CareerDesign@TUM: New qualification program for mid-level academics

CareerDesign@TUM is our new, structured qualification program for mid-level academics. The program provides a comprehensive opportunity for your personal development. In the program, you will develop interdisciplinary skills that you need for a challenging and responsible job in academia and beyond. The program offers participants the chance to extend their knowledge, apply it in their field of work and exchange ideas with colleagues from TUM and other organizations.

CareerDesign@TUM follows the logic of lifelong learning; it promotes the proactive design of your career and offers you the opportunity for further qualification. Through clearly described fields of activity (i.e. tracks) and competency models, CareerDesign@TUM also aims to increase your attractiveness for the external job market. Thus, CareerDesign@TUM can be your springboard for a career in academia as well as in non-academic fields!

Apply now: Pilot Program TUM Science Manager for experienced science managers

Information about the pilot program and the application process can be found here.

 

Five fields of activity

CareerDesign@TUM offers you five attractive qualification paths that allow you to develop your talents and interests. We would be happy to assist you in identifying the most suitable area of activity for you.

The TUM Researcher qualification track is aimed at people who aspire to advance to a responsible position in research & research management and who want to continue to contribute their expert knowledge and methodological expertise to challenging research projects and research-based teaching, while also taking on tasks in research management and coordination. This track focuses on competencies such as the acquisition and management of third-party funding, the coordination or management of large research networks, science communication, and trends in research such as open science and big data/data science. 

 

The qualification path of the TUM Learning Professional is aimed at people who would like to contribute to the development of innovative (digital) learning formats, to scientifically-based executive and professional education, and to the professional coaching and consultation of learners on the basis of their expertise and experience in research and teaching. The program focuses on competencies such as program development and management, quality assurance, and advising and coaching learners.

*previously TUM Lecturer

 

The qualification path of the TUM Science Manager is aimed at people who, on the basis of their own experience in research and teaching or their professional experience in the academic environment, would like to initiate, steer and monitor projects in research and science management. Science Managers primarily perform coordinating or consulting activities, which can be located in research as well as in the science-supporting area.

 

The TUM Entrepreneurship Advisor qualification track is aimed at individuals who aspire to work in innovation and spin-off management. It prepares for the promotion of entrepreneurial talents in start-ups, especially in the technology sector. To this end, we provide skills in areas such as new business model development, start-up financing, legal aspects of spin-offs, patent/licensing law, and consulting & team development. 

 

The TUM Technical Expert qualification path is aimed at people in research and technical operations. You may be responsible, for example, for the operation and further development of technical infrastructure (e.g., large-scale equipment, TUM Core Facilities), for technology transfer (e.g., standardization, industrial consulting), and for setting up and maintaining the IT structure in the faculties/schools. The program provides participants with subject matter expertise, for example in the area of big data/data science, as well as management skills, for example information and knowledge management.

 

The Qualification Program

CareerDesign@TUM is committed to equal opportunities. Accordingly, it is characterized by its modular structure and a three-level qualification model that can be flexibly arranged. This makes it easier for employees to reconcile their personal life situation (e.g. family commitments, part-time employment, etc.) with their professional interests and ambitions.

CareerDesign@TUM is a structured continuing education program with three qualification levels in each track: an entry level, a second level for individuals with professional experience, and a third level for individuals with management and leadership responsibilities in the respective field. Depending on your prior knowledge and professional experience, direct entry into the second or third qualification level is possible.

Each of the three levels has a different focus:

 

  • The first qualification level focuses on professional competencies and general interdisciplinary competencies (e.g., university law, financials , project management, communication skills). It is aimed at people who (usually after completing a doctorate) have 1-2 years of professional experience in the academic context and would like to develop their competencies in order to take on a responsible position in the future.
  • The second qualification level focuses on management competencies relevant to the respective track (e.g. change management, teamwork, agile project management). It is aimed at people who (usually after completing a doctorate) have a few years of professional experience and already bear responsibility for projects and resources, but usually do not yet hold a managerial position.
  • The third qualification level focuses on the advancement of leadership and management skills (personnel management, personnel selection, strategic management). It is aimed at individuals (usually with a completed doctorate) in management positions who have many years of professional experience in the academic environment and in-depth expert knowledge.

