Taking the next steps: a career toolkit for early postdocs

JUNO Workshop

Target audience early postdocs of all research areas
Language English

2 + 1 (follow up) days

Capacity max. 12

Upcoming Workshops

17./18.11.2020 (9 a.m. - 3 p.m., online) + 18.05.2021 (ENG)   Zur Anmeldung/Registration

Workshop description

This workshop serious is specially designed for early Postdocs who want to advance their career portfolio. Success of advanced training is dependent on the participants, content, the method and the trainers. This workshop series has two unique advantages: it is given by scientists for scientists. In addition, the workshop program consists of a balanced and structured set of activities and review sessions that provide directly applicable tools for everyday lab situations and long-term success in science. The aim is to induce reflection, increase awareness and knowledge and build a resilient network.

Course A “Taking the next steps: a career toolkit for postdocs”  (2 days)

Get information across - identify on your scientific unique selling point

Elevator pitch, graphical abstract, word your central message, 4 laws of presentation: Adapt to the audience – Maximize signal-to-noise ratio - Use effective redundancy on multiple channels – Tell a story

Make plans and adapt them

Structured problem solving, SMART goals for your career: skills, values, interests, expectations, personality traits, “Plans are nothing, planning is everything”: writing it down is the first step to making it happen, personal career development plan, plan A & B, career mates


Delegating vs micromanagement, democratic vs dictatorship, first follower, feedback as leadership tool, sending and receiving, common leadership rules, identify your vision and values, situational and behavioral leadership

Conflict and negotiation

Group dynamics (Tuckman model), conflict management, building trust, your motivation and their motivation, negotiation tools (Harvard principles), collaborative conflict handling style (Thomas Kilman)

Course B “Reflection and Moving Forward” (1 day)

Reactivation of Course A

What did we do last time? Using group memory we collect content from Course A. Who met with their career mate? What was discussed? Who has a written cdp? Who addressed their pilot cdp? What are expectations for Course B?

Selection of content depends on expectations of participants


Adaptation of the 2 Dollar game: in three negotiation rounds participants understand tangibles vs intangibles, increasing the pie, BATNA, resistance point, positive and negative bargaining range, soft on the people - hard on the matter, style, strategy, expanding Harvard negotiation principles

Communication and self-management

Four sides of a message (F. Schulz v. Thun), Riemann-Thomann model with inner team, practical pieces of advice, active listening, negative listening behaviors, small talk towards intense talk, handling the impostor syndrome, procrastination, perfectionism: Act, do not react; Collaboration: Win/Win needs pay/pay; Alternating Win/Loose; Realistic and real-time self-awareness; Synergize in valuing difference; Balanced renewal – “Sharpen the axe”

Synthesis towards collaboration

Interdisciplinary and intercultural competence, case studies, role plays (Participants identify real-life challenges that are re-enacted by role play and solutions / alternative approaches identified in moderated discussion), deeper introspection, moderated Q+A session, group coaching, collegial case consulting

Advanced Career Development

Hiring: using competence cards (skills, interests, values), participants connect applicant characteristics and hire candidates. Aim: understanding differences and conflicts of skills, values and interests, seeing issues of the hiring party, there is no ideal candidate, focus on strengths,

Introspection: Participants use images on cards to access their subconscious and identify unexpected interpretations / options of the present and for the future; sunk cost fallacy: discussion of how to end projects / not adding more years to career dead-ends


Dr. ès sc. habil. Alexander Schiller was a junior professor for inorganic chemistry at the University of Jena (Germany). As inorganic chemistry professor he broadened his portfolio in 2012 with the project „Schiller & Mertens“: teaching advanced research skills, such as communication in science, team building and leading competences and didactics and methodology in university teaching. As former researcher and group leader Dr. Schiller knows the challenges of natural scientists and addresses them in an interactive setting.

Key image: chattanongzen/shutterstock.com


Junior Scientist and
International Researcher Center (JUNO)

Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf
Gebäude 16.11.
Ebene 00 Raum 48
Universitätsstr. 1
40225 Düsseldorf
Tel.: +49 211 81-13564
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