Seminar series "Prof over lunch”

The event series "Prof over Lunch " aims to give postdoctoral researchers of the career levels R2 and R3 an insight into the career paths of (recently appointed) professors. The discussion format with a professor takes place at lunchtime in a small group. During the personal exchange, the participants have the chance to learn from the experiences of the professor. They can review their own goals in terms of opportunities and risks and thus make better decisions for their own academic career.

Respectively, there may be different aspects to consider for the target groups of R2 and R3 researchers.

For postdocs in the R2 phase, the focus is mainly on the professor’s particular career path. There are many individual steps and various factors within and outside the academic career, which ultimately lead to a professorship. Even more, it can be worthwhile for postdocs to address their career-specific questions directly to an established professor:

  • What professional stages have you gone through? Which of these stages could be of interest to my own academic career?
  • When did you decide to become a professor? Was there a plan B?
  • Which steps in your life were important for your appointment and how did you handle doubts, lows, and highs?
  • How has your research interest developed since you took up the professorship?

For senior postdocs in the R3 phase, who are already conducting independent research and may hold a W1 professorship themselves, career development after taking on a permanent professorship is particularly relevant. Receiving the status of "professor" represents a central turning point in the lives of academics. After a period characterized by great uncertainty regarding the future career and life path, a period of professional stability follows in which new questions arise:

  • How did you manage the change in your career and private life? Will the difficulties and problems of the postdoc phase disappear from one day to the next?
  • What new challenges, which usually are not part of a CV, do result from accepting a permanent professorship?
  • (How) Do you plan your further career on a permanent professorship?
  • And is there any time left for research?

GRADE cordially invites all postdocs (R2/R3) to take part in this special lunch break! Make use of the opportunity for personal exchange about career paths among colleagues, and gain more clarity and confidence about your own academic career.

Over the lunch break from 12:00 to 13:00


For whom?
All postdocs (R2) and senior postdocs (R3) registered with GRADE

The upcoming events will be announced on this page.

Please register early for the respective events, as the number of participants is limited to 10 people.

Prof over Lunch: Prof. Dr. Ilona Croy, Universität Jena

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Rescheduled. New date will be announced

Prof. Ilona Croy holds the Chair of Clinical Psychology at the University of Jena. She completed her doctorate and habilitation in psychology in Dresden, where she also gained her license to practice (TP). After completing her doctorate, she worked as a postdoc in Sweden for several years and then returned to Dresden. As junior professor, she was head of the research union of the department of Psychosomatic Medicine at the University Hospital until 2021. In 2021, Ilona Croy accepted an appointment to the Chair of Clinical Psychology at the University of Jena, where she is now conducting research on the neuronal basis of the human sense of smell and touch. She has received several awards for her commitment to teaching and supervision, and is keen to make her research accessible to a wider audience.

If you would like to talk to Prof. Croy in a small group and bring in your own personal questions and topics on career planning as a professor, you are cordially invited!

Where? Online via Zoom

For whom? R3 researchers (advanced postdocs, junior research group leaders, W1 professors, habilitated researchers, postdoctoral researchers)

Please register early for the event, as the number of participants is limited to 10 people.

Registration via email:

Previous Events:

Prof over lunch: Prof. Dr. Stefan M. Schiller

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Thursday, 30 November 2023 | 12:00-13:00 | Online

This time, we have a candidate from Frankfurt for our talk! Maybe you already know him a bit? Now, you will have the opportunity to talk with him about his personal professional path and how it worked out that he became professor at Goethe University!

Stefan Schiller has a very interesting career- he had lots of different positions outside Germany in a number of different institutions. It can be very interesting for you to learn about all these versatile career backgrounds .

In brief: Prof. Schiller studied chemistry and joined the MPI for Polymer Science where he completed his PhD on biomimetic supramolecular membrane architectures. Durig his time as a PhD candidate, he performed research at the IBM Research Center Almaden in San Jose, Stanford University, the Biotechnology Engineering Department, Ben Gurion University of the Negev, Beer Sheva, Israel and the Manuel Lujan Los Alamos Neutron Scattering Center, Los Alamos.
From 2004 to 2008 he has been a postdoctoral fellow at the Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, California. From there, he came back to Germany as a junior research fellow at the Freiburg Institute for Advanced Studies (FRIAS).

