Facts & Tools

tbh-conference: Career Real Talk - The Summary 2022

The tbh-conference provided a forum where peers and experts shared advice and informal knowledge - the kind that is usually based on watercooler conversations or lucky coincidences. This article wraps up all the learnings, our speakers' key messages and gives honest insights into the German academic system.

The Idea: Supporting Scientists with a new Format

Our conference helped participants to

  • envision a clearer path towards future success,
  • manage expectations about immediate next steps, and
  • make their voice heard.

While the topics were relevant for researchers everywhere, we focused on the German research system.

An Honest Exchange with Experts from Academia & beyond

Our speakers were peers and experts who know about the challenges of the (German) academic system first-hand. They openly shared their experiences and learnings, and were also there to listen the audience’s ideas and suggestions.

Learn more about the background of our speakers here:

Selected Tips from the Opening-Session:


  1. Set yourself up for serendipity, be proactive.
  2. As a PI run with the team and be patient with your co-workers.
  3. Are you experiencing administrative burdens? Communicate, also with the administrative team.

«As a team you can run much more further than on your own.» Prof. Dr. Tuan Leng Tay

Watch the videos to unpack all myths and gain honest input on the German academic system.

Recordings of Sessions

Myth Busting & Career Advice

An honest (and fun!) conversation with our guests about

  • career myths and challenges in the German academic system,
  • good and bad advice,
  • hands-on tips, and
  • ideas for a better system.

Myth Busting: DAY 1

DAY 1 of our tbh-conference was all about myth busting when it comes to:

1:13 Grants & Publications

8:32 Careers beyond Academia

15:05 What to expect as a (new) Group Leader/Professor

Myth Busting: DAY 2

On the second day speakers and participants met in small and confidential groups. In the video, you can listen to the wrap-up and most relevant learnings of these sessions:

1:27 Navigating Politics as a new Group leader/Professor (focus Germany)

6:11 Dealing with Discrimination & Power Abuse

10:24 Good Mentorship: Finding Mentors, being a Mentor 

16:26 What surprised you the most?

Career Resources

Also, we collected some resources that might help you along your career path, including tips on

  • career strategy & job search,
  • career transition,
  • getting a faculty position,
  • strategic science communication,

and more!

Our Partners

The tbh-conference was made possible by funding from the Klaus Tschira Stiftung.

The idea was supported by Max Planck Society.

Our media partner was Elephant in the Lab.

The German Scholars Organization (GSO) has been supporting researchers who want to build a career in Germany for 20 years. Our mission is to empower researchers to use their full potential despite a system full of challenges.