Job Descriptions

CareerCheck provides descriptions of jobs that are typically chosen by our PhD graduates in life sciences. Please mind this overview not exhaustive and is never meant to be exhaustive as

  1. the job market is evolving over time. E.g. there were few data scientists in the 1980s
  2. job content differs between sectors, organizations or possibly even between departments
  3. workplaces that can benefit from PhD transferable skills are abundant!

Job descriptions are therefore meant to provide you information to get your exploration started.

Find here information about the "typical" career paths of our Alumni, organized into job families. Browse the job families to find job titles, career info, advice from our Alumni and application and networking recommendations specific to certain jobs.

Again, this info is meant to serve as a first introduction, as well as the suggestions resulting from your preference-to-task alignment. To learn whether a job indeed suits you and for ideas what may suit you even better, always reach out to professionals who already work in the field. Career Events are good opportunities to make first contact. Alumni from your institute are mostly easiest to access.

It will be hard to take career decision based on job descriptions only. We therefore suggest you to perform the PreferenceCheck and ValueCheck first to identify what is important to you in a career. These insights will allow you to evaluate jobs in a targeted way.

For the 2016 overview of the landscape of life science companies in Europe, check KPMG's market resource.

Job descriptions on CareerCheck are purely based on past DKFZ life scientists' careers, concluded from past and current Alumni surveys.

This job family includes academic careers at universities, universities of applied sciences and advanced technical colleges. More research positions are located at non-university research institutes like the DKFZ. Alumni who work as Professors, Group Leaders, PIs, Lab Managers and Postdocs in other institutes have shared their insights with us.

Clinical Research includes a broad variety of career options closely related to clinical trials. There are many entry positions for CRAs (Clinical Research Associates), Clinical Monitors and Trial Monitors in pharma industry, CROs (Clinical Research Organizations) and government agencies.

We combine two very different occupations in this job family, their common feature being their supportive role for research in academic and non-academic environments. Find more specific information in this section on the jobs of Bioinformaticians and Application Engineers.

There are a number of jobs related to the approval and production of pharmaceuticals. On the following pages, we focus on two roles: Quality Control Managers ensure compliance in the manufacturing process in the pharmaceutical industry, while Regulatory Affairs Managers work both in industry and regulatory bodies.

Under the headlines of Founder and Consultant, we give insights into start-up and consultancy careers, both of which are concerned with the business aspects of science. We added a more "unfamiliar" and specialized area that might have escaped your notice, the job of a Patent Attorney.

These are industry jobs at the far end of the drug development process: Jobs like Market Access Manager, Product Manager and Lifecycle Manager are grouped together under Marketing Manager, while customer facing roles like Pharma Sales Reps, Key Account Managers, Medical Advisors and Medical Scientific Liaisons under Sales Manager.

Research positions in industry are the most obvious choice for scientists who want to dedicate themselves to translational, applied research or leave academia for other reasons. Typical job titles are Research Scientist, Postdoc and Lab Manager. All positions can involve leading a team.

Learn more about jobs that support research; from academic positions like Grants Officer, Scientific Coordinator, Research Officer or Project Officer to Project Management positions in industry that typically deal with the cross-functional coordination of development projects.

The field of science communication covers all positions related to the publishing of scientific information, like Scientific Writer and Editor, but also teaching positions (both teaching students about science and training scientists in science communication). There is also info on the job profile of a Lecturer.

Find here examples of job titles of former researchers, PhD graduates who successfully transitioned to jobs that are off the beaten path. Jobs that are seemingly very distant from the initial research career.

Interactive Word Cloud

This is an interactive word cloud of jobs described in CareerCheck.

  • Click on the words to learn more!
  • Colors refer to job titles within a job family