Supervision & Mentoring

Mentoring and supervision of young researchers is an integral part of the scientific life at our institute. In agreement with the recommendations of the Max Planck Society for supervision and mentoring of PhD students, all PhD students at the MPIterMIc have two supervisors and a thesis advisory committee. One of the supervisors is the main scientific supervisor and the second supervisor is selected by the PhD student, and is independent of the main supervisor. Furthermore, we have implemented a Mentoring Agreement that defines the rights and obligations of both the PhD student and supervisors, as well asthe mode of action of the thesis advisory committee and the resolution of possible disputes. Also, all PhD students at MPIterMic are strongly encouraged to become a member of one of the two graduate schools on Campus Lahnberge with a main emphasis on microbiology at large. Finally, the MPIterMic supports PhD students financially to enable them to organize activities such as career-related workshops, courses and activities as they see best fit.

In agreement with the recommendations of the Max Planck Society for supervision and mentoring of post-doctoral fellows, all post-doctoral fellows at the latest at the end of the fourth year as a post-doctoral fellow have a status review. The goal of this review is to realistically assess the post-doctoral fellow’s own development and prospects of success in relation to her/his career objectives and to develop alternative career prospects. The review is carried out together with the main supervisor and an experienced scientist who has been selected by the post-doctoral fellow, and is independent of the main supervisor. To allow post-doctoral fellows to participate in courses in “Personnel management skills” and “Advanced training in professional skills”, all post-doctoral fellows (independently of which research group they work in) can apply directly to the Direktorium for financial support to cover costs for fees, travel and accommodation. To enable the post-doctoral fellows at the MPIterMic to organize activities to further their career-planning, they receive financial support from the Direktorium to organize career-related workshops, courses and activities as they see best fit. This financial support is specifically intended for events and activities that target the entire group of post-doctoral fellows at the institute.

In addition to the activities organized by the institute, the activities listed below are also open to scientists at the institute.

Offers of the Max Planck Society

 Lise Meitner Excellence Program

Since 2018, up to ten Lise Meitner Groups per year will be advertised to recruit and promote exceptionally qualified femal scientists as part of this new excellence program.



Minerva-FemmeNet is a network for female scientists on all levels in the MPG. It serves as a mentoring network mainly for female PhD students but also for female undergrads and postdocs.



Elisabeth-Schiemann-Kolleg is a network for female scientists after their postdoc phase.



LeadNet is a network with the intention to connect senior scientists, research associates, project and group leaders of the Max Planck Society.


Programme „Sign Up! Careerbuilding

The MPG has developed the program "Sign Up! Careerbuilding" with the organization EAF Berlin, a network to advise business and politics in promoting equal opportunities, diversity and work-life balance. After three successful cycles, a fourth edition of the program started in autumn of 2016, addressing excellent female postdocs at Max Planck Institutes, which are selected in a competitive process. Please contact your Director.

Marburg University Research Academy

MARA's offer includes the extracurricular further education of young scientists as one of its core tasks. In target-oriented workshops and seminars, graduates and postdoctoral students can acquire and deepen their core competences (transferable skills) in research and teaching, leadership and management. MARA is also pleased to support the structured doctoral programs of the Philipps University Marburg in the implementation of non-formal qualification programs. In addition to the training opportunities offered, various financial possibilities of support, counseling as well as support for the creation of networks are among the tasks of MARA.


Mentoring Hessen

Nationwide career advancement for women: The Hessian University Presidencies (Konferenz Hessischer universitätspräsidien, KHU), the Hessian Universities of Applied Sciences (HAW Hessen) and the University of Applied Sciences of Geisenheim have signed a cooperation agreement to set up a new, intercultural and countrywide mentoring structure for career advancement for women.

Further Links:

Representative of the scientific staff of the MPIterMic in the BMS section of the MPG as well in the scientific council

Dr. Stefanie Reißmann

Dr. Stefanie Reißmann

Scientific Staff Member
Max Planck Institute for Terrestrial Microbiology
Karl-von-Frisch-Strasse 10
35043 Marburg
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