Increasingly, postdoctoral positions in life sciences are a required training for the next generation of scientific leaders in academia and industry. The postdoctoral years are critical in any budding scientist’s career. The Scientist 2011 Best Places to Work for Postdocs survey showed that striking the fine balance between independence and guidance is important to a successful postdoc experience. This is exactly what young scientists find in the BIOTEC and the CRTD, the two TU Dresden institutions. The rector Prof. Hans Müller-Steinhagen of the TU Dresden comments: “The TU Dresden is very proud to be amongst the Top 10 international Best Places to Work for Postdocs twice with the BIOTEC and the CRTD. In the future we will further work on the goal to establish both institutes as internationally visible excellent working environments“.
In the BIOTEC are currently 54 postdocs working and in the CRTD 36. “Both institutes form the center of an excellent network on the Dresden campus, one of the most exciting research places in Biomedicine at the moment”, says the director of the BIOTEC and CRTD, Prof. Michael Brand. “The postdocs benefit enormously from our international renowned research foci.” In a special seminar series, predocs and postdocs can hold talks and get valuable feedback. Regarding their career, postdocs at the BIOTEC and the CRTD also have the opportunity to teach in three international Master Programs. For non-German postdocs, the international office for both institutes offers advice and help with flat hunting or formalities, like visa applications, registration or health insurance. The office also helps with translating and understanding German documents. A vivid institute life, like the yearly summer conference, summer party, or Christmas party is the framework for staying in touch with the science community and meet new people. These occasions offer the chance to include the whole family. In fall 2011, CRTD postdocs will find new research space in the new 6.200 square meters CRTD building with spacious labs, offices, meeting areas, seminar rooms and a cafeteria/bistro.
This year’s postdoc respondents of the survey said they value creative freedom and individualism when rating the working environment at their institutions. Angela Hommel, a postdoc at the CRTD, comments: “Working at the CRTD, is really stimulating and encouraging. I find a combination of opportunities to develop my academic skills and find the conditions to pursue my own projects independently”. The Scientist’s Associate Editor Jef Akst, who oversees the Best Places surveys, says: „Our survey provides information about both the strengths and the weaknesses of institutions in training PhDs for the transition from young scientists into competent lab leaders“.
For the survey, the Scientist invited readers who identified themselves as non-tenured life scientists working in academia, industry, or non-commercial research institutions to take part in this web-based survey. The survey received 2,881 responses. Respondents were asked to assess their work environment and experience by indicating their level of agreement with 38 criteria in 9 different areas. The results were collated and compiled to show rankings for the best US and international institutes.
Top 10 International Institutions (outside of the USA):
1. University College London, United Kingdom
2. Novartis International, multinational
3. Biotechnology Center TU Dresden (BIOTEC), Germany
4. Max Planck Institute, Germany
5. University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia
6. DFG-Center for Regenerative Therapies, TU Dresden, Germany
7. University of Dundee, Scotland
8. MRC National Institute for Medical Research, London, United Kingdom
9. Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência, Oeiras, Portugal
10. Nederlands Kanker Instituut, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Contact for Journalists:
Katrin Boes, Press Officer CRTD / BIOTEC
Phone: 0351 463 40347
The Scientist, F1000’s magazine of the life sciences, has informed and entertained life science professionals around the world for over 24 years. We provide print and online coverage of the latest developments in the life sciences including trends in research, new technology, news, business and careers. We reach the leaders in academia and industry that are interested in maintaining a broad view of the life sciences by reading insightful articles that are current, concise, accurate and entertaining.
The DFG-Center for Regenerative Therapies Dresden (CRTD) at the Dresden University of Technology is so far the only DFG Center and Cluster of Excellence in the New Laender of Germany. Aim of the CRTD is to explore the capacity for regeneration of the human body and to develop novel regenerative therapies for so far incurable diseases like diabetes, Parkinson, or Cardiovascular diseases. The research areas of the center are Hematology/Immunology, Diabetes, Neurodegeneration / Degeneration of the retina, hard tissue replacement, and cardiovascular diseases. At the moment, there are five professors and eleven group leaders researching in the CRTD. They are included in a network of over 80 members from different institutions in Dresden. In addition, 18 partners from the economy are supporting the network. The synergies in the network allow for a fast translation of results from basic research to clinical applications.
The Biotechnology Center was founded in 2000 as a central scientific unit of the Technische Universität Dresden with the goal of combining modern approaches in molecular- and cell biology with the traditionally strong engineering in Dresden. The BIOTEC plays a central role in the “Molecular Bioengineering and Regenerative Medicine” profile of the TU Dresden, fostering developments in the new field of Biotechnology/Biomedicine. The center focuses on genomics, proteomics, biophysics, cellular machines, molecular genetics, tissue engineering, and bioinformatics.