Support for early-career researchersCareer paths following a doctorate

The university offers its doctorate holders clearly structured career paths for continuing their research. That way it pursues the goal of attracting, and retaining, talented early-career researchers to hold their own in the competitive world of international research.

As a comprehensive university with a pronounced research orientation, Heidelberg University attracts early-career researchers from all over the world: the job market comprises public advertisements of vacancies at Heidelberg University, the Heidelberg University Hospital and the Medical Faculty Mannheim. Furthermore, Ruperto Carola provides its own support opportunities at the university, in the form of funding for research projects and granting scholarships to spend time abroad in research and teaching.


The focus in the postdoc stage is finding guidance relative to career progression, and developing a personal academic profile. Once a doctorate has been obtained, a transitional and orientation phase can immediately follow. Those in the actual postdoc stage use it to explore new topics or methods and to develop their own research profile. Advanced academic and cross-disciplinary training raises their visibility as researchers, as does institutional and interdisciplinary mobility.

Postdocs can take advantage of many centrally organised courses, such as selected programmes offered by the Graduate Academy, the Internal Educational Programme or heiSKILLS. If someone is looking for an opening on the non-university labour market, the Graduate Academy and Career Service give advice. The team of hei_INNOVATION can also assist with founding a startup. Those seeking to continue developing a career in academia can benefit from the Heidelberg Research Service and the special support programmes of the Equal Opportunity Office. The respective university institutes and departments also support career development in a variety of ways.

Postdoc-Phase R2-Phase

Qualifying for a professorship

The advanced R3 stage is based on the deliberate decision to embark on an academic career. After an outstanding doctoral outcome and a successful postdoc phase – ideally spent at different institutions in Germany or abroad – young researchers can gain the qualifications needed to be appointed a full professor on four career paths of equal status: head of a junior research group, junior professor (without tenure track), tenure-track status and habilitation. The university’s central service facilities support up-and-coming academics with specific programmes and offerings.

Qualifizierung für die Professur R3-Phase

Support for young researchers within the framework of the University of Excellence