Postdocs receive a high level of support in Germany, with universities and research institutions keen to attract international academics. Whether you decide to pursue a career in a German university, non-university research institute or within the private and industrial sector, there are excellent opportunities to gain top-level experience and further your postdoctoral career.
There are over 400 universities and other higher education institutions in Germany which attract a high number of talented international postdocs every year. A career in a German university is highly prized and represents the most popular route for postdocs and senior academics wishing to further their research. During the postdoc phase, scholars are expected to work towards a professorship while carrying out teaching and administrative roles in the university.
Postdocs applying for a position in the German higher education sector should be aware that jobs are generally temporary (3-6 years) and only a small proportion of non-professorial academic positions at universities are offered tenure. Despite this, postdoctoral academic training in a German university remains a popular choice among international PhD graduates. This path can also open doors to a wide range of prestigious careers in the non-university sector. Following completion of a PhD, more than 50% of Germany’s research and development specialists work in universities, which represent a significant proportion of postdoctoral career opportunities.
The German academic system comprises opportunities for postdocs to work on their research while carrying out tutorial and clerical roles, including: