During the GA 2017 in Rostock, a group of people that deeply cared and was concerned about working and supervision conditions at Leibniz institutes founded the working group PhD Agreement within the Leibniz PhD Network. Founding members were Saskia Ripp (IDS Mannheim) and Rosa Grote-Gálvez (BNITM Hamburg) as working group organisers and leaders, Carolin Dittrich (MfN Berlin), Gregor Jatzlauk (FZ Borstel), Wietje Nolte (FBN Dummerstorf), Kerstin Pawletko (HPI Hamburg) and Carlo Marzini (DSMZ Braunschweig).
Challenge accepted: Let’s get some work done
We had noticed that the working conditions and supervision standards for doctoral researchers at Leibniz institutes widely differ, especially between the individual sections.
The working group PhD Agreement therefore aimed at providing guidelines that will help to improve, align and ensure equal rights and rightful supervision standards for all doctoral researchers within the Leibniz Association.
Our Webinar on Power Abuse that took place in early June generated a lot of interest and its reception and attendance highlight the relevance of the topic for doctoral researchers. Many of the participants had questions for the speakers and, due to time constraints, not all of them could be answered during the Zoom session. Anne-Kathrin Stroppe from our Working Group ‘Prevention of Power Abuse’ compiled the remaining questions and we are very lucky that Prof. Thomas Rigotti from the Leibniz Institute for Resilience Research, together with his team members Miriam Arnold and Miriam Schilbach, took the time to write out the following responses.
In our previous article we have introduced cultural diversity and some of the challenges faced by international doctoral researchers in Germany and within Leibniz. Among the challenges faced by doctoral researchers that were detected by the Leibniz survey, the most important categories were language barriers, especially at work, and bureaucracy. Doctoral researchers in the same institute may have a very different experience according to their background and the interaction in the workplace. International researchers feel slightly less integrated than German ones (70% against 86% feel integrated).Why is it so challenging for international doctoral researchers and what kind of support is being expected? The internationals do not receive enough formal support with bureaucratic tasks, such as finding health insurance, clarifying residence permits, or going to the registration office. They feel much less supported in finding childcare, finding a medical doctor who speaks a language in which they feel comfortable, or translating documents.
If you are not too busy with your research or other errands, you are probably following the huge solidarity manifestation to the anti-racism cause in the past few days. Even though this movement has initially sparked in the United States, the same racism happens all over the world – yes, also in Germany.
The Leibniz PhD Network WG Diversity would like to bring something more to light rather than just reminding people that what differs us in our many skin shades is a mere pigment named melanin, and that this tiny difference has led to years of suffering and oppression that must be acknowledged.
Here you can find 12 suggestions of how to understand racism, especially towards black people all over the world, and hopefully acting against it. The following links were all elaborated by people who feel this matter in their skin every day. Let’s learn from them how to be better and how to help others.