Supporting our PhDs and Post Docs

Studying for a PhD or being a Post Doc is exciting but it can sometimes be a challenging journey. There will be stretches of abundant enthusiasm, motivation and productivity and there will seemingly unsurmountable bumps in the road. To navigate it all, there is a lot of support for you at the Vienna BioCenter!

Below are some resources to help.

Don't hesitate to contact the training team or ombudspeople at anytime for advice.

A PhD is an exciting but sometimes challenging journey. There will be stretches of abundant enthusiasm, motivation and productivity and there will seemingly unsurmountable bumps in the road. To navigate it all, there is a lot of support for you at the VBC!

  • Your Supervisor is of course your first contact and general go-to person for all scientific and professional development guidance.
  • Additionally, you will choose your TAC committee (2 additional group leaders) who function to monitor your progress, but also as your mentors. Engage them!
  • Obviously almost most importantly you have your peers. Your labmates, your selection, friends on campus.
  • The training team is here for you to help with administrative university and program issues, but also to provide career and professional development guidance, mentoring and mediation when needed. We always have an open ear!
  • Your Institute PhD Reps are a great resource, as they have good knowledge of the inner workings of the campus. They act as a bridge between the student body and faculty/management. And they organize a lot of fun events!

Want to talk to someone who successfully made it through a PhD? Why not establish a mentoring relationship with a postdoc on campus via the Postdoc mentoring program!

While as a postdoc you have a lot of experience under your belt, this doesn’t mean that it’s always smooth sailing. The Vienna BioCenter provides a similar structure of support to postdocs than to PhD students.

  • Your Supervisor is of course your first contact and general go-to person for all scientific and professional development guidance.
  • If you are a VIP2 fellow, you have the opportunity to choose 2nd mentor. But in general, finding mentors is very important in life, so even outside VIP2, don’t hesitate to approach faculty on campus or anywhere in the world to be your mentor!
  • The training team can help with career and professional development guidance, mentoring and mediation when needed. We always have an open ear!

Your institute Postdoc reps are a great resource, as they have good knowledge of the inner workings of the campus. They act as a bridge between the Postdocs and faculty/management. And they organize seminars, retreats, and career days!

We all have our ups and downs and sometimes we need help to address the challenges that life throws at us.  There are a range of confidential and free services available to all staff when needed.

Coaching

Should you encounter that life and science don’t flow well together for you right now

Additionally the campus offers institute specific counseling/conflict management/mediation services:

IMP/IMBA:

Consentiv, Coaching, Psychological Counseling & crisis support

IMP/IMBA/GMI:

Vitalpsychologie IVIP, Psychotherapy, Coaching, Psychological Counseling & crisis support.

Max Perutz Labs: rrm.arbeitspsychologie(at)univie.ac.at

For all employees working at the Medical University: http://www.kriseninterventionszentrum.at/

For PhD and Master students:

Psychologische Studentenberatung; unfortunately, most of the information is only in German https://www.meduniwien.ac.at/web/en/studierende/service-center/studierendenberatung/psychologische-beratung/

https://www.meduniwien.ac.at/web/studierende/service-center/studierendenberatung/:

International Office for Student and Staff Affairs

Spitalgasse 23, Ebene 04, Gang 900, Zi 912,1090 Wien

T: + 43 (0)1 40160-21023

F: + 43 (0)1 40160-921001

internationalmobility(at)meduniwien.ac.at

Which topics can I address?

You can address any topic that bothers you related to your work or privatelife on which you need to reflect. Be it acute stress, bullying, harassment, a crisis situation, stress management, career plans, communication challenges, reflecting on where you are and where you want to go as well as private challenges regarding family & relationships.

Is use of these mental health opportunities reported/recorded?

No. Identity, personal data and the consultation itself are strictly confidential.

I am not sure what I need: coaching/ counseling vs psychotherapy

The decision between Psychotherapy and Counseling/ Coaching is not a clear line, here are some orientation points:

  • “sick” vs healthy: Psychotherapy can also treat “sick” people as well as psychopathologies, where clients feel bad in many different areas of life and increasingly have difficulties taking care of themselves.
  • Responsibility: The psychotherapist can take responsibility for the client whereas in coaching/ counseling, the coach/counselor leaves the responsibility with the client. 
  • Coaching/ Counseling is less about restoring function and more about maintaining or improving skills, coping strategies and feeling states.
  • Length: Psychotherapy can take up to one year whereas coaching typically lasts between 5 - 10 sessions.

Whether coaching/ counseling or Psychotherapy, the connection of trust between coach/counselor/therapist and client is the basis to improve your situation.  It is important to view these things on a case to case basis, no matter whom you contact, people will help you figure out what’s best for you and if you do not feel comfortable you can easily switch your advisor!

The VBC has trained Ombudspeople who provide informal, confidential advice and information to staff and students on issues related to bullying, harassment, power abuse and sexual misconduct. Please find more information on this service here

Kriseninterventionszentrum: every day between 10 and 17h

Social psychiatric emergency service (Psychosozialer Notdienst)

Psychological counseling for students

Social services hotline for Vienna (Sozialruf der Stadt Wien)

  • If you would like to speak to a social worker about problems you are facing in your life, contact the social services hotline for Vienna.
  • Phone: +43 1 53377 77
  • Email: sozialruf(at)m47.magwien.gv.at
  • Opening Hours: daily from 8:00am – 8:00pm

Other resources: