Authentische und überzeugende Selbstdarstellung in Simulation kurzer Sequenzen von Job Interviews
  • Umgang mit Anforderungen, zu denen sich keine Entsprechung im eigenen Kompetenzspektrum findet.

20.03.24 CV Check

Trainer: Margit Jetter and Eva Maisel, Career Service
Time: 14:00 - 16:00 h
Room: D413 (German), D412a (English)

Is my resume neatly arranged? Are my strengths well highlighted? Does the cover letter make it clear why I am an asset to the company? We are happy to counter-check your job application documents with a trained eye and give you feedback.

20.03.24 Presentation "Job Interview"

Trainer: Eva Maisel, Career Service
Time: 17:00 - 18:30h
Room: M627

Which are typical questions in a job interview and how do you best answer them? What should you not do or say? And what are "forbidden questions"? This presentation will help you to prepare for job interviews in Germany. Questions are welcome!

22.03.24 Perspective Shift: Exploring the Application Potential of Your Research

Trainer: Christine Ludwig and Anja Weidenmüller, WTT- Team
Time: 9:00 - 13:00h
Room: H309

Have you ever thought about the application potential of your own research? If not, this workshop is for you. You will practice changing your perspective and reflect about potential user groups and the network of stakeholders that surround you and your research. Why and how could they benefit from your research? Using the framework ‘your research canvas’, you will brainstorm potential use cases, benefit from the innovation potential of the group, and help each other take ideas to the next level in a playful and creative atmosphere.

Learning Goals

  • Reflect about the application potential of your own research topic/idea
  • Assess potential through identifying users/stakeholders
  • Develop or extend potential use cases based on your research & network