An ideal scientific environment to develop your potential

The Friedrich Miescher Institute for Biomedical Research provides a unique environment for postdocs. As an independent institute, the FMI offers scientists the freedom to pursue basic research questions. At the same time, the FMI’s affiliation with Novartis creates exciting opportunities for collaboration with industry and provides core funding to support FMI’s cutting-edge technology platforms, which are highly valued by researchers. This unique combination of scientific freedom with excellent core funding and collaborative opportunities attracts top scientists at all levels.

In addition to our mission of conducting basic research to understand the molecular mechanisms of health and disease, the FMI is committed to providing excellent training for young scientists. FMI postdocs are mentored by the group leader in the lab they choose, and they benefit from the institute’s collaborative environment. Communication and collaboration between groups is fostered through weekly progress reports and/or seminars open to the entire institute. Institute-wide Happy Hours, monthly research colloquiums given by group leaders, and the three-day annual scientific meeting (usually held in the Swiss mountains) provide further opportunities for FMI scientists to meet and communicate.

Professional career development and personal support

FMI postdocs can attend a wide variety of transferable skills courses, offered by Basel University’s Graduate Center. They can also take advantage of numerous opportunities at Novartis, including the monthly Science Pub for scientific networking, lunchtime events for public speaking/leadership development, and the Novartis employee-driven one-on-one mentoring program, allowing FMI staff to learn more about various career paths in industry. Furthermore, the FMI offers career events, as well as in-house subsidized German courses.

Postdocs are supported by Postdoc Representatives who help mediate issues, organize events and collaborate with external postdoc groups. The FMI has a Guidance Counsellor, specifically supporting students and postdocs on topics such as work environment, scientific relationships and career matters. For example, the Guidance Counsellor organizes personal interview training events for postdocs and provides one-on-one advice, as well as online resources for personal and professional development.

A good place for families

If you join the FMI with a family, you will be offered a lot of support. You will receive a monthly child allowance and will get help though our internal Parents@FMI network. Basel is a great place to raise young children, with a wide selection of daycare facilities, kindergartens and schools, and plenty of leisure activities for children. If you are expecting a child, the FMI is dedicated to providing a safe working environment for pregnant women, and nursing mothers can make use of our breastfeeding room. We offer 18 weeks of paid maternity leave (generous by Swiss standards!) The FMI is also a member of IDCN Basel which offers career support for partners joining FMI staff in Basel.

To learn more, check out our Student Life and Living in Basel pages.

Successful career progression of FMI postdocs

In spring 2015, we assessed the career paths of former postdocs who had finished their postdoctoral studies at FMI between 2008 and 2014:
  • Almost 30% held a group leader position in academia (23%), in industry (4%), or as a platform head (2%).
  • More than 35% held a permanent position in industry (26%) or academia (9%).
  • About 23% were pursuing a second postdoctoral qualification.

Read interviews with FMI PhD students and postdocs