Mentoring

The MPIA has an Advisory Committee for doctoral candidates (PhD advisory committee, PAC). The Advisory Committee accompanies MPIA doctoral candidates throughout their doctoral thesis, informs itself regularly about progress in their work and supports the doctoral candidates in successfully completing their research for the work.

Every postdoc is assigned to a mentor, as a rule the research group leader. Postdocs conduct their research within the framework of the institute's research programs independently under the guidance of their supervisor. This includes the possibility of scientific cooperation which may result in joint publications. The degree of independence depends on the field of research and individual experience, as a rule increases with seniority and can also include the acquisition of own third-party funds. The Max Planck Society emphatically promotes the qualification of its postdocs. This applies particularly to individual scientific development, for instance through supporting independent research and assigning responsibility. Just as important in this career phase is transparency with regard to expected research performance, support in achieving self-defined qualification goals and the obtaining of regular advice concerning personal career plans. Such advice includes that on careers in science as well as on career perspectives outside the field of academic research.

By way of supporting female scientists on their path to management positions in science they are offered continuing education seminars, further training opportunities, meetings that promote networking and assistance by mentors available to them at all career levels so as to prepare them optimally for management positions in science.

The Max Planck Society's mentoring program Minerva FemmeNet, in existence since 2001 and firmly institutionalized and refined in 2009, has proven to be helpful to young female scientists. The network is open to (young) female scientists - from graduate students to junior professors - from all sections and institutes of the Max Planck Society as well as to the alumnae. In 2013 more than 300 female mentors and over 390 mentees were involved in the network. Demand for the program's services remains high especially amongst the mentees. The program is based on three pillars:

  • on a 1:1 mentoring cooperation between one mentee and one mentor,
  • on a training program with German and English language workshops and seminars and
  • on networking between female scientists.

The mentees and mentors at Minerva-FemmeNet are female scientists or former employees of by now over 50 institutes. Active and former mentors and mentees, several Max Planck directors as well as many alumni of the Max Planck Society are available.

Other regional mentoring networks in addition to the MPG program Minerva FemmeNet include two inter-university networks in Hessen (MentorinnenNetzwerk and SciMento throughout Hessen) and an inter-university network in Baden-Württemberg (MuT - Mentoring und Training: programs for the job-related support and promotion of highly qualified young female scientists, particularly postdocs and assistant professors).

 
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