Support project for students in Turkey and Syria in earthquake-affected regions 

MAXminds Mentorship initiative to aid affected university students in their careers

Following the series of earthquakes in Turkey and Syria on February 6, 2023, members of the Max Planck Society (MPG) launched a social impact initiative to support the academic and professional development of university students in the earthquake-affected regions. With the help of more than 50 MPG institutions all across Europe, MAXMINDS kicks-off today: the Max Planck Society’s Mentoring project for Inclusion and Diversity in Science.

MAXMINDS is an online mentoring programme that provides bachelor's and master's students with personalized advice and career support from members and alumni of the Max Planck Society. More than 60 mentors from different professions and scientific institutions have joined forces to contribute their expertise and insights to the project.

Each participating student will benefit from at least six one-on-one mentoring sessions, receiving guidance tailored to their individual goals and aspirations. Online seminars on the mentor-mentee relationship and other topics will also be offered. The mentors, who are the experts in their fields selected from various Max Planck Institutions and alumni, are committed to empowering the next generation of scientists and professionals.

"We believe in the transformative power of mentorship, especially in times of adversity. MAXMINDS is not only about rebuilding academic careers, but also about fostering a culture of inclusion and diversity within the scientific community in Germany," says Erdost Yildiz, a project mentor and a postdoctoral researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems, Stuttgart.

More than mere coaching

“MAXMINDS owes its existence to the tremendous collaboration of numerous MPG members from various institutes and dedicated alumni. From our initial meetings, a consensus emerged that achieving diversity, equality, and inclusion in any setting requires support for disadvantaged groups. Our mentoring project will also contribute to the realization of this goal by coaching these students,” says Zeynep Yazici Caglar, a project mentor and researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Legal History and Legal Theory in Frankfurt.

„It is a privilege to work in a Max Planck Institute. It also brings a certain responsibility to share the knowledge we have to reach out to the younger generation who might be the future of scientific research“, says Zeynep Yazici Caglar. For now MAXMINDS aims to support the students in the earthquake regions. „However, natural disasters became a part of our lives on a more global scale. Our project could easily turn into an outreach mentoring programme to connect with students from all around the world.“

The initiative extends its gratitude to the Max Planck Society Diversity Excellence Fund for its generous financial and technical support in making MAXMINDS a reality. The initiative also appreciates the help of the Association for Supporting Contemporary Life in Turkey (CYDD) and some other organizations for their support in reaching out to the students in need of career support.

Editorial note: Quotes were added to the article on February 13th. A detailed article on this program will appear in the next issue of our community magazine MaxMag.

Other Interesting Articles

Go to Editor View