postdoc in germany

postdoc in germany

You have a Ph.D. and your are looking for at postdoctoral position in Germany. Find below some basic information about how and where to start a postdoc in Germany.


Postdocs can be done in one of the 110 official universities. Private companies and research centers offers some postdoctoral positions as well especially in biotechnologies and pharmaceuticals.


To start a posdoc you usually need to have a Ph.D. from a recognized university. Ph.D. from industrial countries are usually recognized.

How long?

The duration of a postdoc is not standard, and is usually between 2 and 4 years depending on the research field and the university. A postdoc is often used to do the habilitation (teaching thesis) which is the common method to get a professorship at a German university. A habilitation consists of a postdoctoral thesis, the habilitation treatise, and a public lecture.


There is a variety of funding possibilities for postdocs and most of them are similar to the funding opportunities for PhD candidates:

  • Fix position: Universities and non-university research organisations offer paid positions for post-docs.
  • Scholarships: Funding can also be provided by individual scholarships. Funding programmes for post-docs are offered e.g. by the Deutsche Forschungsgesellschaft DFG
  • Junior Research Group Leader: A junior research group leader can lead a research group on his own, also with regard to recruiting academic staff. Normally he/she hasa no teaching tasks and is free to chose his/her own research subjects. In addition, the good financial support gives the group leader a lot of independence. Different funding organisations offer such positions. For the conditions to apply check the programme of the respective organisation. Basically, in most programmes post-doctorates are funded for 2 to 4 years and are strongly advised use this time for experience abroad. The career prospects of junior research group leaders to gain a professorship are good.

How much?

Salary and working conditions depends on the institution, on the field of research and on the funding scheme.

How to proceed?

First figure out what subject you are interested in, then find out which university or company is doing research in this field, then find the professor or research group whose work interests you most and contact him/her directly to ask for opportunities.

The other way is to look at the job portal of


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