How to Build Your Lab

Target Group

The workshop is designed for postdoctoral researchers from the natural and life sciences.

The workshop will give a „starter package“ to future or starting group leaders. The course is subdivided into the three parts “People”, “Science” and “Funding”.
People is all about leading; yourself and your team. Topics can include:
  • Situative leadership
  • Hiring and retaining staff
  • You lab “constitution”
  • Feedback
  • Conflict management
Funding will show you how to pick the right funding type for your plans and how to effectively write applications and proposals.
  • Funding opportunities in Germany, Europe and worldwide
  • Stipends and faculty positions: pro and contra
  • Planning and managing my start
  • Planning my career
Science will enable you to structure your own group and position it within the environment at your institute and beyond.
  • Scientific exchange between peers: other participants face the same challenges as you
  • Finding good collaborations
  • How to get independent from your supervisor
  • How to perform in interdisciplinary research
  • How to find mentors
  • Future group leaders in academia will have a toolbox to start their work as leader effectively.
  • Participants will be able to adjust their leadership style to the co-worker, situation (task) and the daily ups and downs.
  • Participants will be able to perform a staff selection process which will eliminate their inherent biases and make it possible to focus on usable qualities for their teams. Furthermore, they will be able to retain their staff and compete with the “big shots” for the best talent.
  • Participants will be able to set up their lab “rules” in order to prevent conflict and to enable an effective communication. For cases when this prevention is not sufficient, de-escalation, conflict resolution and escalation steps will be practised.
  • Participants will be able to find their own funding strategy for their own group.
  • Participants will be able to decide for the path which suits their own strategies best, e.g. to make a sensible decision between faculty stipend positions.
  • Participants will be able to use strategic planning to sketch their career plan.
  • Participants will be able to interact respectfully, sensibly and strategically with their scientific environment. They will learn to harness the synergies with their peers. They will learn to position themselves towards their mentors in order to become independent without arousing conflicts.
  • They will learn to become part of an interdisciplinary research cluster: how to start collaborations, which partners to choose and which strategic considerations to be taken.



The workshop is highly interactive, mostly based on discussions and interactive exercises. We aim to bring together the skills and experiences the two trainers have gathered in academic and industrial settings. Among others, we´ll use the following methods:
  • Interactive discussions.
  • Case studies from the trainer as well as from the participants. These will be used to develop general and workable courses of action.
  • Experience-oriented game-like activities to elaborate on general principles used in the work as junior group leader.
  • Practically oriented activities and scenarios. Such “role plays” lead to evaluations within small groups (e.g. groups of three, two interacting partners plus the third person as observer) or in plenary.
  • Short presentation phases.
  • Development of concepts in plenary, e.g on flipchart.
  • Individual or small group work (exercises) of the participants and presentation in plenary.
Fill in a questionnaire to give us a clue about your background and expectations.
Course Conductors
Jun.-Prof. Dr. Alexander Schiller, http://www.schillermertens.de/
Dr. Philipp Gramlich, http://naturalscience.careers/de/
16 hours
Mo 20.11.2017, 09:00-17:00
Tue 21.11.2017, 09:00-17:00
Please fill in the registration form and send it to kursprogramm@frs.uni-freiburg.de
Seminar Room of the FRS, Friedrichstr. 41-43, 2nd floor
No. of Participants


Benutzerspezifische Werkzeuge