This page needs JavaScript! Please enable it to continue.

This website uses JavaScripts. If you use an adblocker, content may not be displayed or may not be displayed correctly.

How to Plan Your Postdoc, and How to Develop Your Academic Career

Contact personGraduate Center Transferable Skills
DateMonday, 25th September 2023, 09:00 - 17:00
LocationGRACE room 306 (3rd floor), Schönbeinstrasse 18-20 4056 Basel Switzerland

After this workshop, you will know the relevant aspects and steps allowing you to take your academic career further. In order to help you make an informed decision, you will also learn how to find relevant career options outside of academia. Regarding academic careers, you will hear about, and reflect upon, suitable positions and career paths, and we will discuss why, as a rule, you have to think about becoming a professor. Finally, you will deepen your understanding of the achievements necessary to make your career progress and of the way in which you can structure your postdoc years.

Course Information

  • Monday, September 25, 2023,
    9:00 AM till 5:00 PM
  • Wednesday, October 11, 2023,
    9:00 AM till 5:00 PM
Registration Opens
August 9, 2023, 9:00 AM
Registration Deadline
August 28, 2023, 12:00 PM
Course Fees
This course is free of charge and for doctoral candidates of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences and the Faculty of Theology of the University of Basel only (min. 6, max. 12 participants).
Dr. Matthias Zach
Dr. Matthias Schwarzkopf
Organized by
Graduate Center
Transferable Skills
GRACE Homepage


Day 1

Careers in comparison

  • What does a career in academia mean? Why, and to what extent, is it about the path to a professorship?
  • What are the paths to a professorship? What are the relevant career steps? For whom does this fit well, for whom not so much?
  • Which positions and career options are there on the non-academic job market? How can I find them?
  • What are the advantages and disadvantages of each career?

Academic careers in detail – structuring the path to a professorship

  • Which achievements in research, teaching and other areas do I need?
  • How should I develop my research profile?
  • What is a good postdoc position for me? How will it help me achieve my goals?
  • What will I get at the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Basel, and what will I not get?

Day 2

  • How do I find a suitable postdoc position?
  • How can networks help me find a relevant postdoc position?
  • Basics of applying for a postdoc position
  • Which funding options and what types of positions are there? What are the advantages and disadvantages of each of them?
  • How do I develop a suitable postdoc project?
  • In case of doing a postdoc at the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Basel: When and in what form do I have to submit the project to the faculty?
  • Which individual goals do you set yourself and what are your next steps?


Short impulses by coaches, group discussions, self-reflection, online research, joint development of ideas and solutions

Target Group

All Doctoral candidates of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences and the Faculty of Theology

About the Trainer

Day 1 – Dr. Matthias Zach

Educated in philosophy and comparative literature at the universities of Oxford, Paris-Sorbonne nouvelle and Tübingen, Dr. Matthias Zach counsels researchers and scientists on all relevant aspects of their careers. He particularly enjoys supporting other humanities researchers in their projects and career decisions.

Day 2 – Dr. Matthias Schwarzkopf is a coach and trainer for researchers and scientists. He is a cofounder of the Karriereberatung für Akademiker*innen He has been responsible for accompanying the process of appointing professors (Berufungsverfahren) at the university of Jena for several years. Since 2015 he works as a freelancer supporting scholars of all fields to find and to develop their careers. Years ago he studied Latin and Protestant Theology and completed his PhD in History of Education.


Total of 30h (2x 8h course attendance, 14h homework)


This course is reserved for doctoral candidates of the Faculy of Humanities and Social Sciences and the Faculty of Theology.

Once registration is open, applications will be collected for 24 hours and course places allocated by lot. All registrations received after the initial 24h period will be put on a waiting list and assigned on a first come, first served basis.

Course places/places on the waiting list will be confirmed by e-mail. Course registrations can only be canceled before the registration period ends (send an e-mail to Full course attendance is mandatory. Participants who fail to attend a course without prior notification or withdraw after the registration deadline are subject to a fee of CHF 30. In addition, participants who cancel their course registration at a later point in time, are absent without an excuse or do not attend the entire course will, for reasons of fairness, not be considered for course registration in the following semester and will be removed from other courses offered in the same semester. Please find the detailed regulations on the Transferable Skills Homepage.