Early strategic planning is essential for an optimal academic career: outstanding performance in one’s discipline is nowadays often no longer enough to compete at an international level.
At Freie Universität, young scholars and scientists are supported in planning and implementing their careers. There is a professional development program and targeted, systematic support.
The main elements of the professional development program are training, coaching, and mentoring, as well as extensive information services. There are targeted training programs for young researchers in the various stages of their career, i.e., doctorate, postdoc, junior research group leader, and junior professor that help them to prepare for careers in research, teaching, and research management.
During the first funding period of the institutional strategy, the Professional Development Program of Dahlem Research School was developed for the doctoral phase. The program was designed to complement the doctoral program’s academic curriculum and to provide doctoral researchers with the tools necessary for careers in research, industry, or the public sector.
In the second funding period of the institutional strategy, DRS developed a special qualification program for researchers holding a doctorate who aspire to attain the position of full professor. The Researcher Development Program offers training courses and peer coaching sessions in three areas: career management, teaching, leadership.
Since 2011, Dahlem Research School has also been providing systematic support for postdoctoral researchers. The DRS Postdoc Fellowship Program aims to enhance the international dimension of the university's research by attracting and supporting highly-qualified postdocs from abroad. Research projects of exceptional postdocs are funded through the German Excellence Initiative, Focus Areas, or other research alliances at Freie Universität.
Early integration into the university’s research networks forms the basis for sustainable cooperation and academic excellence. The young researchers also benefit from the intensive cooperation with independent research institutions in Berlin and Brandenburg. The regional and international networking facilitates the interdisciplinary exchange of ideas and encourages joint projects.