General Meeting 2016

PhDnet – about us

The Max Planck PhDnet (PhDnet) is a platform for exchange among the about 5000 PhD candidates working at 83 Max Planck Institutes (MPIs) of the Max Planck Society (MPS) across all three sections Biology & Medicine (BMS), Chemistry, Physics & Technology (CPT), and Humanities & Social Sciences (HS). The PhDnet was founded in 2003 at its first meeting in Heidelberg to improve interdisciplinary cooperation, optimize doctoral education and scientific exchange, and strengthen academic solidarity.

Schematic PhDnet organization
About 5000 PhD candidates work in 83 MPIs. Each institute elects one external PhD representative with 50 % participation and absolute majority. At the annual meeting, the external PhD representatives elect the steering group consiting of representatives of the sections Biology & Medicine (BMS), Chemistry, Physics & Technology (CPTS), and Humanities & Social Sciences (HS), a secretary general, a finance officer and the spokesperson (SP). In addition, every PhD candidate can participate in the annual meeting and workgroups.

Each year, institute PhD representatives and other interested doctoral researchers gather at the annual meeting to discuss about common aims and strategies to further improve working conditions for PhD candidates at MPIs. In 2015, new statutes were adopted that define the role and the election procedure of internal and external PhD representatives at the MPIs. For a valid election as external PhD representative a participation quorum (50% of the eligible voters) and an absolute majority is necessary.

At the general meeting, the steering group is elected as legitimate representation of all PhD candidates by the external PhD represenatives and various workgroups form to perform the day-to-day business during the year. In addition to the annual general meeting, local hubs provide a platform for exchange between PhD candidates from different institutes.

Research Establishements of the Max Planck Society
Most Max Planck Institutes and associated establishments are located throughout Germany. PhDnet fosters exchange between PhD candidates from all institutes. Local hubs emerge, where institutes cluster. Illustration from the MPS Research Magazine.
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