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Jacob Lund -

Helmholtz Munich Spearheads the Creation of a Nationwide Postdoc Network in Germany

Awards & Grants,

Helmholtz Munich has successfully secured a substantial €500,000 grant from the Volkswagen Foundation to launch a comprehensive German Postdoc Network. This collaborative venture involves Helmholtz Munich, the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry, the Hochschule München University of Applied Sciences, and many other scientific organizations and postdoc networks in Germany. The initiative is dedicated to establishing a robust platform that will enable postdoctoral researchers to represent their interests and positively impact their careers and well-being in Germany.

The Crucial Role of Postdocs in German Research

Postdocs play a crucial role in research and innovation in Germany. Despite their significant contributions, they face a multitude of challenges, including unclear career paths, short-term contracts, mental health concerns, and insufficient representation. As debates on amending the Wissenschaftszeitvertragsgesetz continue, there is a clear demand for innovative and holistic solutions to create sustainable and inclusive improvements for postdocs in Germany.

Overcoming Challenges and Elevating Global Talent

Endowed by the Volkswagen Foundation in a multi-year project, Helmholtz Munich, alongside its collaborators, is set to establish a comprehensive German Postdoc Network to address those challenges. The German Postdoc Network aims to foster a community, collect data on postdocs' needs, coordinate working groups, engage with stakeholders, and provide a platform for innovative collaborations with research institutions and industry partners. The initiative aspires to empower postdocs, improve their circumstances, and bolster Germany's capacity to attract and retain international talent.

"I am pleased to see Helmholtz Munich in the role of coordinator for the German Postdoc Network. Fostering collaborations among postdocs from different institutions will not only empower individual scientists but also contribute to the overall strength and competitiveness of Germany's research landscape. This initiative aligns with our commitment to innovation and our culture of a supportive and inclusive environment for next-generation scientific leaders," says Prof. Matthias Tschöp, CEO at Helmholtz Munich

Collaborative Spirit

“Establishing a nationwide Postdoc Network in Germany is a much-needed step, and it builds upon our efforts during the last years to establish a more collaborative spirit among scientific organizations in Germany to support postdocs,” says Dr. Neele Meyer, coordinator of the Postdoc Center at Helmholtz Munich. “Together with our partners from across Germany, we have established the Munich Postdoc Network, the German-wide Postdoc Appreciation Week, and joint events by the existing postdoc networks in Germany. All these efforts have shown us time and time again that we lack a comprehensive postdoc community that can represent the groups' needs and interests and ensure that all postdocs are well-informed about this career phase and know where to get support. I am extremely happy that Dr. Camila Hernández Frederick, Dr. Tina Scheibe, and I have secured this funding to establish the network.”

The creation of the German Postdoc Network entails two open positions at Helmholtz Munich and the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry in Munich.

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