More opportunities for female scientists

With the help of a new initiative, the so-called Lise Meitner excellence programme, the Max Planck Society seeks to attract outstandingly qualified female junior scientists by offering them a long-term perspective.

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Lise Meitner Excellence Programme: opening doors for top talents.
Lise Meitner Excellence Programme: opening doors for top talents.

The Max Planck Society has already initiated a number of measures to attract increasing numbers of women to a career in science and provide them with equal opportunities for all stages of their career. Now a new initiative has been launched: under the Lise Meitner excellence programme, starting in the spring of 2018, up to ten additional Max Planck research groups will be advertised for women scientists every year.

"With the Lise-Meitner excellence programme, the MPG offers young female scientists unique opportunities within a highly renowned research organization," so Martin Stratmann, President of the Max Planck Society. “Free scientific development, long-term career security, and clear career prospects are the cornerstones of this exciting program, which is aimed at young talents who want to realize their scientific visions within the Max Planck Society. I am convinced that we will win future directors of the Max Planck Society through the Lise-Meitner excellence programme".

As is the case in all Max Planck Research Groups, appointments in the Lise Meitner excellence programme are made via a multi-step, competitive selection process in close cooperation with interested Max Planck institutes. As heads of a Max Planck Research Group, female scientists have the opportunity to build up an independent profile at an early stage in their careers and assume leadership responsibility. They will receive a five-year W2 contract and, upon expiration, the opportunity to participate in a tenure-track process. Tenure track means that every new researcher can receive a permanent W2 post with group equipment following a renewed, rigorous scientific review.

In addition to the opportunity of obtaining a W2 position, the female scientists are guaranteed a permanent TVöD position (E15). With this combined offer, the Max Planck Society seeks to encourage participants to take their careers a step further by providing them with transparent and clear career perspectives.

In addition, through strict selection criteria for the programme and the targeted support of female scientists at the institutes, the Max Planck Society would like to increase the pool of excellent female scientists who can then also be appointed as directors at a Max Planck Institute.

Over the next four years, up to 10 positions should be made available each year. Until 2022, the Max Planck Society will invest more than 30 million euros in order to create these positions for women scientists.

The general career opportunities offered by the Max Planck Society to junior scientists are summarized in the brochure "Science career at Max Planck – Equality of opportunities and career development". The pdf-version (in German) can be found here.

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