Funding & Background
In 2017, the German Research Center for Environmental Health (HMGU) successfully applied for funding, to establish a Career Center for Postdocs and Doctoral Researchers, and has since established itself as a valuable asset when it comes to empowering young researchers in their career development.
The Career Center is part of the Helmholtz Initiative "Helmholtz Career Development Centers for Researchers" (HCDCR), funded by the Helmholtz Association of German Research Centers' "Initiative and Networking Fund" (Impuls- und Vernetzungsfonds) which, in its first wave, funded a total of three Career Centers within the Association - the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), Forschungszentrum Jülich and the German Center for Environmental Health. Each centre receives funding for a total of 5 years, with an interim evaluation after 2,5 years.
At the end of 2018, the HMGU Career Center was firmly established as a central point of contact in terms of career coaching and orientation for postdocs, doctoral researchers and other researchers. With the help of an extensive talent promotion and career development strategy, the Career Center is able to cover all areas ranging from doctoral education to junior team leaders on a tenure track.
The Career Center is a valuable asset in terms of both coaching and direction, with its main goal being to enable young researchers to develop a sense of their own strengths, values and interests, in order to determine their best career path options - be they within or outside of academic research.
Young researchers gain insights into various career options, learn which skills are required to successfully assess, enter or pursue the different available career paths and - most importantly - are enabled in making the best possible decision for their own futures. The Career Center further aids all coachees in their orientation and application phases, lending support through career coaching, CV and Letter of Motivation checks, carrying out mock interviews, and by giving advice in all stages of transition onto a new career path.