Promotion of Postdoctoral Researchers

The programme aims at providing our postdoctoral fellows with the best possible skills and expertise to allow them to achieve their career goals. CEPLAS therefore offers a comprehensive scientific programme in plant sciences, synthetic biology, bioinformatics and quantitative biology. Furthermore, members of the CEPLAS Postdoc Programme have access to comprehensive career development measures and funds for research expenses, industry collaboration and international research stays (mobility fund)

The majority of postdoctoral researchers leaves academia within a few years after their PhD and takes up positions in industry or administration. Independent whether your next career step is in or outside academia, CEPLAS offers appropriate mentoring, coaching and training experiences to prepare you for the next career step.

Each postdoc designs his/her Individual Development Plan (IDP) tailored to the career goals. The IDP includes several components:

Each postdoc works on an individual research project and meets regularly with his/her supervisor to exchange about research and career development. 

CEPLAS postdocs are offered a wide range of training courses categorised by core competencies expected of graduate researchers and postdocs, based on definitions from the National Postdoctoral Association (NPA) of the US:
Upcoming courses

Postdocs are also encouraged to learn more about the core competencies and to explore related resources

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.

Mentoring is a very important professional development relationship which can have a significant positive impact on one’s career. For example, mentoring has been linked to career mobility, promotions, payment, career and job satisfaction. One-to-one mentoring is a component of CEPLAS postdoctoral researchers Individual Development Plan.

Ideally, mentor and mentée are completely independent with respect to research and institutional affiliation. Our postdocs are expected to choose their mentors themselves and to meet at least twice during their contract time.

Henning Frerigmann (Member of CEPLAS Postdoc Programme): 
"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 Programme):
"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 Programme):
"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."

Speaker of the CEPLAS Postdoc Programme

Prof. Dr. Rüdiger Simon
CEPLAS Rüdiger Simon


 +49 211 81-14045

Institute of Developmental Genetics
Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf

Universitätsstraße 1

40225 Düsseldorf

Coordinator CEPLAS Postdoc Programme

Dr. Juliane Schmid
CEPLAS Juliane Schmid


 +49 211 81-13603

Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf

Universitätsstraße 1

Building: 25.43, Level 01   Room: 38

40225 Düsseldorf

Profile Postdoc Programme

  • Members: 16
  • Female Postdoctoral Researchers: 56%
  • International Postdoctoral Researchers: 56% (Australia, China, France, Greece, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Poland)
  • Associated Postdoctoral Researchers: 7
  • Postdoc representatives: Melanie Sapp, Antonella Succurro (deputy)
Heinrich Heine University
University of Cologne
Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding Research
Forschungszentrum Jülich