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Support for early career researchers

Graduate Center TU Dortmund University

The Graduate Center is the university-wide service platform for early career researchers at the TU Dortmund University. It supports (prospective) doctoral researchers, postdocs, and junior faculty on their career path and complements the subject-specific qualification of the departments with advice, transferable skills training, and networking.

Tasks of the Graduate Center

The successful career of early stage researchers needs more than good ideas.

No matter whether they want to launch their own start-up after their doctorate, go into business after their postdoctoral studies, or into a lifetime professorship after their junior professorship: The success of each career phase also depends on transferable skills and good orientation. In addition to excellent research achievements, a clear plan, knowledge of the implicit rules of a research career, good management and communication skills, and professional networks are needed to successfully pursue an individual career path.

The Graduate Center TU Dortmund University supports researchers of all career phases and all departments in successfully shaping their personal research career.

In addition to the subject-specific qualification in the 17 departments, the Graduate Center offers a comprehensive range of advice, transferable skills training, and networking opportunities for all early career researchers.

The advice includes formalities for enrollment and financing, collective experience for succeeding with a doctorate, the success factors of a research career, and advice on career orientation. The transferable skills training bundles all offers of the TU Dortmund University and the University Alliance Ruhr (UA Ruhr) – usually free of charge – to acquire and deepen key qualifications in the respective career phase. These range from self- and project management and professional communication to leadership and acquisition of third-party funding. Networking includes formats of informal exchange among early career researchers in the same career phase. These combine impulses of experience with the opportunity to get to know new ideas and, if necessary, to seek advice from colleagues.

The Graduate Center unites expertise from Research Support Services and the Staff Unit Equal Opportunity, Family and Diversity. In addition to its own services, the Graduate Center is a central platform that offers a bundled overview of the many services offered by the TU Dortmund University, for example from the Division of Human Resources Development and the Center for Higher Education, the International Office, the University Library, or the Center for Entrepreneurship & Transfer. The Graduate Center is part of the UA Ruhr-wide Research Academy Ruhr.

“Early” career researchers?

Research sometimes has special rules. In no other field would you still be considered an “early career researcher” in your early forties and with four academic degrees.

The Graduate Center supports researchers from the interest in a doctorate to the acquisition of a lifetime professorship or to leaving the academic career. This includes doctoral researchers, postdocs, and the independently researching Junior Faculty (advanced postdocs, possibly pursuing habilitation, junior research group leaders, junior professors, etc.).


Cross-university support for early career researchers

Research Academy Ruhr

The Research Academy Ruhr (RAR) is the platform of the University Alliance Ruhr (UA Ruhr) for the support of early career researchers. In cooperation with the three universities, Ruhr University Bochum, TU Dortmund University and University of Duisburg-Essen, it bundles and develops programs for the ideal planning and support of a career within and outside research.

The Research Academy Ruhr creates synergies, expands the options and perspectives of its approximately 10,000 early career researchers through an expanded local, cross-location network, and jointly developed transferable skills training.

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