Career decisions and career paths of doctorate holders – with special consideration of fixed-term contracts (BuWiN 2025)

Start of the project: 2023-Jul-01 - End of the project: 2024-Mar-31

The project „Career decisions and career paths of doctorate holders – with special consideration of fixed-term contracts” is developed by the DZHW and INCHER-Kassel as part of the National Report on Junior Scholars (BuWiN) 2025. Career decisions of doctoral graduates and their career paths within and outside the scientific field are analysed drawing on several data resources. Within the projects’ framework the DZHW aims at answering the following questions:

  • Which career paths are taken up after doctoral graduation?
  • What role does the fixed-term status of employment play in this?
  • Who remains in the scientific field?
  • In which sectors are those who leave the scientific field employed?
  • What are the returns of a doctoral degree?

To answer these questions, insight from existing research will be systemised. Furthermore, new analyses will be elaborated, drawing on graduate studies and surveys among doctorate holders conducted by the DZHW. These series of studies provide representative data with large numbers of cases as well as long time series’ and evaluation periods. Hence it is possible to explore determinants of career preferences and career paths, the occupational progression after receiving a doctoral degree as well as the employment situation of HEI-graduates with and without doctoral degree.

The National Report on Junior Scholars (BuWiN) collects statistical data and recent research evidence on scientific qualification processes, career paths, conditions of employment and professional perspectives of junior researchers in Germany. Thus it is an important basis for discussion and further development of the political and legal framework for young researchers in Germany. BuWiN 2025 is being prepared by an independent consortium, led by the Institute for Innovation and Technology (iit) as part of VDI/VDE Innovation + Technik GmbH.

Contact person

Kolja Briedis
Dr. Kolja Briedis +49 511 450670-132

External Contact

Prof. Dr. Guido Bünstorf
Dr. Johannes König
Dr. Anne Otto

In cooperation with

Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung International Centre for Higher Education Research