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Research & Career Skills for PhD students and Postdocs

In addition to the qualifications specific to a profession, other abilities also play an important role when it comes to successfully planning one’s career and life.

In the PIER Education Platform, we offer a comprehensive research and career skills curriculum with workshops, trainings and networking opportunities for young researchers.

The curriculum is tailor-made for PhD students and Postdocs and focuses on the needs in the respective stage of the individual research projects - from research effectiveness for first year PhD students to career and leadership training for postdoctoral researchers. For the latest workshops and soft skills courses see the list below or the announcements in the news sections of this website.

Communicating Science

Here you find everything on how to communicate your science and research effectively, from writing scientifc articles to grant writing, but also presentation and teaching. However, science can and should not only be communicated within your field: outreach activities and PR become increasingly important for research facilities and the whole field of Science Communication is growing rapidly. So communicating your science on a blog, vlog, podcast or science slam as well as on social media might not only mean fun but potentially opens up alternatve career paths.

Here you can see what is currently offered in this section:

Presentation skills for female scientists: 28-29 April 2021

Presentation skills: 6 + 7 October 2021

Career Development

Here we offer events that might help in orientation along your career as a scientist. Whether you stay in academia or transition to industry, your CV, cover letter, job interview and negotiation skills matter and our trainers might help you with this. It is also crucial to understand the academic landscape in Germany and beyond, so our information events might help you to perform best.

In this section we currently offer:

PIER Startup Bootcamp II "Business Modeling": 6 May 2021

Career planning: 21 June - 1 July 2021


Coordination and Management

In the careers of most scientists, management skills are quite important. These might range from self and time management, over stress and conflict management to solid project management. Optimizing your teamwork and networking abilities can boost your career substantially. Most later stage career paths inside and outside academia also involve leadership tasks like supervision and advising. As a leader in science, being sensitized to topics such as interculturality, gender and diversity as well as sexual harassment is crucial. Basics of entrepreneurship are particularly valuable when you consider to enter the world of start-ups.

We currently offer in this section:

Resilience & Well-being in Academia for female Scientists: 28-29 April 2021

Time and self-management: 10 + 11 May 2021


Mastering a certain range of software is critical for every scientist. However, handling tools for data analysis and programming are often not part of core curricula. Thus we regularly cover topics on Linux, Python, Matlab, C++ and more ranging form introductory courses to more specific topics like machine learning or quantum computing.

This is our current program:

Python for advanced users: 25-27 May 2021


The workshops are usually one-day courses for a maximum number of 15 participants and are offered once or twice a year. The trainers are carefully selected experts with many years of experience in teaching scientists. Most of the workshops are open for PhD students and Postdocs.

All workshops listed above are part of the PIER Education Platform (PEP) for career, research and soft skills. The workshops in PEP are open for PhD students of the PIER Helmholtz Graduate School and its cooperation partners on Bahrenfeld Campus/DESY. PEP is a cooperation of the PIER Helmholtz Graduate School, the Quantum Universe Research School QURS, and the Research School of the Hamburg Center for Ultrafast Imaging / Advanced Imaging of Matter CUI/AIM.
PhD students from other affiliated research centers such as DASHH, the Collaborative Research Center SFB 925, the International Max Planck Research School for Ultrafast Imaging & Structural Dynamics IMPRS-UFAST, the Centre for Structural Systems Biology CSSB, and the European Molecular Biology Laboratory EMBL may also participate upon request.

IT training at DESY:

DESY offers IT training for its staff and PhD students with a DESY affiliation. In order to register, you need to have a DESY account to log on. See here for more details and course registration.

Skills training at DESY Education (DESY Fortbildung)

DESY Education also offers transferable skills courses and workshops. Target group are DESY staff, but doctoral students or visting scientists are also welcome. The course overview is accessible for all users with a DESY account. More information at DESY Education.

Workshops and career training outside Bahrenfeld campus:

CAREER CENTER The Career Center at Universität Hamburg sees itself as a service provider, guiding PhD students and graduates (who graduated less than 2 years ago) in preparing for and setting out on their careers: Career Center Universität Hamburg

COMPASS is a programme of the human resources department of Universität Hamburg open for all PhD students enrolled at UHH. Early registration is recommended, as most workshops fill quickly. Universität Hamburg also offers other qualification options for doctoral candidates such as individual advising services and the BROWN BAG career series: Compass.

Hamburger Zentrum für Universitäres Lehren und Lernen (HUL) offers a regular programme on good teaching practice for all researchers with teaching duties at Universität Hamburg, including PhD students. Most of the courses (and the registration site) are in German, but once or twice per year HUL also offers courses and workshops for English speakers: Information and registration.

The Hamburg Research Academy (HRA) is the central port of call for doctoral candidates, doctoral students, and postdoctoral researchers at nine higher education institutions in Hamburg. HRA supports your academic career or as you consider other fields with target-group-specific events and workshops: more information.

Queries and suggestions
PIER Office
Mirko Siemssen

Chu Wang
Infection and Structural Biology
Younes Otarid
Particle and Astroparticle physics
Florian Christie
Daniel Marx
Event Calendar
21 Jan. 2021 to 25 Nov. 2021
Chaired by: Thomas Tschentscher (European XFEL) ; Changbum Kim (PAL-XFEL) et al.
Location: Zoom
13 Apr. 2021 - 10:00
Speaker: Glen Cowan (Royal Holloway, University of London)
13 Apr. 2021 - 11:00
Speaker: Pablo Quilez
13 Apr. 2021 - 16:45
Speaker: Zoltan Fodor (Wuppertal)
Location: DESY, Hamburg
Room: Zoom
14 Apr. 2021 to 15 Apr. 2021
Chaired by: Jan Marjanovic (DESY) ; Cagil Guemues (DESY) et al.
Location: DESY Hamburg
Room: online on Zoom
15 Apr. 2021 - 11:30
Speaker: Peera Simakachorn (T (Theorie))
15 Apr. 2021 - 15:00
Speaker: Alessandro Mirizzi (University of Bari)
Location: online
16 Apr. 2021 - 14:00
Speaker: José Antonio Vargas Roco
Location: volldigitale Disputation
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