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.
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:
- foster interactions among postdocs, directors and other staff to enhance the research activities at our institute
- organise academic activities and events for career and personal development, and
- 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.
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 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. More information can be found online: https://www.postdocnet.mpg.de/
In 2023, we plan to offer a range of activities including informal meetings with the Postdoc community, workshops, and seminars.
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 2023 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.
In 2023, we plan to try to make available to the Postdoc community, the hugely popular in-depth Adobe Illustrator course (3 days) currently only available to 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 in 2023.
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. To kick this series off we recently invited Dr. Henrike Niederholtmeyer and Dr. Katharina Höfer to give insights into their unique career paths, which generated inspired discussions. For the next events, which we aim to organize quarterly, we are looking forward to hearing from scientific coordinators, facility heads, senior scientists and both young and established PIs. On top of that, we want to hear about the science of our Postdoc peers to learn about the research diversity in our institute and spark creative collaborations.
In 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.
1st Postdoc Academic Career and Development Symposium
6 December 2022
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.
Career building workshop
24 and 25 November 2022
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
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.
Virtual Happy Hour Seminar
25 March, 29 April and 27 May 2021
The approximately 20-minute seminars took place online in an informal setting. A postdoc or a scientific member of the institute presented her/his work and/or methods to others in a simple and engaging way. The seminars were followed by a discussion over drinks.
Online Proteomic Data Handling Course
13-14 April 2021
This course will be delivered by Dr. Timo Glatter of the Proteomics Facility and is a fantastic opportunity to gain hands-on experience in proteomic data handling using the programme Perseus.
External Postdoc Representative Election
27 April 2021
An online election will be held to elect a new External Postdoc Representative to represent our institute in the Max Planck Society-wide PostdocNet.
Online Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) Course
17-18 May 2021
This 2-day training course aims to cover the key requirements of good manufacturing practice, including quality control, documentation and production management, and how they are applied in the life sciences and pharmaceutical industry. It will be delivered by an external instructor from a certified GMP training provider and is accredited by the State Chamber of Pharmacists.
Career Steps in Industry for Researchers
12-13 November 2020
Together with the IMPRS, we invited 7 speakers from the HR and research sectors in the industry, 4 of whom are alumni of our institute, to share their successful experience transitioning from the academia to the industry. The talks were followed by a Q&A session for further discussion.
Online Workshop on Job Hunting in the Industry
15-17 September 2020
As an extension to the webinar on Job Hunting and Job Interviews in Corona Times, which took place in July 2020, this 3-day online workshop was organised with a special focus on individual job applications. The participants received detailed feedback regarding their CVs, cover letters and mock job interviews.
Webinar on Job Hunting and Job Interviews in Corona Times
2 July 2020
The webinar provided researchers guidance on how to make use of online networking and have phone/video interviews.
External Postdoc Representative Election
5 March 2020
35 postdocs participated in the online election and our first External Postdoc Representative was elected to serve as the link between our institute and the PostdocNet of the MPG.
27 February 2020
Our first Happy Hour brought us all together for a drink and some snacks in a relaxed setting. Participants were also informed about contract extension guidelines and our then upcoming External Postdoc Representative election.
Workshop on Job Hunting in the Industry for Scientists
6-7 November 2019
This 2-day workshop by Yvonne Brockhaus, an HR specialist, provided hands-on training on the writing of resumes and applications tailored to jobs in the industry and the presentation of oneself to the business world.
29-31 October 2019
The Postdoc Representatives were involved in the planning of the biannual institute retreat, which took place at Jugendburg Ludwigstein, alongside the PhD Representatives. Group discussions were introduced as a new addition to the scientific programme. The retreat participants took part in lively discussions and provided constructive suggestions on topics including media outreach, reducing plastic waste in laboratories, institute infrastructure and interdepartmental networking, just to name a few.
Workshop on Communicating Science to Non-Scientists and Essential Media Training
5-6 September 2019
This 2-day workshop promoted the outreach activities of our institute and presented career options in science communication to postdocs and PhD students of our institute as well as other MPIs.
Industry Visit to GSK Vaccines, Marburg
10 May 2019
19 postdocs took part in a guided tour at GSK’s vaccine production facility in Marburg and had the invaluable opportunity to connect with scientists working in the pharma industry.
30 October 2018
25 October 2018
Through our second annual Career Day, we continued to facilitate the interactions between researchers in the academia and various fields of the industry. 11 speakers were invited to speak about research and development, leadership and management and scientific publishing. Among the 63 participants, not only were there members from our own institute, but also from the University of Marburg and the MPI for Heart and Lung Research.
Bench and Beyond Seminar
25 October 2018
Dr. Ivaylo Kosdadinov from the German Federation for Biological Data spoke to us about data management, integration and safeguarding in research.
Workshop on RNA Sequencing
9 October 2018
Workshop on Adobe Illustrator
23-25 May 2018
29 May 2017
We aimed to facilitate the interactions between researchers in the academia and various fields of the industry through the launch of our first in-house Career Day. 45 members of our institute and 6 invited speakers participated in the event.