CareerDesign@TUM comprises formal training elements with a high proportion of self-learning phases. Individual qualification elements such as peer mentoring, job shadowing and on-the-job learning ensure transfer of training to the work context.

CareerDesign@TUM Board

The CareerDesign@TUM Board defines the admission and selection criteria and decides on the admission of applicants to the program. It fulfills a supervisory and control function and advises on the strategic development of CareerDesign@TUM. The Board is composed of representatives of professors, academic staff and central administration. It is chaired by the Senior Vice President for Talent Management and Diversity.

FAQs CareerDesign@TUM

What is CareerDesign@TUM?

CareerDesign@TUM is our structured qualification program specifically for mid-level academic staff (German: akademischer Mittelbau). The program, which is unique in Germany, opens up attractive career prospects for TUM employees aside from a professorship. In the program, you will learn the interdisciplinary competencies and skills that you need for a demanding and responsible position in an academic environment. CareerDesign@TUM follows the logic of lifelong learning; accordingly, it promotes proactive self-management of one's own career and offers members of the TUM's academic mid-level staff the opportunity for further qualification.

Who is CareerDesign@TUM intended for?

CareerDesign@TUM is a TUM-wide offer for all members of the mid-level academic staff in science and science management. It is aimed at individuals who, usually after completing a PhD, have at least 1-2 years of professional experience (first qualification level) or several years of professional experience (second and third qualification level) in an academic environment and would like to further develop their skills in order to take on a responsible position in the future.

Who is involved in the conception of CareerDesign@TUM?

CareerDesign@TUM was developed under the direction of SVP Prof. Dr. Claudia Peus. The detailed conception of the qualification programs for the five career paths is currently in the hands of project groups consisting of representatives from the relevant fields of activity (e.g. ProLehre, UnternehmerTUM, TUM ForTe, central scientific institutions and faculties). In the context of developing CareerDesign@TUM, intensive discussions with representatives of the mid-level academic staff are being held (e.g. with the Research Associates’ Council of the TUM).

Are other universities planning similar programs?

CareerDesign@TUM is a unique qualification program in Germany, with which TUM, in the third round of the Excellence Initiative, is addressing one of the "central challenges for the German science system" (Wissenschaftsrat, 2017). CareerDesign@TUM is a key personnel-strategic project of the TUM Agenda 2030 with the aim of opening up new talent-promoting career paths alongside professorships.

What qualification paths are planned for CareerDesign@TUM?

CareerDesign@TUM offers five qualification paths that enable the development of individual talents and interests:

  • TUM Learning Professional (previously TUM Lecturer): The qualification path of the TUM Learning Professional is aimed at people who, based on their expertise and experience in research and teaching, would like to contribute to the development of (digital) teaching programs, in academic continuing education, and in learning guidance and support for learners. The program focuses on competencies such as program development and management, quality assurance, and advising and guiding learners.
  • TUM Researcher: The TUM Researcher qualification track is aimed at people who aspire to advance to a responsible position in research & research management and who want to continue to contribute their expert knowledge and methodological expertise to challenging research projects and research-based teaching, while also taking on tasks in research management and coordination. This track focuses on competencies such as third-party funding acquisition and management, the coordination or management of research networks, science communication, and trends in research such as open science and big data/data science.
  • TUM Science Manager: The qualification path of the TUM Science Manager is aimed at people who, based on their own experience in research and teaching or their professional experience in the academic environment, would like to take on design, control and management tasks. Science Managers primarily perform coordinating, developing or consulting activities, which can be located in the scientific as well as in the science-supporting area.
  • TUM Technical Expert: The TUM Technical Expert qualification path is aimed at people with a job in scientific and technical operations. Participants are responsible, for example, for the operation and further development of technical infrastructure (e.g. large-scale equipment, TUM Core Facilities), for technology transfer (e.g. standardization, industrial consulting), and for setting up and supporting the IT structure in the faculties/schools. The program provides participants with specialist skills, e.g. in the area of Big Data/Data Science, as well as relevant management skills, e.g. information and knowledge management.
  • TUM Entrepreneurial Advisor: The qualification path of the TUM Entrepreneurship Advisor is aimed at people who aspire to work in innovation and spin-off management. It prepares you for the promotion of young entrepreneurial talents in the founding of companies, especially in the technology sector. To this end, we provide you with skills in the areas of developing new business models, start-up financing, legal aspects of spin-offs, patent/licensing law as well as consulting and team development.

