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


Postdocs! It is time to openly talk about mental health

Being a postdoc is stressful. Many postdocs face the reality that they are far away from home, profoundly stressed and lonely, with little clue where to go for help.

The 7-11th October is Mental Health Awareness Week (MHAW) within MPIs across Germany! Initiated by the MPG PhDnet, this week aims to initiate structural changes within the Max Planck Society to provide efficient care for people in need and facilitate recovery. Over 50 MPIs have already signed up to organise events during the week! To find out more about what’s going on at your institute click here:

As one of the essential groups in PostdocNet, the Equality and Diversity Working Group considers the mental health is one of the core issues will be tackling, in addition to gender equality and work-life balance. To date, the group is creating a database of all the equal opportunities officers within MPIs, linking postdocs to mental health services appropriate for language, ethnicity and gender and providing support materials such as workshops and readers.

If you have any questions or would just like to get involved in what we do, feel free to reach out to the Equality and Diversity Working Group via:

Illustration: Yu-Xuan Lu


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.


Latin American office

Are you a Latin American reseacher planning to return to your home country?

The Max Planck Liaison Office for Latin America works towards the creation and promotion of strong bonds between the scientific communities in Latin America and Max Planck Institutes. It is in pursuance of this objective that, among other type of activities, the representation in Buenos Aires provides support to Latin American researchers who have done a stay abroad and are willing to return to their home countries.

The Liaison Office has strong ties with the most important Scientific Institutions and Organizations as well as Universities in Latin America. Therefore, we can provide assistance if you are interested in continuing your research upon your return.

This continuity may materialize in the constitution of Partner Groups. We support researchers who have completed a postdoctoral stays in a Max Planck Institute and are strongly sponsored by their Directors to establish a Partner research group which may be hosted in Latin American Institutions with shared research priorities.

Opportunities to advance research may also come in the form of joint projects. As a result of agreements made with recognized Organizations and Institutions in Latin America, Researchers from Max Planck Institutes can apply to calls for projects published by Latin American partners.

The office also keeps a record of repatriated researchers to disseminate information about job opportunities in Max Planck Institutes, calls for joint projects and fellowships, seminars and workshops and scientific news as well as to facilitate communication among repatriates.

Contact information
Dr. Andreas Trepte, Director
Carolina Abadie, Assistant
+54 911 4899-5500 ext.-6500

Photo: adapted from Artem Beliaikin


Funding advisors

Looking for a grant?

Getting your first fellowship or grant funded can be an exciting time in your academic career. For some postdocs, many questions remain regarding grant funding. How do you write a successful grant? For which grants or fellowships are you eligible? Sometimes it can be a daunting task to figure out these things! Within the MPG, there is a strong network of funding advisors who are available to consult about funding options and support successful applications. Within several Max Planck Institutes, a specific Third-party funding advisor system is in place to aid in navigating the search for funding options. These people can be a valuable tool for postdoctoral fellows and are available to help. Find your local funding advisor below and contact them to set up an appointment to discuss your funding future!

Map of the Grant Advisors in Germany

The figure above displays the corresponding advisors in some MPIs and their related services (see the color legends). For contact information, you can find more details below:

Grant Advisor

Contact and Affiliation(s)

Salvatore Angilletta

MPI for Biology of Ageing
MPI for Plant Breeding Research
MPI for the Study of Societies
MPI for Metabolism Research

Julia Epp & Team

MPI for Ornithology
MPI of Psychiatry
MPI for Astrophysics
MPI for Extraterrestrial Physics
MPI for Physics
MPI for Quantum optics

Ulrike Gerischer

MPI for Biophysical Chemistry

Chenbo Guo

MPI for Meteorology (+DKRZ)

Dr. Kerstin Mosch

MPI for Biophysical Chemistry
MPI for Experimental Medicine
MPI for Dynamics and Self-Organization

Alexander Otte

MPI for Evolutionary Anthropology
MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences
MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences
MPI for Chemical Physics of Solids
MPI for the Physics of Complex Systems
MPI for Microstructure Physics
MPI for Dynamics of Complex Technical Systems

Dr. Roberta Palumbo

MPI for Molecular Physiology

Anna Pallaske

MPI for the Science of Human History

Dr. Richard Segar

MPI for Intelligent Systems

Johannes Stecker

MPI for Solar System Research

Viola Tegethoff

MPI for Mathematics
MPI for Radio Astronomy
MPI for Research on Collective Goods

Zsolt Tóvári

MPI for Polymer Research

Patrice Wegener

MPI for Biological Cybernetics
MPI for Developmental Biology
Friedrich-Miescher Laboratory of the MPG
MPI of Immunbiology and Epigenetics
MPI for Foreign and International Criminal Law

Dr. Anne Katrin Werenskiold

MPI for Biochemistry
MPI for Neurobiology



Max Planck Innovation

We support you in assessing, discovering and evaluating the commercial potential of your research results

As the technology transfer organisation of the Max Planck Society, Max Planck Innovation has been connecting science and business since 1970. Our aim is to support the scientists at the different Max-Planck institutes in all aspects of technology transfer and a potential commercialisation process. Our services in this regard include e.g.

  • evaluate technologies regarding their commercialisation potential (e.g. startup, licensing, collaboration)
  • discuss strategies to secure intellectual property (e.g. know-how, patent applications, publication strategies)
  • assist in starting new companies (e.g. funding programs, investors, management)
  • discuss and assist in negotiations of potential industry interactions (e.g. consulting, collaboration)
  • help in seeking opportunities to validate or incubate projects
  • strategic planning, negotiation and execution of licensing deals Each year Max Planck Innovation evaluates about 130 new inventions. Since 1979 more than 4.300 projects have been managed and over 2.600 contracts with industry have been concluded. In addition, 146 spin-off companies have emerged from the Max Planck Society, of which the majority was accompanied by us. More than 5.200 jobs have been created by these companies. The total revenue from licenses and investments amounted to about 470 million euros for inventors, Max Planck Institutes and Max Planck Society. (all numbers until December 31, 2018).

Please don’t hesitate to contact us with all kind of questions regarding our above mentioned services.

Max Planck Innovation Gmb
Amalienstr. 33, 80799 Munich
(089) / 29 09 19-0
(089) / 29 09 19-99

Image: “Ripples in Spacetime” © S. Ossokine, A. Buonanno (Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics), Simulating eXtreme Spacetimes project, D. Steinhauser (Airborne Hydro Mapping GmbH)