This publication marks an important milestone for the work of the Leibniz PhD Network:
For the first time, we provide and analyze detailed data on the situation of doctoral researchers across all sections of the Leibniz Association. Among else we describe the doctoral researchers’ current working situations, opportunities for career development and experiences with supervision as well as work-life balance. The Leibniz PhD Network designed, conducted, and evaluated the survey in which over 1,000 doctoral researchers participated.
With the foundation of the Leibniz PhD Network, we clearly identified the need for reliable data on the situation of doctoral researchers at the Leibniz Institutes and Research Museums in order to work on improvements. After one year of developing a comprehensive questionnaire, answers were collected between December 2017 and February 2018. Since then a team of doctoral researchers from several Leibniz institutions has been working on evaluating the data. The high response rate of about 40% underlines the interest and importance that doctoral researchers give to the topics. We also would like to thank the Leibniz Head Office for the close exchange during the whole process.
The results allow comparisons between the Leibniz sections. In addition, the survey report also provides an in-depth analysis of specific socioeconomic groups such as stipend holders, international doctoral researchers, and doctoral researchers with child care obligations. The report of the Leibniz PhD Network provides a reference point for doctoral researchers to evaluate their personal situation within the Leibniz Association. Based on the analysis, the Leibniz PhD Network advocates for better practices and derives fields of action. With our findings we also would like to contribute to the ongoing public discussion on the situation of early-career scientists in Germany.
Although finding relatively high overall satisfaction among doctoral researchers, the report touches upon strong differences in payment levels, challenges in aligning a dissertation and private life, and problems for international doctoral researchers to integrate at Leibniz institutes.
We warmly invite all interested readers to study the results in detail within the full report or its short version, which you all find on this page, where we will also present weekly insights on the results with our “Charts of the Week”.
With the Leibniz PhD survey at hand, we have a solid foundation to enter a constructive dialogue with stakeholders in the Leibniz Association, politics and the general society. For the future, the Leibniz PhD Network is currently preparing a survey together with Helmholtz Juniors and Max Planck PhDnet within the scope fo the N2 – Network of Networks to provide comparable data across the major German non-university research institutions.
When referring to the original publication, cite as: Arcudi, A., Cumurovic, A., Gotter, C., Graeber, D., Joly, P., Ott, V., Schanze, J.-L., Thater, S., Weltin, M., Yenikent, S. (2019) Doctoral Researchers in the Leibniz Association: Final Report of the 2017 Leibniz PhD Survey https://nbn-resolving.org/urn:nbn:de:0168-ssoar-61363-9
Text: Meike Weltin, Daniel Gräber, Isabel Kilian, Philippe Joly, Jonathan Stefanowski, Katharina Willenbücher