How is the qualification program specifically structured?

CareerDesign@TUM is a modular qualification program. It comprises a structured continuing education program for five qualification paths with three development levels in each qualification path: an entry level, a second level for people with professional experience, and a third level for people with management tasks in the respective field. Depending on prior knowledge and experience, direct entry into the second or third qualification level is possible. Each of the three levels has a different focus:

  • In the first qualification level, the focus is on teaching technical competencies and basic cross-sectional competencies (e.g. university law, financial management, project management, communication skills). It is aimed at people who (usually after completing a PhD) have 1-2 years of professional experience in the academic environment and would like to develop competencies in order to take on a responsible position in the future.
  • The second qualification level focuses on management competencies relevant to the respective job (e.g. change management, teamwork, agile project management). It is aimed at people who (usually after completing a PhD) have a few years of professional experience and are already responsible for projects and, if applicable, resources, but who usually do not hold a management position yet.
  • The third qualification level focuses on the acquisition and deepening of management and leadership skills (leading people, selecting people, and strategic leadership. It is aimed at employees in management positions (usually with a completed PhD) who have many years of professional experience in the academic environment and in-depth specialist knowledge.

CareerDesign@TUM comprises formal training elements with a high proportion of self-learning phases. Individual qualification elements such as peer mentoring, job shadowing and on-the-job learning ensure transfer to the work context.

How long does it take to complete the qualification program?

CareerDesign@TUM is a modular, multi-stage qualification program in which the scope increases with each qualification level. For each qualification level, a time frame of about 1-2 years can be expected. An immediate application for the next qualification level is usually not planned. After completing a qualification level, the participants should first prove themselves in the context of their work at TUM and apply the knowledge and skills in their everyday professional life.

Does the participation in CareerDesign@TUM take place during working hours?

Yes, participation takes place during working hours. This requires the consent of the supervisors. The commitment of the participants to spend some of their free time participating in the program is nevertheless desired and necessary. The qualification elements are linked as closely as possible to current activities (e.g. via a transfer project) and, thus, enable direct application of the acquired skills.

To what extent is CareerDesign@TUM compatible with family and career?

CareerDesign@TUM promotes equal opportunities. Therefore, the program is distinguished by its multi-stage and modular structure, which allows participants flexibility regarding the duration of the qualification. This simplifies it for participants to reconcile their personal life (e.g. family obligations, part-time employment, etc.) with their professional interests and ambitions.

Who is the contact person for CareerDesign@TUM?

You are welcome to send us your questions and suggestions:  careerdesign(at)lll.tum.de

What are the conditions for participation?

The participation in CareerDesign@TUM is voluntary and requires a proactive application. Participation in CareerDesign@TUM requires professional experience in science and/or science management and usually a completed doctorate degree. The requirements for the respective tracks and levels depend on the professional experience and already existing qualifications. The CareerDesign@TUM Board decides on admissions without a doctorate (but with several years of relevant professional experience). Qualifications acquired outside of CareerDesign@TUM can be credited when applying to the second or third qualification level.

What are the application modalities for CareerDesign@TUM?

