Postdoc Guidelines, get your copy here!

Are you a postdoc in the MPS? Do you know about the Postdoc Guidelines? Find them here and look forward to an upcoming post on ideas for implementing the guidelines in your institute! For a brief introduction the Guidelines find the commentary below from Prof. Reinhard Jahn and Dr. Yu-Xuan Lu (PostdocNet Spokesperson).

Commentary from Prof. Reinhard Jahn (The Chair of the Presidential Committee “Junior Scientists in the Max Planck Society”):

Until recently, the traditional German academic system has not distinguished the postdoc as a separate career phase, in contrast to many other countries such as the US. Thus, the first step of an academic career was (and to some extent still is) without any clear perspective or institutional framework, resulting in a lot of uncertainty in this critical career phase.

The “Guidelines for the Postdoctoral Stage in the Max-Planck Society” aim for changing this by providing a transparent and dependable structure for postdoctoral work. Not unexpectedly, the Guidelines represent a compromise balancing different interests, and they could and should be improved in the future. Moreover, they avoid strict regulations such as a mandatory upper time limit, also not to increase the bureaucratic burden. However, they include several important points such as mandatory advice and counselling no later than 4 years after beginning of the postdoc, and the entitlement to participate in courses and meetings. Not all institutes and directors are yet fully aware of the content of the Guidelines. Note, however, that these Guidelines were issued by the Senate of the MPS and thus represent the official policy endorsed by the President. We hope that they will contribute to making the postdoctoral stay at a Max-Planck Institute a positive experience and will aid in career progression inside or outside the academic system.

Comment from Yu-Xuan Lu (the PostdocNet spokesperson):

A postdoc is a person who conducts a professional research after the completion of their doctoral studies. The primary goal of a postdoc stage is to gain additional skills and experiences that helps to pursue a career in academia or any other fields. Due to the nature of this phase, it is crucial to have a transparent structure for the development of postdoc’s research and career. The Guidelines that was officially approved by the Senate of MPS recognises the needs of postdoc stage and mandatory advices postdocs and their faculty supervisors should be aware and ensure these needs can be fulfilled. We believe the implementation of the Guidelines will improve postdoc’s career development and advancement, and mutually benefit their supervisors and the entire Max Planck Society.