The Career Day 2014 will start with an overview of common career trajectories for scientists given by Thorsten Abs, Managing Director of and This will be followed by numerous presentations from speakers who previously completed a PhD/postdoc and then transitioned to science administration, publishing, consulting and more. The program can be downloaded as pdf from here.

In parallel with the line-up of great talks, participants will also have the opportunity to speak one-on-one with professional career advisor Barbara Hoffbauer from Kepos (Career Consultants for Scientists) on Monday 24th (in parallel with the talks) and on Tuesday 25th of March.

The Career Day will conclude with a "Meet the Speaker Mixer", giving you a chance to engage in informal discussions with the speakers over light refreshments. Don't be shy!


This year our guest speakers come from a wide variety of disciplines, and hopefully this will encourage you to consider a broad range of career opportunities for your future endeavors.

Thorsten Abs

Managing Director

Thorsten Abs has been active in online recruiting for more than 15 years. Ten years ago, he became Managing Director of and, the leading job listing sites for scientists and researchers in academia and industry in Germany. He has a thorough understanding of the scientific job market in Germany and knows about researchers' challenges to take their next professional step. Once you have your qualifications in place, it can be difficult to decide on what you want to do with them: should you pursue a classic university career, or would it be better to look beyond the lab? What other kinds of jobs are on offer in the academic world? What are the options for a scientist in industry? What does it take to make the leap into a commercial environment? Many scientists are faced with this kind of dilemma. Thorsten Abs will help you make an informed decision. He will talk about career opportunities outside the lab, different professional roles, the qualifications you need for them, and the salary prospects they hold.

Stefan Seliger

Head of Pricing & Reimbursement, Roche Pharma AG, Germany

Stefan is a trained molecular biologist. He received his Degree in Biology from The Julius-Maximilians-University in Würzburg before earning his Ph.D. from The University of Texas at Austin, where he worked on manipulating microorganisms to deliver gene constructs site-specifically to specific tissues. A resulting patent application sparked his interest in the business of science. After his graduation, Stefan joined McKinsey&Company before entering the biotech industry in 2003. After his role in Business Development and Strategic Planning at Tanox, Stefan then joined Genentech, where he spent 8 years in a number of commercial roles with increasing responsibilities, including active roles in the integration of Genentech and Roche in 2009. In April 2013, Stefan moved back to Europe where he is now leading the Roche organization in Germany through the challenges of the AMNOG process and price negotiations.

Jörg Mütze

Application Manager, Zeiss AG

Dr. Jörg Mütze studied physics at TU Dresden and did his diploma thesis in the lab of Prof. Schwille at Biotec Dresden. After obtained his diploma degree in physics in 2005, he continued to obtain a PhD in Physics in 2010 at Biotec/TU Dresden, on “Elucidating the pathway of RNA Interference”. His thesis was financed by Carl Zeiss AG. During his thesis work, Jörg also worked as a visiting scientist at Janelia Farm Research Campus (Howard Hughes Medical Institute) in Ashburn, Virgina in 2009. From 2011 on, Dr. Jörg Mütze is working as Application Manager at the Corporate Research and Technology Department of the Carl Zeiss AG in Jena. 

Arndt Pechstein

CEO at Biomimicry Germany & Founder of phi360

Arndt Pechstein holds a Diploma in Biochemistry & Biotechnology (Martin-Luther Universität Halle) and received a PhD degree with honors in Biochemical Neuroscience (Freie Universität Berlin) in 2009, specializing in neuronal communication. He then worked as a post-doc for 2.5 years at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden, before he moved back to Berlin where he accepted a position at the Leibniz Institute for Molecular Pharmacology (FMP). With his experience and insights in biological research he came to realize that academia and real-world implementation are oftentimes widely separated. To actively improve this, Arndt graduated as Biomimicry Specialist from the Biomimicry Institute (B3.8) in the United States in 2012, making him an expert in employing natural models as inspiration source to solve human design challenges. In January 2013, he founded Biomimicry Germany, a Berlin-based non-profit organization fostering sustainable innovation inspired by nature. Arndt works as a coach for Design Thinking at the HPI D-School and is co-creator and board member of a Europe-wide alliance of biomimicry design and innovation professionals. In 2014, he started his own business, phi360, an innovation consultancy driving product, process and service innovation applying Design Thinking and Biomimicry. He is working with leading companies in additive manufacturing and design, architectural firms, and producers of consumer goods.

Mirjam Mayer

McKinsey & Company 

Mirjam studied biochemistry in Tübingen, Germany. In 2006 she joined the lab of Stephan Grill at the MPI-CBG to study the mechanics of C. elegans cell cortex. She completed her PhD in 2010, for which she won several distinct awards (including the Otto-Hahn Medal of the Max Planck Society). In 2011 she moved to Boston, USA for a joint postdoc at the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, to study the molecular mechanisms of planaria regeneration. From February 2013 she works at McKinsey&Company in Berlin.

