Postdoc in front of blackboard with formulas

Postdoc status

What does postdoc status mean? Who belongs to the postdoc group?
Postdoc in front of blackboard with formulas
Image: Jan-Peter Kasper (University of Jena)

As a postdoc at Friedrich Schiller University, you belong to a group of approximately 700 researchers with a doctorate. This group is an essential pillar of the university when it comes to research and teaching. Postdoctoral researchers can also gain further qualifications to qualify for an appointment to a professorship.

The status of "postdoc" confirms that, with the completion of your doctorate, you have accomplished your "journeyman's certificate" as a scientist, so to speak. Consequently, you now have more rights and options to pursue your own research ideas and independently fund and carry out projects. You may now establish your own research collaborations and supervise doctoral candidates.

The "postdoc phase" as such can last from the point of the completion of your doctorate until your appointment to a professorship. As long as someone is doing research at Friedrich Schiller University and thus intend  to continue their academic qualification, they are considered a university postdoc - regardless of whether this currently involves employment at University of Jena, external employment (for example with external "Habilitierenden"), a scholarship, or a transitional phase without funding.

You may also register as a postdoc of University of Jena, even if you are not currently employed at the Friedrich Schiller University: you need only to be either affiliated to a professorship or working group at the University of Jena as a researcher, or working on a "habilitation" or other academic qualification, or you may be writing your own third-party funding proposal. One of these options already puts you in the status of a university member, thus allowing you to e.g. use the resources of the university computer centre and other resources.

The Vice President's Office for Young Researchers and Diversity Management and the Graduate Academy are committed to improving the general conditions for postdocs at Friedrich Schiller University. Two comprehensive studies on the situation of postdocs at the University of Jena (2nd Jena Postdoc Study 2016pdf, 5 mb · de and 1st Jena Postdoc Study 2011pdf, 2 mb · de) have shown where we need to take further action and measures to improve the situation of postdocs. The university is taking it step by step, e.g. by the implementation of university-wide guidelines, and through the support offered by the Graduate Academy.