Mid-Career Researchers

The Vice-President's Board for Research & Faculty offers trainings, resources and workshops for assistant professors, postdoctoral researchers and senior lecturers.

Supporting offers and entities

The postdoctoral period as well as the time as an assistant professor often coincide with the so called “rush hour” of life. The independence as a researcher grows, and at the same time, this period is often a time of profiling and orientation in which important career decisions have to be made. On top of this, this time is often accompanied by important decisions relating to one's private and family life. Senior lecturers occupy a permanent position and take on important tasks in teaching and academic self-government. To support you in matters concerning research and career path development the Vice-President's Board for Research and Faculty offers a variety of courses, workshops and events that aim to support you on your path of professional development.

  • We provide tools and workshops on topics such as academic appointment, leadership, and management.

  • Our Mid-Career Researchers Day event is available to all assistant professors, postdoctoral researchers and senior lecturers. Here we will talk about faculty, research, and teaching. Invitations are sent out at the end of the spring semester. 

For further assistance in teaching, grants and many other aspects of academic, personal and professional life, contact the following teams:

Current trainings

Toolbox for publishing Open Access @ HSG

Getting published is an important part of a researcher’s life, yet: it’s kind of alien as you will have to haggle with copyright and legalese – topics you hardly had to handle during your student years ... academic publishing is not for the faint hearted! Yet, it is highly important that you know your way about the basics: how you can extend your audience by publishing Open Access and especially that you know your rights!

This workshop will give you an introduction to

  1. Academic publishing process: an overview
  2. Open Access: what is it and why you should care
  3. Open Access publishing options at HSG: Gold and Green
  4. Knowing your rights … or where to find them

Learning objectives
Basic knowledge of the academic publishing process

  1. Open Access publishing options at HSG
  2. Basics of Copyright and Creative Commons
  3. Who can support you at HSG if you have questions?


Browse through our Open Access page 

Place and Time

Target Group
PhD Students & Postdocs

About the Trainers
Ruedi Lindegger: works at the Vice-President’s Board Research & Faculty and is responsible for the Alexandria research platform. He has a Licentiatus Philosophiae (think of Compact Cassette in Higher Education) in psychology. He is member of the Swiss Open Access Working Group and currently diving into the field of Open Research Data. No TV shows, only Linux and everyday cycling.

Christian Schlumpf: has a background in law and rugby and works in the university library for 25 years. Expert for questions concerning licensing, copyright, Open Access and some more. He has a known addiction to electronic pop from the 80’s, pub quizzes, printed t-shirts, and he definitely should cut down on watching too many TV shows. Yes, it is the Golden Age of Television, but that’s no excuse!

English or German

Tips for Mid-Career Researchers


Are you looking for a permanent position in academia, want to earn your scientific merits at HSG and become eligible for a professorship? 

According to the European Commission’s classification, you are now a Established Researcher which means that you carry out your research with a certain level of independence. At HSG, there are around 140 postdocs and 70 assistant professors. Your main task is now to develop qualifications that you need to be eligible for a professorship. You might also be in the process of completing your habilitation or are responsible for your own research team (including management and supervisory tasks), you might have to submit applications for additional third-party funding, establish partnerships and collaborations and communicate your research effectively.  

Your to do-list might look like this: 
1. Fine-tune your profile as an academic 
2. Reflect on your chances of earning tenure and prepare yourself for the process 
3. Develop your teaching skills 
4. Participate in HSG committees 
5. Start projects with your own staff 
6. Learn how to communicate professionally in the media 
7. Expand your international network 

Last but not least, stay aware of your resources, e.g. with this mindmap.

You can explore the entire to do-list with just a few clicks.

Academics who meet the requirements for appointment to a professorship should be able to perform all of the tasks that are part of the day-to-day life of a university professor.

These include: 

  • Teaching (Programme management duties, preparing and teaching courses, carrying out assessments, supervision of students, ...) 
  • Research (Acquisition and implementation of projects, publications, conference engagements, international cooperation, ...) 
  • Promoting young scientists (Academic staff management, supervision of doctoral and postdoctoral candidates, ...) 
  • Academic self-government (Board and committee activities, research management, management of an HSG institute) 
  • Service (Consulting, scientific communication)

Adopt the perspective of an appointment committee. Which of these factors are relevant in your department or to your preferred employer when it comes to appointments? How would one judge your performance, experience and skills from this perspective? Where is it worth investing all your energy? To establish a skill profile, we recommend the following resource: Mirjam Müller (2014): Promotion – Postdoc – Professur: Karriereplanung in der Wissenschaft. Frankfurt/New York. Campus-Verlag. 