Thibault Géoui

Director product marketing elsevier

I have been working for over 10 years in the life-sciences industry. I studied Sciences because I like to understand how things work. I moved into Business because I wanted to see amazing discoveries translated into real-life applications. As an academic researcher in structural and nanobiology, I contributed to the first structural genomics program on Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV); Subsequently, I worked as a Global Product Manager at QIAGEN, in the newly created protein-sciences and food safety departments. Here, I served customers in Academia, Pharma & Biotech industries and Applied Testing markets. Since September 2011 at Elsevier, as Head of Product Marketing, I’m leading an international team of marketing managers. I am responsible for the Go-to-Market strategy of our major electronic products. Like Mr. Thomas Edison, I believe that “Vision without execution is hallucination”. 

Daniela Peukert

Science Policy Officer, Society of Biology

Daniela Peukert graduated in 2005 as a Bachelor of Engineering in Biotechnology with special expertise in engineering and medical diagnostics. She then worked as a research technician and scientific officer in the lab of Andrew Lumsden at MRC Centre of Developmental Biology (King's College London), where she grew a passion for developmental biology. Daniela did her PhD in the same lab on forebrain patterning in zebrafish embryos and graduated in 2011. After the graduation, Daniela decided to work outside of academia but within science. She had a short position as a recruitment consultant at Seltek Consultants Ltd., near London, before she joined the Society of Biology in September 2012. Daniela is now Science Policy Adviser and provides scientific evidence to policy makers (ministers & politicians) and funding bodies to ensure that the Government and other organisations are equipped with the appropriate scientific information when making policy decisions. She describes her work as follows: "Every day involves different tasks; from scientific reading, drafting documents, political discussions, organizing meetings, to social media, web editing and public engagement. I really enjoy this variety!"

Alexandra Skorupa

Clinical research manager, Novartis Pharma

Alexandra Skorupa works as a freelance clinical research manager for Novartis Pharma GmbH, Germany, and is responsible for the planning and supervision of local and international clinical studies in hematooncology. Her professional career started at the Albert-Ludwigs University in Freiburg, Germany, where she obtained her Diploma in Molecular Medicine in 2008. Afterwards, she moved to Dublin, Ireland, to do her PhD in the field of Neurobiology and Neuroproteomics, which was jointly awarded by the Royal College of Surgeons in Dublin, Ireland and the Institut de Génomique Fonctionelle in Montpellier, France. Coming back to Freiburg in 2011, she became a postdoctoral researcher at the Max-Planck Institute for Immunobiology and Epigenetics for almost one year, before she decided to pursue a career outside of academia. She joined Novartis Pharma GmbH in 2012 and recently moved to Munich.

Jennifer Brennan

Marie Curie National Contact Point

As Marie Curie National Contact Point, Jennifer is responsible for promoting the European funding programme ‘People – Marie Curie Actions’ in Ireland, which has the objective of strengthening, quantitatively and qualitatively, the human potential in research and technology in Europe. In addition to promoting the programme, Jennifer advises potential applicants and contributes to policy initiatives related to the ‘People’ programme.
Prior to joining the Irish Universities Asscociation, Jennifer held the post of Scientific Officer at the Irish Research Council for Science, Engineering and Technology, with responsibility for IRCSET’s Postdoctoral Fellowship Schemes and International Programmes.  She co-ordinated two successful proposals for co-funding from the FP7 Marie Curie Actions COFUND Call in 2007 and 2011, each with a value of approximately €5m, the largest amounts leveraged by Ireland from FP7 to-date.  In addition, Jennifer was involved in policy actions on research careers such as the Commission’s HRS4R-Human Resources Strategy for Researchers, and the genSET Gender in Science network. As a member of the European Science Foundation’s MO Forum on Research Careers, she contributed to the preparation of the report “Research Careers: Landscapes and Horizons”.
Jennifer holds a B.Sc. in Analytical Science and a PhD in Chemistry, both awarded by Dublin City University. Before embarking on a career in research administration and policy, she spent several years as an internationally mobile researcher, working in high-profile nanotechnology research groups at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in the USA, and the University of Liverpool in the UK.

Michael Beck

Head of Computational Science, Bayer CropScience, BCS-R&D-RT-CS

Michael Edmund Beck studied theoretical chemistry and did his PhD at the Universität zu Köln in 1997. In 1998 he moved to Zürich University for a postdoc in Prof. Thiel's group. Further moving to industry he initially started as lab-head at Bayer CropScience Research in 1999. He worked as head of Scientifc Computing within Bayer CropScience Research and Discovery in Monheim from 2005-2011. Currently he is the head of Computational Science at Bayer CropScience Small Molecule Research for all European research sites. In addition to that he is also the coordinator for Bayer CropScience in the Chemical Genomics Center II with the Max-Planck Society. Being involved so extensively in industry he is also  a lecturer at the Technische Universität Dortmund for “Computational Methods in Drug Discover”. He is the member of Bayer-AG Expert Club (Bayer Research Fellowship). Michael also holds the memberships of Gesellschaft Deutscher Chemiker (GDCh), Deutsche Physikalische Gesellschaft (DPG) and American Chemical Society (ACS).