Postdoctoral Career Paths 2.0:
The Golden Triangle of Competitive Junior Investigators, Adequate Academic Systems, and Successful Careers

7th Forum on the Internationalization of Sciences and Humanities

15 – 16 November 2013, Berlin


Young scholars and scientists are driving forces behind innovative research worldwide – be it in the academic world, in industry or in other sectors. Given the acknowledged importance of science and innovation for many economies, measures need to be taken to make the best use of the young generation of scientists and scholars. While a small number of postdoctoral investigators will continue in an academic career, academia can also fulfill its role in the innovation system, if a substantial number of very talented young researchers will eventually turn to other careers. The systemic challenge is to make attractive career paths available to postdoctoral scientists and scholars whichever sector they choose to continue in.

Participants at the Seventh Forum on the Internationalization of Sciences and Humanities
7th Forum on the Internationalization of Sciences and
Humanities, Berlin

Photo: Humboldt Foundation/David Ausserhofer

The 7th Forum on the Internationalization of Sciences and Humanities integrated the ongoing discussion within the German academic system on the challenges of the postdoctoral stage into an international dialog. In order to work towards a broader appreciation of the young investigators’ situation, it shed light on the current situation of postdoctoral researchers in different countries and evaluated the rising demand for more predictable career paths within and outside academia. The core questions of the conference were the following:

  1. How can the current situation of young internationally mobile investigators be described in different countries in terms of career perspectives?
  2. What are the needs, demands, and career options of internationally mobile junior researchers?
  3. What are the demands of stakeholders and employers in academia, industry and other sectors with regard to internationally trained, highly qualified young researchers?

The Forum illustrated current career options for junior researchers worldwide and worked towards a better understanding and recognition of the needs of young academics as well as the demands of the academic, and public sectors as well as of industry.

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Forum on the Internationalization of Sciences and Humanities

International Advisory Board


Frank Albrecht
Senior Coordinator
Strategic Planning Division
Alexander von Humboldt Foundation
Jean-Paul-Str. 12
53173 Bonn

Phone: +49 (228) 833 122

Dr. Martin Schaffartzik
Program Director
Strategic Planning Division

Dr. Barbara Sheldon
Head of
Strategic Planning Division