2nd Annual Assembly of the Leibniz Postdoc Network

ReportWe are very happy to share a guest contribution by our Leibniz Postdoc colleagues who recently held their second assembly after their foundation a year ago. The Leibniz Postdoc Network and Leibniz PhD Network are in the process of deepening their relationship, identifying common topics and supporting each other. Mary-Ann Blätke, Glòria Martrus, and Gitta Heinz – all members of the Postdocs Network’s newly elected steering committee 2018/19 (pictured above) –  let you know how they experienced the event and see the cooperation with the Leibniz PhD Network.

The 2nd Annual Assembly of the Leibniz Postdoc Network from 19th to 20th October 2018 was hosted by the Leibniz Association Headquarters in the vibrant and open-minded capital Berlin, setting the participants into the right mood for discussion, networking and exchange. The room was filled with 59 postdocs from 39 Leibniz Institutes and Research Museums excited for the carefully planned agenda and networking with like-minded researchers.

The first day started with a recapitulation of the current state of the Leibniz Postdoc Network and its activities over the last year. Participants were encouraged to give their feedback during interactive mentimeter sessions, an interactive online presentation format. As a main result of the mentimeter session, the majority of present postdocs emphasised the great benefits of being a Leibniz Postdoc and the amazing potential in the joint force of the Leibniz Postdoc Network. The room was filled with numerous interesting ideas to level up the network.

The keynote speaker, Prof. Dr. Joachim Heberle, who is an “ombudsperson” for science in Germany, carefully explained the role and importance of an “ombudsperson”, which sparked lively discussions on scientific misconduct and good scientific practice in the audience. The topic was extended by another keynote lecture on how to implement “Good Scientific Practice” by Prof. Dr. Heinz Fehrenbach.

Katharina Willenbücher and Jonathan Stefanowski, the spokespersons of the Leibniz PhD Network, joined the meeting and reported about the organisation and its latest activities. The intensive work and commitment of the Leibniz PhD Network was admired, especially their initiative to team up with the PhD Networks of the Max Planck Society and the Helmholtz Association forming the network of networks, N2. The Leibniz Postdoc Network is looking forward to not only keeping up with the PhD Network, but also to joining our forces for fruitful interactions

Dr. Anja Eggert, deputy of the Leibniz Mentoring Network, introduced the Leibniz Mentoring Program and Alumnae Network. This Network offers further training, networking and process assistance to particularly support the career development of female postdocs. Together with this year’s mentees, all participants of the meeting enjoyed an inspiring evening event as part of the “Leibniz Zukunftsforum Wissenschaft (Leibniz forum of future science)” opened by Prof. Dr. Kleiner, during which the image of a scientist in our society was discussed in an open forum.


Leibniz Headquarter in Berlin, host of the 2nd Annual Assembly of the Leibniz Postdoc Network and Zukunftsforum Wissenschaft: “Draw me a scientist – Bild, Rolle und Verantwortung von Wissenschaft in der Gesellschaft.” [more pictures https://www.leibniz-gemeinschaft.de/medien/fotogalerien/draw-me-a-scientist/%5D

Dr. Sabine Müller, the Scientific Career Development Officer from the Leibniz Association, also attended the meeting. Her input in several discussions that arose was extremely helpful. She provided the participants with valuable information and enriched the discussions with her feedback.

The agenda of the meeting left space for engaging discussions. Various topics were further explored during the working groups’ sessions that aimed to organise and speed up projects, such as a career retreat in 2019, within the Leibniz Postdoc Network and to widen its outreach.

The election of the new steering committee was another important point on the agenda. The title  picture shows the newly elected Spokespersons, Financial Officer and Section Officers right after election. Further information on the Leibniz Postdoc Network can be found on the Leibniz Homepage.

The common thread after two days of enthusiastic discussions and networking is the need to expand Postdoc initiatives across Leibniz Institutes and to foster the Leibniz-wide Postdoc Network in order to establish not only a Leibniz Postdoc identity, but also a common voice as Postdocs within the Leibniz Association.


Title picture: The new steering committee (from left to right): Dr. Anne Mucha (Section A), Dr. Mathias Rhien (Section C), Dr. Mary-Ann Blätke (Section C), Dr. Gitta Heinz (Spokesperson), Dr. Lydia Repke  (Spokesperson), Dr. Glòria Martrus Zapater (Financial Officer), Dr. Yiu-Kang Hsu (Section A), and Dr. Silvia Madeddu (Section E). Dr. Johannes Breuer (Section B), Dr. Hans Hoeft (Section D), and Dr. Anett Hoppe (Section D) were not in the picture.

Text: Mary-Ann Blätke, Glòria Martrus, Gitta Heinz

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