The Leibniz PhD Network was founded in 2016 as an initiative of doctoral researchers from various Leibniz Institutes and represents the interests of all doctoral researchers of all institutes and museums – currently 95 – in the Leibniz Association, one of the four big scientific non-university organizations in Germany.


The Leibniz PhD Network has the goal to promote exchange among doctoral researchers within the Leibniz Association and beyond, to organize occasions and opportunities that foster and strengthen the Leibniz Network and to work towards common standards of working conditions for doctoral researchers within the Leibniz Association. The Leibniz PhD Network also aims to contribute towards more transparency regarding careers within and outside academia.


The Leibniz PhD Network is open to all doctoral researchers of the Leibniz Association. Ongoing work is organised in thematically organized working groups which are also open to all doctoral researchers. The annual General Assembly is the main forum of the Leibniz PhD Network. All representatives and delegates of the Leibniz Institutes gather each year to elect a steering committee, to discuss the activities and achievements of the working groups as well as to agree on a roadmap for the subsequent year. The steering committee comprises two spokespersons, one financial officer and five section officers representing the sections of the Leibniz Association.

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Topics and Activities

The Leibniz PhD Network aims to establish a platform to encourage and promote exchange among doctoral researchers of the Leibniz Association on their research as well as on topics of societal and political interest/importance. Therefore, it plans to organise interdisciplinary conferences and networking events – some in cooperation with PhD networks of other research organisations.

Beyond that, the PhD Network lends a voice to concerns of doctoral research within the Leibniz Association. Members of the steering committee participate among others in the Leibniz Project Group “Research Careers” and get the opportunity to report to bodies of the Leibniz Association. Further topics are discussed and advanced in working groups. Working Groups are open to all doctoral researchers. Please contact one of the spokesperson to join an existing or to initiate a new working group.


We are founding members of the N2 – Network of Networks which unites 15 000 doctoral researchers across Germany. Board members of the “Nsquared” are Helmholtz Juniors (HeJu), Leibniz PhD Network and Max Planck PhDnet. Doctoral researchers organizations can apply for membership like the International PhD Programme (IPP) our first associated member.