Our postdoctoral community consists of 36 postdocs from 18 different nations and 47% of our postdocs are female. We are a diverse group with regard to our scientific expertise and experience. Among us, there are new postdocs who recently obtained their PhDs, project leaders with more than ten years of research experience as well as others who are somewhere in between.

PostDoc Representatives

The Internal and External Postdoc Representatives come from different departments and research groups and are elected by the postdocs at our institute. We represent and act on behalf of our postdoc community and our aim is to:

  1. foster interactions among postdocs, directors and other staff to enhance the research activities at our institute
  2. organise academic activities and events for career and personal development
  3. connect with other postdoc communities and built networks within and beyond the academia. 

We meet with the Board of Directors every two months to discuss our concerns and update our progress, and are responsible for relaying the information back to our postdoc community. We also manage the financial support provided by the Board of Directors to organise activities for our fellow postdocs. We often meet with our fellow postdocs to discuss about their wishes to fine-tune the nature and content of our events, courses and workshops. Additionally, we are working towards getting an alumni directory set up to strengthen our network and facilitate exchange among new, current and previous postdocs of the institute. Most recently, we also connected with the extended PostDoc community in Marburg (e.g. from the University) to promote interactions outside the MPI.

External PostDoc Representatives

Besides the local support and activities offered at the MPI-Marburg, we are communicating activities from the PostdocNet community, which aims to create a network of Postdocs across all Max Planck Institutes and organize many additional events or workshops. Postdocs at the MPI Marburg typically elect a single external representative (“external representative) who acts as the point of contact between Postdocs of the MPI-Marburg and the PostdocNet Steering Group. Currently, the institute does not have an external representative, but we are currently looking for a replacement. More information can be found online: https://www.postdocnet.mpg.de

Upcoming Activities

In 2024, we plan to offer a range of activities including informal meetings with the Postdoc community, workshops, xseminars, and our annual Postdoc Symposium.

Meetings of the Postdoc community

All Postdocs from our institute are invited to join us on the last Thursday of every month for our informal get-together. We typically meet in the entrance hall at 5 pm and shift the meeting to the outside when the weather allows. We discuss the current situation, talk about science but also just talk about random stuff. Occasionally, we will host barbecues supported by the kind donations of all our members.


We plan to organize several workshops in 2024 to develop our skills further and inspire new ways of working and thinking. In recent years, we have hosted a popular 2-day good manufacturing practice (GMP) course that taught us how to perform reliable and reproducible manufacturing along with how to prepare the appropriate documentation to meet the requested standards.

Further, we plan other workshops such as the hugely popular in-depth Adobe Illustrator course (3 days) which is currently only available for PhD students within the IMPRS. A good illustration and presentation are crucial not only for publications but also for general science communication and outreach.

We further invite Postdocs to sign up for workshops provided by the MARA team in Marburg and also other training in the range of 50 – 100 € per candidate. The list of available MARA workshops can be found here:


For career development, we provided a workshop on “How to advance your career and get funded” that was held by Dr. Thomas Koch. As the feedback on this workshop was excellent, we plan to organize a similar event by the end of 2024.

Postdoc symposia

In addition to knowing what your direct Postdoc peers are working on, it is also important and very interesting to gain insights into other scientific job opportunities. For this, we plan to organize regular Postdoc symposia in which we host talks and discussions with people from all areas of academic life.


Past Activities

IIn the past, we have organised numerous events, courses and workshops on topics including career and personal development, scientific communication, grant application, managerial and administrative skills and computational skills.


24 November  2023: PostDoc symposium

Together with PostDocs from the Centre for Synthetic Biology (SYNMIKRO), we were host a PostDoc symposium, where 20 PostDocs met to discuss their projects and the current state of the PostDoc community. Several PostDocs were giving talks about their academic track and scientific work, followed by lively discussions. We further had four extended method talks, in which state-of-the-art technology such as super-resolution microscopy, in vitro protein biochemistry, cell-sorting coupled sequencing (SORT-seq) and live-cell imaging with microfluidic systems were presented. This exciting event demonstrated the breadth of research that is conducted at our institute and we are planning to continue with this successful format.

15 May 2023: Panel discussion at the IT MA(t)TERs conference

In May, the PhD community organized the IT MA(t)TERs conference that is annually held in collaboration with the MPI for Marine Microbiology in Bremen. The PostDoc Representatives contributed with a panel discussion, in which we presented our career track and discussed important aspects of the PostDoc life with the PhD community. The lively discussion was a lot of fun and demonstrated the importance of communication between different peer groups.


6 December 2022: 1st Postdoc Academic Career and Development Symposium

Dr. Henrike Niederholtmeyer and Dr. Katharina Höfer talked about their career path, which decisions they took (and why!) and gave advices to the PhDs and Postdocs at the MPI and SYNMIKRO. We want to thank both of them for their inspiring talks! Afterwards, the Postdoc representatives presented their strategy for the community, current opportunities and where to find documentation and content.  

24 and 25 November 2022: Career building workshop

Dr. Thomas Koch held an informative and interactive workshop on how Postdocs can advance their career and get funded. Next to group work, self-assessment and discussing general principles as a prospective PI, we talked a lot about funding schemes and efficiently planning your Postdoc phase. 

23 June 2022: Get-together

We had our first “beer hour” organized by the new Postdoc representative team. We met at the backyard of the institute for some beers, had fun and discussed science and opportunities. 

Archive of past activities

Join us!

If you are interested in contribute to our Postdoc community, you can write to postdoc-reps@mpi-marburg.mpg.de.

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