Career development

Career development

The Max Planck Society offers all employees Max Planck-wide, target-group-specific opportunities for further training and personal career development. Whether special welcome and support offers for managers, coaching for directors or postdocs, professional and personal career development for early career researchers or advanced training opportunities for science managers – the Planck Academy bundles all these offers under one roof.

Planck Academy
The Planck Academy offers all employees Max Planck-wide and target-group-specific opportunities for further training and personal career development. more

Offerings for doctoral researchers

The advancement of young scientists and the facilitation of attractive career paths is a major concern of the MPI of Immunobiology and Epigenetics. Doctoral students contribute significantly to our scientific achievements. The institute supports doctoral students during their studies at our IMPRS-IEM and gives stimuli regarding career orientation with a special curriculum for interdisciplinary certification. With the help of various programs by the Max Planck Society, the MPI-IE offers certification and continuing education as well as counseling and mentoring in subsequent postdoc and junior research group leader career phases, regardless of whether the career path leads deeper into science, industry, business or even teaching.

Career path offers for female scientists in the MPG

The MPI of Immunobiology and Epigenetics is committed to the promotion of excellent women in science. We actively support outstanding female scientists through various programs through career-promoting measures such as coaching, mentoring, networking. Additionally, we offer comprehensive support for women during pregnancy, after childbirth, and reconciling work and family life.


A mentoring network for the female scientists of the MPG

The mentoring network Minerva-FemmeNet has the goal of supporting female junior researchers at the MPG through the personal and individual support of an experienced female scientist who serves as a role model and contact person for career-related questions, and who should guide her protégé along the way to leading positions in science. The program also offers continuing education and networking events. Minerva-FemmeNet is aimed primarily at female doctoral students, but also at other female graduate students, postdocs and those completing their habilitations.


Sign up! Careerbuilding

Career development and support of female postdocs in the MPG

Together with the organization EAF Berlin, the MPG has developed a one-year certification and networking program for junior female scientists. The Sign up! program prepares postdoctoral students for managerial positions in modern science by teaching them leadership skills, and also empowers them through an explicitly career-oriented network. Trainings, workshops and discussions with experts and successful scientists prepare the program participants for competition in the European and international research landscape.

Careerbuilding Sign Up! on EAF Berlin Careerbuilding Sign Up! on

Christiane Nüsslein-Volhard-Foundation

Scholarship for gifted young female scientists with children

Founded in 2004 by the Nobel laureate and Max Planck Director Christiane Nüsslein-Volhard, the foundation supports gifted young female scientists with children by providing them with the freedom and mobility they need for a scientific career. The foundation aims to help prevent the loss of outstanding scientific research talent. It is aimed at female doctoral and postdoctoral researchers in the field of experimental natural science or medicine and offers financial support toward additional childcare as well as the relief of household burdens.

Christiane Nüsslein-Volhard-Foundation


Making excellent female scientists visible

The “AcademiaNet” database contains portraits of excellent female scientists in all disciplines, thus making women visible to the academy, the media, and the public at large. It can be used by research institutions and committees, journalists and conference organizers, and to build networks among women. The MPG is a cooperating partner and regularly nominates excellent female scientists for inclusion in the database.


Elisabeth Schiemann Kolleg

Support on the way to the top

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.

>Elisabeth Schiemann Kolleg

Lise Meitner excellence program

More opportunities for female scientist with perspective

Under the Lise Meitner excellence program the Max Planck Society offers up to ten Max Planck research groups positions each year for exceptionally well-qualified women scientists to attract and promote excellent women for a scientific career. The groups will be centrally funded for its entire five-year term (plus extension) and should motivate for further ascent by providing long-term career security and clear career prospects. For this reason, every scientist in the Lise Meitner excellence program receives the offer to take part in the tenure track procedure, which secures her a permanent W2 position with group equipment following a renewed, rigorous scientific review. In addition to the opportunity of obtaining a W2 contract, the female scientists are guaranteed a permanent TVöD position (E15).

Lise Meitner excellence program

More offers for women in science

For women in science (FWIS) Program to promote excellent women in German research. Every year, three female scientists are funded for a period of two years. The support amounts to 14,600 euros per scholarship holder and a total of 10,000 euros for the institutes of the female scientists.

For women in science (FWIS)

EMBO – Women in science program EMBO policy program to actively support women working in the natural sciences: Women in Science Award, Women in Science lecture grants, Women in Life Science database.

