Two Trainee Awards for Max Planck Freiburg

Alicia Löffler & Lana Sörensen honored for outstanding achievements

October 10, 2023

Each year, the Max Planck Society awards up to 20 prizes to the best trainees at its 86 institutes and research facilities. In 2023, two trainees at the MPI for Immunobiology and Epigenetics are among the winners. The first is Alicia Löffler. She successfully completed her training as an office administrator. The second prize went to Lana Sörensen, who trained as a biological laboratory assistant at the MPI in Freiburg.

“Many people only think of successful science when they think of Max Planck, but the MPG and its institutes are also outstanding for their vocational training offers,” says Prof. Thomas Jenuwein, Managing Director at the MPI of Immunobiology and Epigenetics in Freiburg. In total, the MPG offers more than 30 different training courses. Alicia Löffler and Lana Sörensen at the Freiburg site opted for two of them and have now both been honored - after successful completion - with the Max Planck Trainee Award.

With this award, the MPG recognizes trainees with outstanding achievements, particularly high commitment and for above-average effort. In 2023, 19 of the approximately 170 graduates will be awarded the trainee prize. In addition to personal recognition by the President of the MPG, they will also receive prize money of 750 euros.

This year's awardee, Alicia Löffler, has completed an apprenticeship in the Institute's administration. During their training at the MPI, prospective office management assistants work in various departments: Purchasing, Human Resources, Finance & Controlling, and Reception. This gives them a broad insight into administrative work at a Max Planck Institute, from public procurement law and accounting to budget management for third-party-funded projects, recruiting staff, and handling personnel matters of employees or business travel.

“I decided to start my training at MPI IE, of course, because of this diversity and the opportunity to improve my English at an international research institute. During my training, I was also assigned individual projects, such as launching the Job Ticket subsidy at the MPI, which I could plan, carry out, and implement independently. This exciting challenge helped me expand my knowledge and skills,” says Alicia Löffler.

A great variety of topics also characterizes the training of this year's second prize winner from the MPI-IE. After graduating from high school, Lana Sörensen decided to train as a biology lab technician, and thanks to a special rotation system at the MPI, she got to know several of the institute's laboratories and their epigenetic and immunological research topics.

“It is important for us to involve the trainees in practical work from the beginning of their time at the MPI. In this way, they can contribute solution-oriented ideas to their daily work and at the same time constantly develop their knowledge, expertise, and skills,” explains Daniela Moll, head of training for office professions. “In addition, the transfer of knowledge from experienced colleagues with a lot of know-how to the next generation is very important to us,” adds Herbert Holz, Head of Training for Laboratory Professions.

During the 2023 Summer Party at the MPI-IE, Managing Director Prof. Thomas Jenuwein presented the certificate on behalf of MPG President Patrick Cramer to Alicia Löffler, who will now actively support the Institute's human resources team. Lana Sörensen successfully completed her training at the MPI in early 2023 and has already left the Institute. She is currently studying »Games Engineering« at the University of Würzburg, where she still works in a lab as a student assistant in the Max Planck Research Group for Systems Immunology.

The Max Planck Institute of Immunobiology and Epigenetics warmly congratulates both award winners and wishes them every success in their future careers.

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