Working Groups

Below, we provide more information about the current working groups and how to contact the working group if you want to help.

We are only successful if the Postdoc members of this network step up and lend a hand in moving things forward. This can be from organizing meetings, seminars, or just in general helping with daily tasks that need to be done. Perhaps you’re great with computers and graphics, or you love to write posts, or maybe you really enjoy discussing the pertinent topics researchers in Germany are facing today. Whatever your passion, there is somewhere that you can help!

The current working groups are:


Career Development:

The goal of the Career Development Working Group is to support personal development and promote a variety of career opportunities in academia and beyond.

We are looking for new members to help with organizing career development workshops. We are also looking for help organizing a mentorship network for postdocs, wherein postdocs could meet regularly to discuss their career plans and receive advice.


Communications:

The Communications Working Group is responsible for maintaining the PostdocNet website, MAX page, and social media feeds (including Twitter and LinkedIn). In addition to sharing information about PostdocNet and updates from the steering and working groups, we also advertise upcoming events and highlight job postings potentially relevant to MPS postdocs.

We are looking for group members to help create original content for Twitter and LinkedIn, and to help maintain and write content for the website.


Equity and Diversity:

We value the diverse backgrounds that Postdoctoral Researchers bring to the Max Planck Society, and we believe that every person should have access to equal opportunities and treatment irrespective of gender, sexual identity and orientation, nationality, ethnicity, disability, age, socioeconomic status, and marital or parental status. Last year, the Equity and Diversity Working Group organized the IDEA seminar series, and this year we plan to continue the series.

We are seeking group members to help organize the seminars (including coming up with topic ideas, contacting speakers, and advertising talks). We are also looking for a co-leader for the coming year.


General Meeting:

One of the key events of the PostdocNet is the annual general meeting, bringing together all active postdocs of the Max Planck Society. The General Meeting Working Group works in close collaboration with the Steering Group and other Working Groups to prepare the program, focus topics, guests, and budget for the general meeting. As a working group member, you will also have the opportunity to expand your network through contacting invited guests directly.

We are currently looking for a new working group leader! Additionally, we are looking for up to five new members who are interested in organizing and moderating this year’s general meeting.

Mental Health:

The Mental Health Working Group aims to improve postdocs’ ability to recognize signs of mental health difficulties in their peers, increase resilience among MPS postdocs, and start a discussion with group leaders and directors on how they can reduce stress in their labs. We hope to make the Mental Health First Aiders (MHFA) course ubiquitous throughout the MPS, and to introduce the Action for Happiness course for MPS postdocs.

We are currently looking for new members who can help with gathering support for these programs from various Institutes. We are also open to any further ideas you bring!


Onboarding:

The goal of the Onboarding Working Group is to provide a Welcome Package for new postdocs, and to initiate an onboarding program that makes arrival in the MPG and in Germany easier for all postdocs.

We are currently seeking members to help to finalize and distribute the Welcome Package through all channels. We are also looking for people to help develop and initiate an onboarding program for new postdocs.


Secretary:

The Secretary Working Group aims to support and administer the central framework upon which the PostdocNet is founded. We are responsible for implementing many of the matters across the network such as improving and fine-tuning the PostdocNet statutes, establishing a robust election system for electing external representatives for each institute and steering group members, and formulating new ways to effectively distribute important updates and notices to all of the postdocs throughout the MPS.

We are seeking new members to help amend the current PostdocNet statutes. We are also looking for members to assist in running elections for external representatives, to improve the current election procedure documents, and to help contact Institutes that do not yet have external representatives.


Survey:

The Survey Working Group is dedicated to preparing and launching the PostdocNet Surveys. The surveys aim to collect data on postdocs’ working conditions and wellbeing, with the greater goal of contributing to the establishment and maintenance of optimal working and living conditions for MPS postdocs. Results from the first survey can be found here.

We are looking for new members to help with finalizing and running the next survey, analyzing the collected data, and developing a written report of the results.