You have successfully completed your doctorate and are in one of several postdoctoral phases - here you will find information on topics related to research funding, financing, third-party funding, leadership and career.


Four central topics for Postdocs

Framework conditions of the Postdoc phase

Already in the final phase of the doctorate, the ideas about the next career steps should become concrete. Those who start to reflect on their own abilities, experiences and wishes early on avoid additional stress and pressure in the submission phase of the dissertation. Generally speaking, it is important to consider whether you want to stay in academia after your doctorate or whether the transition to the non-scientific job market is the right path to take, as permanent positions in academia are rare.

It is often assumed that only about 5% of all doctoral candidates are later appointed to a permanent professorship at a university, whereby the appointment rate also depends on the professorships available in the subject.1 In addition to a professorship, a permanent career in science is also possible in a permanent position in the mid-level academic system. In this case, the scientists concerned take on permanent tasks in research, teaching and academic self-administration. However, the number of such positions is also limited and by far not sufficient for all doctoral candidates.

At the same time, it is difficult to plan for a permanent stay in science in temporary positions. In Germany, the "Wissenschaftszeitvertragsgesetz" regulates the maximum duration of a fixed-term employment in science. Fixed-term contracts are mainly permitted during the qualification phase and may not exceed a maximum duration of 12 years.

If a career in science is aspired to, the next step after the doctorate is a further qualification phase, which can take various forms. Depending on the duration of the doctorate, this phase, which can be divided into the early and advanced phases, should not exceed a total of 6-8 years.

The early Postdoc phase

The transition to the early postdoc phase, which covers the first 1-2 years after completion of the doctorate, is often fluid, as the revision and publication of the dissertation often falls within this period. However, the aim of the postdoc phase is to sharpen and further develop one's own research profile, e.g. by working on publications, presenting the research in lectures and raising third-party funds. A longer research stay at different in Germany and abroad during the early postdoctoral phase is recommended, especially if this has not yet been done during the doctorate. A further central aspect of this phase is the deepening and expansion of the own network inside the scientific community and the writing of the first applications for external funding.

The early postdoc phase should also be used to reflect on the planned career path. For this purpose, it is important to talk to supervisors who can assess both the suitability of the person concerned and the job situation in their own subject. The transition to the advanced phase or the beginning of a habilitation should only take place if the researcher in question and his/her supervisors conclude that the further career path in science is promising. To reflect on one's own career goals, strengths and development opportunities, the Graduate Academy regularly offers workshops in the Researcher Development Program.

The advanced Postdoc phase

The early postdoc phase is followed by the advanced phase. In this phase (4-6 years after the doctorate), there are various possibilities to obtain a professorship. The classic way is the habilitation, often on a temporary position as a research assistant. Upon successful completion of the habilitation, the Venia Legendi is awarded, which qualifies for appointment to a professorship. In addition to the habilitation, other possible paths to a professorship have been created in recent years. These are the junior research group leadership, the junior professorship without tenure track and the tenure track professorship. Which path is sensible and promising should be discussed with an experienced scientist from your department.

After the acquisition of the appellability follows the phase of the active search for a professorship or a chair. Since this phase is strictly limited by the Wissenschaftszeitvertragsgesetz (German law on temporary contracts for scientific work), it is essential to deal with the topic of applying for professorships and chairs at an early stage. The Graduate Academy regularly offers workshops on appointment training and appointment negotiations as part of the Researcher Development Program.


Financing one's own research is a central element of the postdoc phase. There are many ways to finance your own research. 

Grants and projects 

Here you will find a selection of the most common funding formats for postdocs. The Research Funding Office of the University of Tübingen will be happy to advise you on possible application formats and assist you with the application process. 

Intramural funding 

Project Funding for young Researchers 

Summer/Winter Schools 

Innovation Grants (Humanities and Social Sciences) 

Innovation Grants (Natural and Life Sciences) 

DFG-Fonds for Open-Access-Publications 



Material Aid 


Scientific Networks 


Reinhart Koselleck-Projects


ERC Starting Grant 

Marie Skłodowska Curie Individual Fellowships 


BW-Foundation: Elite-program for Postdocs 

Volkswagen-Foundation: Lichtenberg-Professorships 

Thyssen-Foundation: Project funding 

Thyssen-Foundation: Postdoc-Scholarships 

Gerda Henkel Foundation: Research project, Research Scholarships 

Böckler Foundation: Maria-Weber-Grant 

Konrad Adenauer Foundation: Habilitation-Scholarship 

Funding opportunities for early career female scientists:


Funding programs of the state of Baden-Württemberg 

Funding for stays abroad: 


Humboldt-Stiftung: Feodor Lynen Research Fellowship 

DAAD: Postdoctoral Researchers International Mobility Experience (PRIME) 

DAAD Short-term Fellowships - Research Fellowships for Young Academics and Scientists with Doctorates (Postdoc-Program) 

Further search options:

Service Center for Electronic Research Funding Information ELFI 

Researcher Development Program

In addition to these funding formats, the Graduate Academy offers a broad workshop program in the Researcher Development Program in the areas of intercultural skills, career, funding programs and leadership.

Funding opportunities

There are various information and counseling opportunities for the financial support of young researchers at the university. Are you a doctoral student, postdoc or habilitant and would like to find out about financing options?

Your contact person

Dr. Britta Hoyer 

Program Coordinator Graduate Academy (Postdocs, Junior research group leaders and Assistant professors)

+49 7071 29-75394