Finally in 2022, he became a Professor for Pharmaceutical Technology at Goethe University at the Faculty of Biochemistry, Chemistry and Pharmacy.

During the talk, you are invited to ask any question you think can shape your own career path. Such as: Was it his plan to become a professor from the start? How did he decide which positions might be interesting for him? Or was it a big challenge to stay in contact with friends and family during all his time abroard?

If you are a postdoctoral researcher and interested to talk with Stefan Schiller in a small group to find out more about the topics you need to know to decide on your own professional path, you are very welcome to register for this talk via the link below.

Prof*in über Mittag: Prof. Dr. Benedikt Hopmann

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09. Februar 2023 | 12:00 Uhr | online

Bendikt Hopmann studierte und promovierte an der Universität Bielefeld im Fachbereich Erziehungswissenschaften. Von dort führte ihn sein Weg als Studienrat im Hochschuldienst an der Universität zu Köln weiter auf eine Vertretungsprofessur im Bereich Erziehungswissenschaften an die Universität Siegen. Als Auszeichnung seiner Forschungsarbeiten gewann Benedikt Hopmann 2020 den Deutschen Kinder- und Jugendhilfepreis.

Den Ruf auf seine Professur „Erziehungswissenschaft mit Schwerpunkt auf Teilhabe von Menschen mit Behinderungen“ an der Universität Siegen in der Fakultät Bildung ⋅Architektur ⋅Künste im Bereich Sozialpädagogik nahm er im November 2021 an.

Uns wird Benedikt Hopmann von seinem persönlichen Weg in die Professur, seinen Ideen und Beweggründen, seinen Entscheidungen, Wendepunkten und Zufällen berichten.

Sie können mit ihm Ihre Fragen, Zweifel und Ziele für Ihren eigenen Weg besprechen, und so Ihre persönlichen Pläne weiter durchdenken.

Die Veranstaltung ist geöffnet für fortgeschrittene promovierte Wissenschaftler*innen aller Fachbereiche.

Prof*in über Mittag: Prof. Dr. André Krischer

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Mittwoch, den 28. Juni 2023 | 12.00 Uhr | online

André Krischer promovierte 2005 in Mittlerer und Neuerer Geschichte in Münster. Seine Karriere auf der Laufbahn eines Professors begann 2009, als er auf eine Juniorprofessur für die Neuere Geschichte Großbritanniens und des Commonwealth berufen wurde. 2015 schloss sich seine Habilitation an.

Weiter ging es im Jahre 2019 mit einer Vertretungsprofessur an der Goethe-Universität. Seine Berufung auf seine jetzige Position, den Lehrstuhl für die Geschichte der Frühen Neuzeit an der Albert-Ludwigs-Universität in Freiburg, bekam er 2022.

Welche Schritte, Höhen und Tiefen, Erfolge und Durststrecken auf seinem Weg lagen, welche Entscheidungen sich zu richtungsweisenden Punkten entwickelten, wo es große Anstrengungen kostete und wo es Unterstützung gab- davon wird André Krischer Ihnen gerne berichten.

Prof over lunch: Prof. Andreas Landmann

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7 July | 12:00 noon | online

He became a W3 Professor of Development Economics at the Friedrich-Alexander University in Erlangen-Nürnberg in 2020. His focus lays on applied econometrics and behavioral reserach in the area of development economics.

Before this, his way led him as a DFG Research Fellow to the Paris School of Economics. After two years, he changed the position to an assistant Professor at the University of Göttingen until 2020.

His main interest is about health and insurance in low-income countries, specially in Pakistan. Further he is investigating decisions under risk and uncertainty, as well as prosocial preferences. He conducted several large-scale impact evaluations, randomized control trials and behavioral experiments in Vietnam, China, Germany and the Philippines.

