Frequently asked questions (FAQs)


Photo by Dallas Reedy on Unsplash

What is CareerCheck?

CareerCheck is an internet-based career advice and career planning tool for young scientists at the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ). It complements the existing career services such as guidance talks, trainings, Career Days and the internet platform CareerCheck offers an integrated platform for career-related information, personal self-assessments and goals. It is aimed at supporting young scientists early with relevant information for their career planning. The career information in CareerCheck was collected from DKFZ alumni and is therefore highly relevant for the target group: young life scientists.

How can CareerCheck help me?

CareerCheck is your professional and focused companion on your career transition journey. It answers questions like:

  • What could my next step after my Postdoc or PhD look like?
  • What are the best options for me?
  • What do Alumni recommend?
  • Where do I find trainings?
  • How do I get my dream position?
In CareerCheck, you can compare your skills with those required for different types of jobs in academia and beyond. Create greater awareness for your preferences and values through the self-checks. Find training resources, DKFZ alumni tips, job descriptions and salary information. Plan your career transition in an easy, step-by-step approach. Access our application know-how, especially curated for life scientists, from improving your LinkedIn profile, to developing your professional network and writing applications to negotiating job offers.

What does it cost to use CareerCheck?

The use of CareerCheck is free.

How is the project funded?

CareerCheck is part of the Helmholtz Career Center established by Dr. Barbara Janssens in 2017, which is funded by the Initiative and Networking Fund of the Helmholtz Association.

Where should I start?

The Career Checkpoint on our landing page gives you an idea of the suggested process: We suggest that you start the process with completing the Self-Checks and researching different career paths. Choose one or two career goals in My Plan, make an appointment with Career Service to discuss next steps and training opportunities, complete My Plan with SMART goals and review it with your supervisor or mentor. DKFZ Connect is a great resource for networking and finding a mentor. Document your progress and adapt your goals in CareerCheck.

Who developed CareerCheck?

CareerCheck is based on the career advice from numerous DKFZ Alumni. Initiated by Dr. Barbara Janssens, the content was developed by Sabine Schuler-Hofmann from DKFZ Career Service. It was programmed by Adelina Waldecker from DKFZ IT Core Facility. A large number of people have contributed content and feedback to CareerCheck, especially the Postdoc Network at DKFZ, Marion Gürth and Dr. Karin Greulich-Bode (DKFZ Career Service), Dr. Claudia Galuschka (DKFZ IT Core Facility), Dr. Philipp Gebhardt (DKFZ Postdoc Program), Dr. Celina Cziepluch (DKFZ AG Aus- und Weiterbildung), and DKFZ's Talent Management Committee chaired by Dr. Michael Boutros.

I am not a DKFZ employee. Can I use CareerCheck?

For the time being, CareerCheck can only be used by DKFZ employees. In the future, it is planned to make CareerCheck available to other Helmholtz Centers as well. Look out for new releases.

Why can't I see my skill check result in the Skill Alignment Chart?

There are two versions of the Skill Alignment Chart: You can view the Skill Alignment Chart without completing the Skill Check. It shows the skill graphs for different jobs. To add your skill set to the chart, complete the Skill Check then click on View Skill Alignment Chart. Or, if you already completed one Skill Check before go to Self-Check Results - choose one Skill Check Result - click on View Skill Alignment Chart.

Who can see my data?

Only you can see your data. Neither Career Service nor your Supervisor have access to it. More information can be found in our Privacy Policy.

Should I discuss my results with my superior?

We leave it completely up to you with whom you want to discuss your results. If you want to have your superior's view on your skillset, it might make sense to show your result and discuss it with him or her. We definitely recommend to discuss your career plan with your superior.

Can I deactivate Web Analytics?

If you object to the collection of this data, you can unclick the box in the Privacy Policy - Web Analytics.

What process was used to create the self-checks?

To determine the profiles, DKFZ's career experts developed a list of skills, values and preferences, consulting with the career advisors from the CARE Career Advice for Researchers in Europe group. In an anonymized survey, DKFZ Alumni were asked to rate their jobs based on these skills, values and preferences. So the skills profiles, for example, are based on job holders' judgment, rather than relying purely on the assessment of career advisors. To ensure that this information remains up-to-date, we will continue to ask DKFZ Alumni in future surveys.

How do you ensure the ongoing quality of the information?

DKFZ Career Service is going to conduct new Alumni surveys at least every two years that will serve to further improve the data base. In addition, user feedback is collected regularly and used to continually update the site. Plans to refine and add to the content are already underway - look out for our newsletter.

I have more questions, who can I contact?

DKFZ Career Service are happy to answer any other questions you might have. Just drop us an email at