The entry point to CareerDesign@TUM is a proactive application. A consultation with the CareerDesign@TUM team is recommended. The following application documents are required:

First qualification level:

  • Written application including letter of motivation and curriculum vitae
  • A letter of recommendation from the supervisor(s)

Second qualification level:

Written application including letter of motivation and curriculum vitae

  • A letter of recommendation from the supervisor(s)
  • A second letter of recommendation from an executive of TUM

Third qualification level:

  • Written application including letter of motivation and curriculum vitae
  • A letter of recommendation from the supervisor(s)
  • A second letter of recommendation from the dean or the leader of the scientific institution

Who decides on the admission to the program?

Admission to CareerDesign@TUM is granted after a positive admission decision by the CareerDesign@TUM Board based on the application documents and a personal interview.

Can already acquired skills be credited?

The participation in existing course programs and qualification measures (e.g. within the framework of ProLehre, TUM horizons, effective science management, and possibly also external training providers) can be credited.

Can I recommend a colleague for CareerDesign@TUM?

You are welcome to draw the attention of colleagues to CareerDesign@TUM and recommend a consultation. However, a proactive application must be submitted. If you have any questions, please contact us: careerdesign(at)lll.tum.de

To what extent is the current job decisive for the qualification path to be chosen?

Mid-level academic staff members are generally welcome to apply for all career tracks. The chosen qualification path can be based on the current and/or future desired focus of activity. For the second and third qualification levels, several years of relevant professional experience in the respective field of activity is a prerequisite for admission.

How permeable are the individual tracks? Is it possible to work on several tracks in parallel?

Of course, it is conceivable that the career goals of the participants change over the years. A change of the selected qualification path requires a new application. The decision to change to another qualification path and the crediting of previously completed qualification elements is made by the CareerDesign@TUM Board. In general, employees should assume responsibility for their own career path at an early stage by participating in information events, attending coaching sessions, and a structured self-assessment, so that the application for a qualification track constitutes a well-founded decision.

Is it possible to apply for CareerDesign@TUM with a fixed-term employment contract?

CareerDesign@TUM is open to all members of the mid-level academic staff. The modular qualification program can be completed in a flexible time frame and on a part-time basis in the context of equal opportunities. The prerequisite for participation is an employment at TUM for the expected duration of the qualification level (usually 1-2 years from entry) or the prospect of employment until the end of the qualification stage.There may be formal hurdles for the participation of persons who are third-party funded. In this case, please contact us before applying.

Is CareerDesign@TUM also open to non-scientific employees?

CareerDesign@TUM was primarily developed for mid-level academic staff members who, after completing a doctorate, are looking for a career aside from a professorship. Non-scientific employees who, for example, are active in management roles in science-supporting areas and whose job profile is academically characterized can also apply. The CareerDesign@TUM team will be happy to advise you whether CareerDesign@TUM is suitable for you.

What offers are there for people who are already at the third qualification level, i.e. in leadership positions?

For individuals whose competencies are comparable to those of the third qualification level due to many years of professional experience, the TUM Institute for LifeLong Learning offers a wide range of continuing education opportunities. Of course, these individuals are free to participate in CareerDesign@TUM in order to benefit from the special offers such as mentoring and job shadowing as well as the networking opportunities.

Is the approval of the supervisor required to participate in CareerDesign@TUM?

The support of the supervisor is essential for one’s own career development. Since CareerDesign@TUM is largely completed during working hours, participants need the approval of their superiors. Accordingly, the TUM Board of Management, the deans and the team of CareerDesign@TUM actively promote the further qualification of the mid-level academic staff. The CareerDesign@TUM team supports supervisors in advising employees and in writing letters of recommendation. The CareerDesign@TUM Board also advises and supports you in cases where your supervisor initially does not agree to your participation. Please feel free to contact us confidentially.

Is CareerDesign@TUM also open to external participants?

The application is only open to TUM employees. Individual qualification elements are planned in cooperation with TUM-external partner organizations.

What are the prospects for participants of CareerDesign@TUM after the successful graduation of the program?