The online event will take place on Thursday, 7 July, from 12:00 till 13:00 over the lunchbreak.

We are looking forward to see you!

Prof over lunch: Prof. Marc Goerigk

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19 May 2022 |12:00 noon | online

Marc Goerigk is W2 Professor for Network and Data Science Management at the University of Siegen. You are invited to ask to him about topics you have in mind for your own career. Possibly also thoughts, doubts or even other career options he might have had, can give you good ideas for your own personal way.

Marc Goerigk became professor at a quite young age. He will talk with you about his direct path to a professorship and the very interesting positions he had held.

After his PhD in mathematics at the University of Göttingen, he moved to the Technical University of Kaiserslautern as a post-doctoral research assistant. Then his way lead him to the Management School of Lancaster University (UK) for a permanent position as Lecturer in Data Analytics. He joined the Higher Education Academy (FHEA) as a fellow in 2018. In the same year, he accepted a position as a professor in Siegen at the age of 32.

If you are interested to talk with Marc Goerigk in a small group of postdoctoral researchers to find out more about the topics you need to know to decide on your professional path, you are very welcome to register for this talk.

Prof over lunch: Prof. Dr. Kerstin Rosenow-Williams

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14 January | 12:00 noon | online

Kerstin Rosenow-Williams became professor for Social Sustainability in the focus area of sociology at the Department of Social Policy and Social Security Studies at the University of Applied Sciences Bonn-Rhein-Sieg in October 2021. In 2017 she did her “habilitation” on her interdisciplinary work on migration and climate change as the big and pressing challenges of the present.  As her steps on the way to her professorship are just rather recent, she will easily be able to envision and understand your questions, thoughts and doubts.

Before her professorship she had a number of different positions, from group leader at university and also at research institutes to children’s rights specialist at UNICEF . All these different positions are also very interesting appointments, which can give you insights in very diverse fields of work.

If you are interested to talk with Kerstin Rosenow-Williams in a small group of postdoctoral researchers to find out more about the topics you need to know to decide on your professional path, you are very welcome to register for this talk.

This second talk of our series „Prof over lunch“ will take place on 14th January 2022 at noon (12.00) till 13.00.

Prof*in über Mittag: Prof. Dr. Marion Silies

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04. November | 12:00 Uhr (s.t.) | online

Prof. Dr. Marion Silies ist seit 2019 Professorin für Neuroentwicklungsbiologie an der Johannes Gutenberg Universität in Mainz. Ihr Weg dorthin führte sie über einige sehr wichtige Stationen, über die sie im Gespräch mit Ihnen gerne erzählen wird. Ihre Jahre als Postdoc in Stanford, wo sie ihren Forschungsinteressen weiter nachging, können Ihnen interessante Einblicke in das Leben und Forschen in einem anderen Land geben.

Von dort führte ihr Weg mit einem Emmy Noether Fellowship weiter nach Göttingen an das European Neuroscience Institute, wo sie als Gruppenleiterin einer Nachwuchsgruppe arbeitete und forschte. Sowohl die Arbeit in einem Forschungsinstitut, als auch die Rolle als Emmy Noether Gruppenleiterin sind spannende Hintergründe, zu denen Marion Silies für Sie gerne erzählen wird. Auch ein Bericht ihrer Initiative für einen ERC Starting Grant, den Marion Silies 2016 für ihre Forschung einwarb, kann Ihren für Ihren eigenen Weg wertvolle Hintergründe, Hinweise und Ideen liefern. 

Stellen Sie am 4. 11. 2021 um 12.00 (pünktlich) im Gespräch mit Marion Silies gerne alle Fragen, die Sie zur Zeit bei den Überlegungen Ihres beruflichen Weges beschäftigen. Mit etwas Glück finden Sie vielleicht genau die richtigen Antworten!

Am 4.11.2021 um 12.00 (pünktlich) können Sie im Gespräch mit Marion Silies einen Einblick in einen Weg in die Professur bekommen.