27 Feb 2024


Empowering Researchers to Build Careers in Germany

During last year’s career development session at the Max Planck Law Annual Conference,  Dr Annika Hampel,  who chaired the session, noted how non-German researchers were particularly keen to find out more about how they might maximize their chances in pursuing a career in Germany. This insight led her to invite Dr Anne Schreiter (pictured above), the Executive Director of German Scholars Organization (GSO), to conduct an online workshop on 21 February 2023 entitled ‘Building Your Career Strategy‘ aimed at both German and non-German researchers.

The workshop numbers were strictly limited to foster a comfortable atmosphere in which participants could feel at ease to contribute. As one conference participant, Dorothea Keiter , put it:

The workshop provided valuable ‘hands-on’ advice on how to find and connect with interesting people, companies, etc. At the same time, the atmosphere was supportive, collegial, and encouraging, and it was very helpful to have this perspective on career opportunities outside of academia tailored specifically for legal scholars.

The relaxed atmosphere was important because a major part of the workshop involved encouraging participants to identify their own transferable skills and strengths. Once these were identified, the focus shifted to techniques of storytelling to enable these skills and strengths to be presented in online networking fora, notably LinkedIn.

In practice, it can be challenging for researchers to identify their transferable skills and strengths and to leverage online networks for self-promotion. A keyword is ’empowerment’, as highlighted by the GSO website slogan ‘We empower researchers to build careers in Germany’. For the participant Zixuan Yang , this was one of the big takeaways: ‘Stay honest and confident. That is something especially important for female scholars.’

With the success of this session, Max Planck Law will consider organizing a similar event next year, responding to the demand from non-German researchers for guidance on careers in Germany.

More News