Promotion of Postdoctoral Researchers


CEPLAS aims at providing its postdoctoral fellows with the best possible skills and expertise to allow them to achieve their career goals – in and outside academia.

The program comprises active participation in seminar series, research area meetings, symposia and retreats of the cluster. To support postdocs early on to make an informed decision about their further career path, the program includes regular exchange on research and career development (as defined by a postdoc agreement), training, insights into industry and other professional fields and additional support.

All postdocs work on an individual research project and together with their project leaders sign a postdoc agreement, in which they commit to regularly meet to exchange about research and career development, actively participate and contribute to the official activities of CEPLAS and comply with the “Guidelines for Safeguarding Good Scientific Practice”. Documentation of meetings is required for early stage postdocs.

CEPLAS postdocs are offered a wide range of training courses offered by the participating institutions as well as additional courses organized (on-demand) by CEPLAS (course offers). Workshop modules on Science Communication and Entrepreneurship are currently in planning.

Postdocs can individually choose courses according to their needs, only a course in Good Scientific Practice is mandatory for all postdocs. Upon request, CEPLAS also finances participation at externally offered courses.

CEPLAS facilitates contacts between postdoctoral researchers and industry. We provide e.g.:

  • Assistance in finding cooperation partners for joint research projects
  • Assistance with finding a mentor from industry
  • Excursions to Industry
  • Career talks and "speed dating" with scientists from industry.

CEPLAS provides on demand support for its postdoctoral researchers, like financial support for publications, research stays (mobility fund) or individual coaching. To foster early independence, postdocs can apply for dedicated seed funds in case they want to follow innovative side projects or collaborative projects emerging from their original projects (seed fund).

Furthermore, the cluster’s Equal Opportunity and Diversity Office offers special support for female postdocs (Women@CEPLAS) and postdocs with young children or other care responsibilities, like the “helping hands program” or support to find child care.

Henning Frerigmann (Former Member of CEPLAS Postdoc Program): 
"CEPLAS offers a great network of scientists with diverse backgrounds and brings researchers from different disciplines together in order to discuss ideas and expertise. CEPLAS gave me the opportunity for a three month research stay in Japan to collaborate with excellent scientists at the RIKEN Centre."

Wilma van Esse (Former member of CEPLAS Postdoc Program):
"Within CEPLAS I explored novel approaches to study complex plant traits, in collaboration with scientists from different disciplines. This multidisciplinary environment, combined with advancing my own project and supervising doctoral researchers allowed me to develop on the scientific and personal level."

Chihiro Furumizu (Former member of CEPLAS Postdoc Program):
"Being a CEPLAS member, I could place myself in a broader perspective. This helps me to explore a career path to contribute to the global common good through basic research."

Coordinator CEPLAS Postdoc Program

Dr. Juliane Schmid
CEPLAS Juliane Schmid


+49 211 8113603

Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf

Universitätsstraße 1

22.07, Level 01  31, Postbox 007

40225 Düsseldorf

Profile Postdoc Program

current group

  • Members: 17
  • Female Postdoctoral Researchers: 35%
  • International Postdoctoral Researchers: 94% (Brazil, China, France, India, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Spain, Switzerland, UK, USA)
Postdoc representatives:

Uriel Urquiza & Adélaïde Raguin

from 2013 to 2018

  • Members: 40
  • Female Postdoctoral Researchers: 65%
  • International Postdoctoral Researchers: 58% (Australia, China, Columbia, France, Greece, Italy, India, Japan, Netherlands, Palestine, Poland, Portugal, Switzerland, USA)


Heinrich Heine University
University of Cologne
Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding Research
Forschungszentrum Jülich