EMBO – Women in science program

European Platform of Women Scientists (EPWS) The European Platform of Women Scientists (EPWS) is an international non-profit organisation that represents the needs, concerns, interests, and aspirations of more than 12.000 women scientists in Europe and beyond.

European Platform of Women Scientists (EPWS)

Center of Excellence Women and Science (CEWS) Center of Excellence Women and Science (CEWS) is the national hub for realization of equal opportunities for both women and men in science and research in Germany. CEWS serves as a think tank for this political field, offering impetus for new ideas, initiating processes of change in support of science as well as actively creating and engaging the necessary transfer processes between science and politics.

Center of Excellence Women and Science (CEWS)

MuT program MuT mentoring and training is a program to support highly qualified young scientists in Baden-Württemberg. It is organized by the Gender Equality Officers of universities of Baden-Wurttemberg (LaKoG).

MuT program

Offerings for Postdocs and junior research group leaders

First-class professional qualifications, excellent equipment, and a challenging and inspiring network of scientific experts at the institute are important factors for individual career development. In addition, various events and offerings, which are specifically aimed at postdocs and junior research group leaders, allow researchers to plan their own careers and personal development in a targeted manner.

Career Steps Networks for Postdocs

One-day events on career planning

Career Steps is the major annual Max Planck Society's career event for postdoctoral researchers. Career Steps takes stock of the fact that the ambition to promote future principal academic investigators does not contradict the aim to properly prepare junior scientists for a career in industry: Nowadays, training in academia is strengthening the focus on transferable skills and the life-long-learning approach already applied in industry. Postdoctoral positions in academia are more than ever an educational step towards developing soft skills as well as management qualifications and an international mindset.

The one-day event includes workshops and lectures on on how to access the academic job market, how to pursue a career outside academia as well as training, coaching and individual advice for successfully planning your future career steps. This includes topics such as work/life balance and dual-career planning, self-organization and self-marketing. Lectures by experts from businesses, industry, human resource management and science highlight various career paths and actively help young scientists in career planning.

Past events took place at the TU Munich (2015), University of Göttingen (2016), Roadshow in Berlin, Göttingen, Tübingen, Munich (2017), LMU Munich (2018), Frankfurt & Jena (2019)

Career Steps

Max Planck Symposium for Alumni and Early Career Researchers

Bringing together old hands and young savages

The Max Planck Symposium is an intensive, three-day career conference serving as a platform to connect international Max Planck Alumni and Max Planck Early Career Researchers of all disciplines and Institutes. The topic of every symposium is suggested and realized by the participants themselves, who are then supported by high level experts and invited guests. The event provides an opportunity for networking, horizon-broadening for career planning (Speed-Informing), and for the exchange of experience. Alumni are important contact points to other research organizations as well as to companies and represent a valuable pool of competence and experience that the MPG can provide to its institutes and thus its junior researchers.

Past events: 1st Symposium 2016, 2nd Symposium 2017, 3rd Symposium 2018 “Advances in Digitialization”, 4th Symposium 2019 “Sustainability”, 5th Symposium 2020 “Smart Working”, 6th Symposium 2021 “Water – more expensive than gold”

Max Planck Symposium for Alumni and Early Career Researchers

Max Planck LeadNet

The network for research group leaders in the MPG

In addition to the extensive training program for group leaders, the “LeadNet” network has established itself as a forum for regular exchange and coordination. Research group leaders and other researchers in managerial positions have the opportunity to share scientific and technological knowledge at annual meetings as well as discuss career planning and administrative issues. The LeadNet network is an important exchange platform, especially for junior group leaders.


Seminar program for Postdocs

Target-group specific and tailored training and education portfolio

During the advanced postdoc phase, the focus changes towards the development of leadership and management skills and preparing for the next professional step, which involves acquiring third-party funding, preparing for appointment procedures, and developing leadership and conflict management skills. Thus, the objective of these seminars is not so much to impart technical knowledge, but rather to foster personal development in the context of a long-term career.

The MPG’s continuing education program for Postdocs takes account of all of these requirements and therefore offers a range of different support structures. The seminar programme can provide support with professional presentations at international conferences, international conferences or successfully getting to grips with the peer-review process.

Postdocs and Group Leaders can find more information in MAX

Dual Career Network 

The MPI-IE is part of the Dual Career Network Upper Rhine Valley

In order to effectively help dual-career couples in managing positions, support must be able to access a good, regional network of professional partners. With more than 40 regional partners in the Dual Career Network Upper Rhine such as the University of Freiburg, the chances of finding a job for accompanying spouses increase drastically.

Dual Career Network Upper Rhine Valley

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