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Skills for Careers in Business and Society

Certificate Programme of the NRW Universities

The certificate programme is geared toward giving researchers the skills they need for jobs outside a university setting. This includes working in business and society but also at universities of applied sciences and non-university research organizations.

The programme is intended to give academic staff career orientation and make them aware of the competencies they have acquired in the course of their academic work. The acquisition of key competencies in the areas of leadership, management, communication and methodologies as well as successful self-marketing supports the transfer to business and society.

Target group

The programme is aimed at researchers with a doctorate who are not yet independent - the so-called Recognised Researchers (R2). They can make their personal competence portfolio visible and supplement it with key competences that are particularly important for the non-university job market.

Content of the certificate programme

The core of the NRW certificate consists of the 5 workshop modules

    A Leadership skills
    B Management skills
    C Communication skills
    D Specialist and methodological skills
    E Counselling, career planning and job application.

The programme is framed by a mandatory initial orientation interview and a reflection interview at the end of the programme.

Programme implementation

The certificate is designed as a cross-university NRW certificate. The programme content for participants at HHU can be flexibly combined from the offers of the Junior Scientist and International Researcher Center (JUNO), depending on the fit to the modules. In addition, participants are allowed to take courses at all member universities (usually remaining places) and to use them for the NRW certificate. The certificate is based on uniform quality standards throughout NRW and represents a transparent proof of competence for future employers.

Programme scope

To obtain the certificate, participants must complete a total of 80 work units from all modules (1 unit = 45 minutes, i.e. a total of approx. 10 one-day workshops) as well as a mandatory initial consultation (first meeting) and a reflection meeting. The initial consultation is not credited with units, but courses and individual formats from the module E are. The programme usually concludes with a reflection interview.

Note on participation in the programme: The certificate programme is part of HHU's internal continuing education and training programme and is open to all HHU employees with doctoral degrees. It is advisable to coordinate participation in the events individually and in advance with the direct supervisor(s) in order to ensure that there is no conflict of interest regarding the personal academic duties.


Participants receive a certificate of attendance for participation in the individual events. If all relevant requirements are met, the overall certificate will be issued.
Work completed in advance or with other internal providers can be credited after consultation with the  programme coordinator.

Conditions of participation for external participants: Employees of the cooperating universities may also participate in the events of the other universities. The conditions of participation (e.g. with regard to costs) are based on the requirements of the respective university offering the event.

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