SFB 1176 • Molekulare Strukturierung weicher Materie

The Career Planning Program for Scientists

- includes the integration of gender awareness aspects -

 Doctoral researchers often reflect on their future goals only when forced to by the imminent end of their doctoral thesis. Why not think about career planning at an early state of time?


While a last-minute approach to career planning can be successful, and your main priority need to be completing the doctoral thesis on time, there can be huge benefits to giving some time during the doctoral thesis - and not just in your final year - to exploring possible career options, enhancing your employability and thinking about what type of career might suit you best. Wheter you are planning to stay in academia or move outside, the process of deciding what you want to do is likely to require quite a bit of time and thought. Additionally, on today's changing job market, the "one size fits all" motto does not apply - the chances of gaining entry into any career exponentially improve if you have a plan.

 As there is a multitude of possible career paths for doctoral researchers, the aim of the Career Planning Program is to support you to explore possible career opportunities, set personal career goals and provide important information for advancing your carrer.

This program was developed to support especially female scientists at early stages of their career.

Program objectives:

  • Gender awareness for aspiring scientific and managerial stuff
  • Reflection on professional goals and potential career options
  • Development of first steps for achieving personal goals
  • Definition and development of successful application strategies
Target group:

Doctoral & postdoctoral researchers of SFB1176



Personal orientation
(took place in September 2017) 
Within a personal orientation you reflect on, analyse and evaluate your present professional situation and create a basis for long term professional and private decisions. You will be given the opportunity to take different career paths inside or outside of academia into consideration. Further on you prepare and discuss your profile of competences and share experiences with scientists in a similar professional situation as you.

The parcipitants
  • Indentify their actual professional competences and their personal values and needs
  • Clarify their individual need for development
  • Formulate professional and personal develpment goals
  • Name specific steps for realization and lay the basis for a personal roadmap

Successful Communication (took place in November 2017)

Good communication skills are key to success in life, work and relationships. Without effective communication, a message can turn into error, misunderstanding, frustration, or even disaster by being misinterpreted or poorly delivered. Communication is the process where we try as clearly and accurately as we can, to convey our thoughts, intentions and objectives. Communication is successful only when both the sender and the receiver understand the same information.

The parcipitants will learn:
  • Know what I want to say and why? Understand clearly the purpose and intent of your message. Know to whom you are communicating and why. Consider any barriers you may encounter such as cultural differences or situational circumstances
  • How will I say it? That it's not always what you say, but how you say it that counts. Be aware of your body language since it can say as much, or more, than your words.
  • Listen. Communication is a two way street. After you've said what you have to say, stop, listen, and look for feedback and clues of comprehension.
  • Reach understanding, agreement or consensus. Once you have had the opportunity to discuss your message and the feedback to it, re-visit the purpose of the interchange. Have you reached common ground, solved a problem, or clarified your position? If the purpose was to teach or instruct, have you accomplished your goal? To communicate well is to understand and be understood.

Different interactive case studies were part of the workshop.




For further information please send an email to Manuel Tsotsalas (manuel.tsotsalas∂kit.edu)


The program is offered free-of-charge by SFB1176.


The information flyer is available in German and English