Sven HendrixHello and welcome. I am Sven Hendrix, a neuroanatomy professor and the founder of the smartsciencecareer community.

Science can be a competitive and confusing career path. Did you know that only 3% of PhD students and 10% of postdocs go on to have careers in academia? is here to help you understand your career options and make smart choices as you develop.

Common questions young scientists ask are:

  • What should I do after my PhD or Postdoc research?
  • How do I get funding?
  • How do I get published in high impact journals?
  • Do I have to do research abroad? If so, where should I go?
  • How can I balance a career in science with a healthy and fulfilling family life?

Here, I share the answers to these and many other questions that young scientists face as they make their first few career decisions.

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My science career

Since 2020, I am a full professor for neuroanatomy at Medical School Hamburg in Germany. Previously, I was a Full Professor for Neuroanatomy and the Director of the Doctoral School for Medicine & Life Sciences at Hasselt University in Belgium for more than a decade. In partnership with other colleagues and universities in Belgium, I have organised local and national events to support young scientists in their careers.

In my current role, I’ve found a good career and life balance. However, like many scientists, my career has been an emotional roller-coaster, jumping between many different jobs and countries.

I discovered my passion for science while studying medicine in Berlin (Germany). I did a lot of research there and was also very mobile. I studied in Parma (Italy) with ERASMUS and did short research stays in Hamamatsu (Japan), Harvard (USA) as well as a longer postdoc-like research project in London (UK).

Eventually, I moved back to Germany to finish my MD degree. However, after getting my MD, I quickly realized that I didn’t enjoy being a doctor. My passion was in research and teaching.

As a result, I moved back to Berlin and worked for six years in the Department of Anatomy at the Charité Hospital. Then, after two tedious years of applying for a limited number of professor positions in Germany, I started looking internationally.

I managed to secure three attractive offers, from Imperial College (UK), University of Southern Denmark (Denmark), and Hasselt University (Belgium). After negotiating for several weeks and weighing up the different options, I moved to Belgium in 2008 and worked there for 12 years! In 2020, I moved back to Germany to become a professor for neuroanatomy at Medical School Hamburg in Germany.

Navigating my science career has been a long and challenging journey, so I’m excited to help make it easier for young scientists. Through, I will share my experience, as well as bringing you the best advice from other star and role model scientists.

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