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Career Guidance

Supervision and mentoring for Junior Fellows

Researchers who are awarded an FCFP Junior Fellowship are supported in their career development through supervision and mentoring arrangements provided by FRIAS.

Supervision by FRIAS Board of Directors

The FRIAS Board of Directors has an overarching responsibility for supporting Junior Fellows in their endeavour to successfully complete their research project and make best use of their stay in Freiburg and at FRIAS. The three academic directors will be in frequent contact with the Junior Fellows in their respective area of responsibility. In meetings right at the beginning of their fellowship stay, the Junior Fellow’s individual needs and expectations with regard to her/his career development are elucidated and an individual career development plan including arrangements for supervision is established. Meetings with the academic directors continue over the entire course of the fellowship.

Mentoring by experienced researchers

FCFP Junior Fellows will be provided a mentor from their own disciplinary field. This mentor will be a professor from the Freiburg faculties, a senior researcher from one of the extra-university research centres in Freiburg (2 Max Planck Institutes, 5 Fraunhofer Institutes) or an FCFP Senior Fellow. The mentors and mentees will meet regularly to help identify at an early stage any shortcomings, difficulties or additional needs the Junior Fellow might experience.


FRIAS offers a portfolio of training opportunities both within the chosen disciplinary area and for a wider set of skills that is becoming ever more important for a successful career in academia. FCFP fellows receive a distinct budget which they can spend on individual training measures.

Training in research-oriented skills

The primary approach for strengthening research-oriented skills and gaining international visibility within the FCFP is through frequent exchanges with colleagues. FRIAS can provide ample opportunities for more skills transfers, as it can make use of the many competencies of the Freiburg faculties and extra-university research institutions. Standardised training courses are also available.

Besides research, teaching is a core requirement for researchers pursuing a career at a university. Decisions on whether or not to teach are left entirely to the fellow. However, FRIAS, in collaboration with the faculties and centres, offers fellows the opportunity to teach at the University of Freiburg.

Training in non-research-oriented transferable skills

FRIAS and the University of Freiburg offer the fellows a variety of opportunities to expand their competencies. Typical topics in skills trainings include: project management, leadership and personnel management, language skills, communication skills, skills on outreach and public understanding of science, career management and, not least, skills concerning collaboration with non-academic partners, such as intellectual property rights issues.

FRIAS offers customised courses and workshops with professional trainers as well as support for attending courses and workshops by other providers (university-based and non-university-based). FRIAS recommends that fellows learn German and supports them (as well as their partners) by personal language coaches or training at the university’s Language Teaching Centre. Furthermore, the University of Freiburg offers fellows a range of non-scientific training and skills programmes provided through the Freiburg Academy of Continuing Education (FRAUW), and the Freiburg Research Services (FRS).

The Institute’s various activities in communicating academic results to the public (public understanding of the sciences and humanities) offer the opportunity for fellows to acquire a specific skill set. FCFP fellows may take part in the preparation of events directed at a broader audience such as the “Lunch Lectures” andthe Institute´s public outreach flagship “Freiburger Horizonte”.

Intersectoral Collaborations

FRIAS fellows contemplating a career outside of academia, specifically in R&I functions in business and industry, are comprehensively supported according to their needs. The same support is available to fellows wishing to initiate a cooperation with external partners while continuing their academic career.

FRIAS offers the opportunity for FCFP Junior Fellows to prolong the fellowship for up to three months for secondments in and collaboration with non-academic partner institutions in Freiburg and the region. Junior Fellows must apply for this option eight months into their fellowship. For approval, a work plan specifying the goals and the added value of such a cooperation is required; the decision will be made by the FRIAS Board of Directors.

FRIAS can draw on the substantial resources of the University of Freiburg: The inter- and transdisciplinary Sustainability Center Freiburg, the university’s Technology Transfer Office (ZFT) and the Freiburg Academy of Science and Technology (FAST).


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