Initiative Network News

Interview with the PostdocNet

Our current Spokesperson, Marta Porniece-Kumar, was recently interviewed for the MPG-wide Career Development newsletter. You can check out the interview here.


Max Planck PostdocNet General Meeting 2021

The Max Planck PostdocNet General Meeting 2021 will take place on 17, 18, and 19 of November. Please see below for the program with confirmed speakers.

To connect to the meeting, please use the details below:

Zoom Meeting link:

Meeting ID: 891 6334 4662
Passcode: 362750

November 17

9.00am — Participants join for a brief technology check
9.30am — Opening address by Dr. Asifa Akhtar
9.40am — Remarks by the organizers and plan for the Annual Meeting
10.15am — Talk by Prof. Bernhard Keimer, chairman of the Scientific Council of the Max Planck Society
11.00am — Talk by Drs. Gabriele Bixel, Hana Gründler, and Eduardo Ros, speakers of the Scientific Staff Representatives of the 3 Sections
11.30am — Talk by the PostdocNet Steering Group: update on our activities, projects, and causes over the past 1 year

November 18

9.30am — Participants join for brief organisational discussions and technology checks
9.45am — Talk by Tobias Rasse and Ilka Schießler-Gäbler, contact persons for PostdocNet at the Max Planck Society General Administration
10.30am — Hustings for the positions of Steering Group members
11.00am — Talk by Lina Schaare and Jacob Davidson (PostdocNet Equality & Diversity Working Group) and Frauke Logermann (Max Planck Society Talent, Gender, & Diversity officer)
12.00pm — Talk by Yu-Xuan Lu (PostdocNet Career Development Working Group)
12.30pm — Talk by Anne Grewlich-Gercke (Max Planck Society Human Resources & Strategic Innovation)

November 19

9.30am — Participants join for brief organisational discussions and technology checks
9.45am — Talk by Lydia Repke and Steve Doo (Leibniz PostDoc Network)
10.00am — Talk by Anita Nasrallah (EPFL)
10.15am — Announcing the results from the Steering Group election
10.30am — Hustings and elections for Working Group leaders
11.00am — The future of the postdoc: Discussion
12.00am — Summary and closing remarks



Dear colleagues, we have established a monthly newsletter where we inform you about the current activities of Steering Group, Working Groups, and important news from Headquarters and our collaborators.


January 2021 Newsletter

Initiative News

Photo competition

In order to bring something positive to these lockdown times, we are announcing a photo competition titled “Home office”!

Please send us a photo of life in your home office and a caption you wouldlike to give to by Thursday, January 27.

All the photos will be posted on our Instagram page. The three photos which collect the most likes until the end of January will be awarded book gifts. All the other participants will receive PostdocNet promotional materials.

Initiative Network

PostdocNet ZOOM Conference

SAVE THE DATE!!! – 9th JUNE (15:00)

In light of the continued postponement of the PostdocNet annual general meeting (tba) and as an update to our previous conference call, the PostdocNet Steering Group welcomes you to attend a conference zoom call with us.

We can summarise this in the following discussion topics:

1) Update on the coronavirus situation
2) Update on current actions of PostdocNet Steering Group and Working Groups 
3) Update on PostdocNet Annual General meeting 
4) Questions/AOB

We would like to also use this chance to inform you that the current PostdocNet Steering Group will finish its terms as soon as we can organise a general meeting and elections. We need new Steering Group members!If you are keen to be part of the future Steering group, don’t hesitate to grab the occasion to ask us what being steering group member entails. Otherwise, feel free to contact us ay any time. 

You can contact us via for more information.

Best wishes, and hope to speak to you soon!

PostdocNet Steering Group


Stay home and save lives

Postdoctoral Scientists of the Max Planck Society have united their #international voices to stop the spread of #Covid_19 #StayHome. We strongly recommend all of us to be responsible, think of others that are putting their lives at risk to save yours and your loved ones!


PostdocNet Letter to the President

(The original letter was sent to the President Martin Stratmann on 10 December 2019.)

Dear Prof. Dr. Stratmann,

The PostdocNet, founded last April, brings together postdoctoral researchers of the Max Planck Gesellschaft (MPG) and represents the interests of the postdoctoral community across all Max Planck Institutes (MPIs). Our goal is to improve their working conditions, scientific development and enhance the career perspectives of postdoctoral researchers. We believe that in doing so we contribute to improving the MPG as a place that fosters excellence and help maintain its position as an international hub for ground-breaking research. 

We have outlined two proposals for 2020, further detailed in two attached documents, that we believe will strengthen the postdoctoral community within the MPG. Both proposals support the mission of excellence of the MPG through fostering creative potential between MPIs and by improving the social and employment conditions of postdoctoral researchers. 

Firstly, we propose the creation of a new grant scheme that will enable a new means for postdoctoral researchers to establish novel interdisciplinary research within the MPG. Our proposal includes two distinct grant modalities with different ambitions and different time scales: a short exchange grant and a long collaborative grant. Aligned to the aims of the MPG, these grants build cross-disciplinary bridges and further promote the career of excellent postdoctoral researchers.

Secondly, we have conducted a survey that gathers feedback about the working conditions of 745 postdoctoral researchers at 76 different MPIs. Our survey has uncovered major issues that affect the postdoctoral body of the MPG. These include different forms of unequal treatment as well as limited access to basic social rights, such as health insurance. In our view, urgent measures need to be taken to put an end to this situation, which undermines our Society’s commitment to providing excellent working conditions to the best researchers. In the attached document, we provide specific recommendations as to how to address these serious problems.

The global postdoctoral community faces significant challenges, both social and scientific. We believe that the MPG is perfectly placed as an organization to set an example to the world for the treatment of its postdoctoral community by enacting changes that benefit postdocs across its network rather than on a per-institute basis. 

For the above reasons we kindly request a meeting with you at your earliest convenience to discuss our initiatives and concerns.