Exploring Difference - Postdoctoral Careers in Global Academia

Exploring Difference - Postdoctoral Careers in Global Academia

Monday, 11 October 2010, Ludwig-Erhard-Haus in Berlin

For some time the discussions on reforming postdoctoral careers in Germany have focussed on the following issues; early independence, clear and well-structured career paths, increasing flexibility in and diversity of qualification requirements.

Despite the introduction of assistant / associate professorships (Juniorprofessur) and the removal of the obligatory second phase (Habilitation) the German system is still viewed critically by its young academics who continue to regard Anglo-American universities as a highly attractive alternative. The seventh conference in the ID-E Berlin series examined the challenges facing postdoctoral careers in global academia. A detailed understanding of the different systems and new developments was elicited from participating speakers from Australia, Canada, Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States of America.

Three central questions guided the conference proceedings:

  • What are the roles and functions of postdocs in the different university systems?
  • Postdocs around the globe: What are their rights and obligations? How independent can they be? Which career paths are open to them, what qualifications are required of them?
  • Between internationalization and global mobility: How will postdoctoral careers change in future?