CareerDesign@TUM qualifies participants for a job in one of the five fields of activity: Research(management), teaching(development) and learning consultation, science management, entrepreneurial management and technology management. The certified acquisition of competencies within the framework of CareerDesign@TUM can open up new career options within and outside of TUM, since acquired competencies are documented and thus verifiable. A successful participation in CareerDesign@TUM does not automatically entail a change of position, but a by the graduates desired change can possibly take place in a more planned and transparent way than before. Through external internships and events with partner organizations (e.g. career forums, fireplace evenings), participants have access to an external network (in the economy, scientific institutions or public organizations), which is open to them for their further career planning.

How are the acquired qualifications and competences documented?

CareerDesign@TUM is designed as a certificate program, meaning that after the successful participation in a qualification level a certificate of participation is issued. The certification allows to document and to visualize formally and informally acquired competencies.

How accredited is the participation and certification within CareerDesign@TUM?

TUM is one of the most innovative and strongest research universities in the world and one of the best universities in Europe. It can be assumed that certification within the framework of CareerDesign@TUM will be nationally and internationally recognized. Cooperation with non-university research institutions, international research partners and corporate partners will ensure that the requirements and needs of external institutions are also considered. Thus, CareerDesign@TUM can also open up attractive career options outside of the TUM.

Does CareerDesign@TUM result in changes in the employment relationship?

Participation in CareerDesign@TUM does not result in changes in employment. Existing regulations for promotion and classification as well as regarding the permanent or temporary nature of contracts remain unaffected by CareerDesign@TUM.

  • Neither the participation in the program (admission) nor the successful completion (certification) automatically leads to a promotion and/or to a permanent contract. 
  • A promotion and/or change of contract does not require a participation in CareerDesign@TUM also in the future, because it is strictly based on the collective bargaining agreements and, thus, on the performed activities or on the labor law requirements.
  • Academic careers with the designation as “Akademische/r (Ober-)Rat/Rätin” remain unaffected by CareerDesign@TUM and a promotion is of course possible according to existing laws and regulations without a participation in CareerDesign@TUM.
  • CareerDesign@TUM will not create any new jobs.

What role does CareerDesign@TUM play in the internal staffing of positions in the mid-level academic staff?

CareerDesign@TUM can help to create more transparency in job requirements. It is for example possible, that in internal job advertisements the certification within a CareerDesign@TUM track is indicated as desired qualification. At the same time, the certification can be included in an application as proof of competence. It is important to note that the participation in CareerDesign@TUM does not guarantee a candidate’s consideration for the filling of open job positions; at the same time, the participation in CareerDesign@TUM is not a prerequisite for applying for an open position.

To what extent can generalist-oriented job profiles in mid-level academic staff be combined with the possibility of specialization within CareerDesign@TUM?

The newly created qualification program CareerDesign@TUM offers the opportunity to set focal points of activity. CareerDesign@TUM enables participants to pursue their own talents and interests. There will still be many mid-level academic staff employees who have a broad-based job profile.

How will the unity of teaching and research at a university be ensured if there are two career tracks (TUM Researcher, TUM Learning Professional)?

The connection between research and teaching is a central quality feature of university teaching and will not be weakened by CareerDesign@TUM. The tracks TUM Researcher and TUM Learning Professional focus on research (with autonomous research) and on teaching (development of teaching formats, learning advice and coaching), but do not mutually exclude activities in teaching or research, respectively.

Does CareerDesign@TUM make the “Habilitation” obsolete?

CareerDesign@TUM addresses mid-level academic staff at TUM, who are looking for an alternative career path aside from a professorship. Accordingly, CareerDesign@TUM does not make the “Habilitation” obsolete. In many subjects, a “Habilitation” is still a prerequisite for an appointment as professor in Germany. Whether or not a “Habilitation” is conducive for achieving one's own career goals depends on the respective subject area. Of course, participants of CareerDesign@TUM are able to apply for external professorships. TUM follows common standards; this means home appointments are only possible in very well-founded exceptional cases.

Contact:

For any questions on our program, please do not hesitate to contact us!

 

Eva-Maria Knipfer
Program Manager

eva-maria.knipfer(at)tum.de