Support on the way to the top

Mentoring network for women in the natural sciences

Within the Elisabeth Schiemann Kolleg scientific members of the Max Planck Society foster the careers of excellent female scientists after their postdoc phase, helping them to succeed on their way to an appointment as a tenured professor or as a director of a research institution.

The Schiemann Kolleg supports activities which help its fellows successfully establish themselves in the scientific community. Additionally, the Kolleg offers a platform for transdisciplinary scientific exchange. The support of the Elisabeth-Schiemann-Kolleg is of non-material nature; the fellows are not supported financially.

The Kolleg is named after Elisabeth Schiemann (1881-1972) who was appointed as a Scientific Member of the Max Planck Society in 1953. She already conducted research in the former Kaiser-Wilhelm-Institut für Kulturpflanzenforschung since 1943 and was not only an excellent scientist, but also a courageous woman and a person of integrity who openly resisted the Nazi regime.

What we offer

The main program includes mentoring, networking, scientific exchanges and regular plenary meetings. Within this framework, the young fellows have a significant influence on the shaping of the contents. A centerpiece is the hierarchy-free interaction of the members in the Kolleg. Present activities in the Kolleg comprise:

  • intensive rounds of introductions with focus on the previous career, personal experiences and expectations
  • in-depth discussions of topics that develop during the meeting, e.g. appointment procedure or organising a research group
  • the offer to contact the directors at any time for specific questions
  • the opportunity of extended visits at a director's group (job shadowing)
  • scientific talks of the fellows
  • time for the fellows to talk to each other
  • leadership coaching by an external moderator

Your profile

The ideal Elisabeth Schiemann Fellow has excelled in research after her PhD as a postdoc in chemistry, physics, mathematics, computer science or a technical discipline. She is about to start supervising PhD students independently. She is at the end of her postdoc phase or at the beginning of her phase as a group leader, junior professor or working towards her habilitation. Her current place and status of employment are not relevant. Only tenured researchers are excluded.

How do I join?

Every year, a call for nominations for the Elisabeth Schiemann Kolleg is published. All professors and directors of research institutions worldwide can nominate candidates. A nomination includes the candidate’s résumé, a letter of motivation, and a brief summary of her scientific activities, as well as two recommendation letters: one from the nominator and one from another professor. One of the letters should come from a German research institution or university.

The Schiemann fellows are selected by the members of the Kolleg. Usually, five new fellows are admitted every year. The first female scientists joined the Elisabeth Schiemann Kolleg in 2013. The membership of the fellows normally expires after five years. Obtainment of a permanent job automatically leads to termination.

Our fellows

  • Jessica Agarwal
    Technical University of Braunschweig and Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research, Göttingen
    Research Area: Solar System Research, Astronomy
  • Ana Akrap
    University of Fribourg (CH)
    Research Area: Condensed Matter Physics
  • Juliane Borchert
    University of Cambridge (UK) and AMOLF, Amsterdam (Netherlands)
    Research Area: Condensed Matter Physics, Solar Cells
  • Francesca Capel
    Max Planck Institute for Physics, Munich
    Research Area: Astroparticle Physics
  • Daniela Doneva
    University of Tübingen
    Research Area: Theoretical Astrophysics, General Relativity, Gravitational Waves
  • Claire Donnelly
    Max Planck Institute for Chemical Physics of Solids, Dresden 
    Research Area: Condensed Matter Physics, Magnetism
  • Sandra Eibenberger-Arias
    Fritz Haber Institute of the Max Planck Society, Berlin
    Research Area: Molecular Physics
  • Hanieh Fattahi
    Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light, Erlangen
    Research Area: Laser Physics, Laser Spectroscopy
  • Ganna Gryn’ova
    Heidelberg Institute for Theoretical Studies
    Research Area: Computational Chemistry, Materials Science
  • Tanja Hinderer
    University of Amsterdam (Netherlands)
    Research Area: Gravitational Waves
  • Annika Johansson
    Max Planck Institute of Microstructure Physics, Halle
    Research Area: Theoretical Condensed Matter Physics
  • Ulrike Kraft
    Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research, Mainz
    Research Area: Organic Electronics, Bioelectronics
  • Flore Kunst
    Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light, Erlangen
    Research Area: Condensed Matter Physics, Optics
  • Denise Kühnert
    Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, Jena
    Research Area: Phylogenetics and Infectious Disease Dynamics
  • Kimberly Modic
    Institute of Science and Technology Austria, Klosterneuburg (AT)
    Research Area: Condensed Matter
  • Raffaella Mulas
    Max Planck Institute for Mathematics in the Sciences, Leipzig
    Research Area: Hypergraph Theory, Network Science
  • Paola Pinilla
    Max Planck Institute for Astronomy, Heidelberg
    Research Area: Astrophysics
  • Maria Rodriguez
    Utah State University (USA)
    Reseach Area: Theoretical Physics, General Relativity, Black Holes
  • Constanza Rojas-Molina
    University of Cergy-Pontoise (France)
    Research Area: Mathematical Physics, Random Schrödinger Operators
  • Mariana Rossi
    Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter, Hamburg
    Research Area: Theoretical Condensed Matter Physics, Chemical Physics
  • Aparajita Singha
    Max Planck Institute for Solid State Research, Stuttgart
    Research Area: Quantum Sensing
  • Claudia Stephan
    Max Planck Institute for Meteorology, Hamburg
    Research Area: Atmospheric Science
  • Veerle Sterken
    ETH Zurich (CH)
    Research Area: Cosmic Dust, Heliosphere
  • Birgit Stiller
    Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light, Erlangen
    Research Area: Nonlinear Optics, Quantum Optics
  • Dora Tang
    Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics, Dresden
    Research Area: Synthetic Biology, Origin of Life, Biophysics
  • Maria Wirzberger
    University of Stuttgart
    Research Area: Cognitive Systems, Human-Computer Interaction
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