What can be done by the Leibniz Association against power abuse? Discussions during the annual Network meeting

On Tuesday 25th June about 50 Ombudspersons came together for their annual Network meeting at the Leibniz Headquarter in Berlin. The meeting was dedicated to the topic of power abuse in science. The Leibniz PhD Network was invited to present their position and join the following panel discussion.

In their presentation, Katharina Willenbücher (spokesperson of the Leibniz PhD Network) and Anja Jahn (section officer of section A) focused on preventing power abuse and the importance of addressing conflicts. In order to soften the discrepancy in power gaps between doctoral researchers and their supervisors, they advocated for implementing PhD Agreements at all institutes, which record the rights and duties of both parties. Furthermore, the PhD Agreement should include regulations concerning a supervising committee, consisting of more than one independent supervisor.  

We consider the meeting as an important step towards a sustainable concept, that would improve the working culture in science. This just can be done by cooperation an constant dialogue. Therefore we would like to thank the ombudspersons for their work and commitment and looking forward to continue the discussions.   

Last but not least, we applaud the working groups of the Leibniz PhD Network for putting together great ideas piece by piece.

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