But what is it that is relevant when it comes to being promoted? There are factors that are not performance-related and can only be partly influenced. These criteria include:

  • The academic reputation of the institution where you are/were working 
  • The academic reputation of your Ph.D. supervisor or co-author(s) 
  • The consistency of your academic track record 

The only way you can influence these is to make smart decisions based on information that you collect from your mentors, more experienced colleagues or peers. 

Your success also depends on your strategy.

First of all you need to be clear on your research profile and what is important to you in connection with a professorship. This can include many questions. Is there a specific research area that you (feel you) belong to? Are there chairs/departments in your area of expertise? What is the forecast for the next few years in terms of planned professorships? What are the job requirements for currently advertised professorships?

The next step is to prepare for the appointment process: the process, the legal framework, the analysis of advertisements, selection of a topic for the presentation before the appointment committee, the interview with the appointment committee, developing negotiation strategies, and more. Please refer to our offers for Mid-Career Researchers for our yearly Training on Appointment Procedures

Job market for science and research

Current habilitations and appointments in German-speaking countries: Forschung & Lehre

More: Appointment advice (DE) / Advice and Coaching, Deutscher Hochschulverband (DE)

In addition to research, teaching is one of the core competencies of a professor. 

In an appointment procedure, teaching performance is often considered to be secondary to research performance, yet teaching skills are vital for reaching a positive appointment decision. Teaching skills can be proven through experience, training and courses and cover a broad range of individual skills: 

  • designing and running courses
  • developing progammes of study
  • running exams 
  • supervision of students
  • advising students 
  • assessment of learning success

The Centre of Learning and Teaching in Higher Education at the University of St.Gallen offers trainings (e.g. CAS for Teaching in Higher Education) and more.

How does the appointment process work? How are research proposals assessed? And how are decisions made? 

Find out by being part of the HSG committees. Though academic self-governance is time-consuming, being involved allows you to understand the workings of an academic institution and the nuanced constellations within it, and provides you with first-hand information that is relevant to your day-to-day life as an academic. Knowing how individuals or project proposals are assessed will come in handy when you start applying for research funding. Knowing issues that are being discussed in the Senate or your School can help you align your strategy accordingly. Last but not least, committee work facilitates contact with representatives of other academic institutions.

Find your coordinator among the non-tenured faculty, learn about open committee positions, and inform them that you would like to represent the non-tenured faculty during an appointment process.

Launch projects with your own team

Leadership skills can have a positive impact on your career and are also reflected by supervising junior researchers or attending trainings. The best proof is your own research project for which you recruited and supervised employees. After four years of postdoctoral research work, you are eligible to apply for SNSF project funding. As a HSG assistant professor, you are eligible to submit project applications and applications for start-up funding to the Basic Research Fund (GFF). Find out more here.

Learn how to professionally present yourself in the media 

Yearly, more than half of the researchers in the humanities and social sciences have more than one contact with the media, including interviews or discussions. Many researchers actively communicate with the non-academic public using scientific blogs, Twitter or Facebook. Researchers are also exposed to considerable pressure from research funding agencies and universities. Public outreach is now an important criterion for evaluators, and the dialogue with a broader public is an important part of a university's mission. 

So, is it just a matter of getting yourself in front of a microphone? There is a rather complex relationship between academia, the public and the media. They are structured differently and are subject to their own logic. Understand what you need to be aware of when dealing with journalists and in turn, how to use media for public visibility. Find out more at the SNF media trainings.

If you don’t know anyone, nobody’s going to call. 

Especially in academia, establishing contacts is crucial for a successful career. A study by German psychologists showed that not only scientific achievement and productivity, but also collaborations and networking in the later postdoctoral stage influence the academic career (Lang/Neyer 2004). Networking allows you to access information, connect with others, and gain visibility and academic acceptance. It is advisable to extend your network at home and abroad. After all, in the minds of the appointment committee, well-connected researchers might contribute to the university’s internationalisation strategy. They may be trusted to establish fruitful research cooperations or to invite distinguished visiting scholars.

A variety of funding is available to support you in developing your network:

  • HSG congress subsidies: Assistant professors can apply for up to CHF 2,500 in travel expenses
  • Postdoc.Mobility: The SNSF funds research secondments lasting between 12 and 36 months

Frieder R. Lang, Franz J. Neyer (2004): Kooperationsnetzwerke und Karrieren an deutschen Hochschulen - Der Weg zur Professur am Beispiel des Faches Psychologie. Kölner Zeitschrift für Soziologie und Sozialpsychologie 56, 520-538.