The Steering Group is the main contact between doctoral researchers and the Headquarters of Max Planck Society in Munich. They coordinate the communication within the PhDnet and outside of it. The members of the steering group are elected annually at the General Meeting and assume office each year on January 1st.
Some of the main tasks are managing the representation of PhDnet within the MPS and to the public, problem-solving, overseeing the work of the PhDnet working groups and voluntary involvement in MPS wide working groups (e.g., together with the GA).
In addition to the fixed responsibilities of each office, the SG members adopt responsibilities for other organs: each Working Group is supported by at least one SG member.
The Steering Group consists of a spokesperson, three representatives for the different sections (BM/CPT/HS), the deputy spokesperson (financial officer) and the general secretary. The members of our current Steering Group are:
|Spokesperson||Muhammad Osama Iqbal|
|Deputy spokesperson (financial officer)||Elizaveta Bobkova|
|General secretary||Franziska Schulz|
|BM section representative||Maria Elisa Almeida Goes|
|CPT section representative||Jaswanth Subramanyam|
|HS section representative||Alicia Haripershad|
Agenda of Steering Group 2023
The newly elected members of the Steering Group represent all doctoral researchers (DRs) in the Max Planck Society. We are working closely together with the General Administration of the MPS and other collaboration partners and we have three main goals for 2023:
Better onboarding and structural support for doctoral researchers
- Ensure incoming DRs have clear information about contract duration, possibility of extension, holidays and salary before they accept job offers.
- Introduce DRs to PhDnet support structures and work groups as soon as they join their respective institutes.
- Implement Thesis Advisory Committees (TAC) project
- Improve support to new DRs regarding registration in universities, visa paperwork, registration, ethical committees and health insurance.
Binding contract guidelines
- Written binding guidelines for initial contract duration and minimum contract extension
- 1-year extension (3+1) should be made available for all doctoral researchers who have not completed the thesis.
- We encourage the tracking of working hours (Zeiterfassung) as established by European court. Additionally, DRs should be compensated for overtime – if not financially, with extra holiday days.
- Social benefits equivalent to those received by employees on TVöD contracts (inflation adjustments, inflation payments and leave days).
- Take active stand on all aspects of WissZeitVG debates and during this process expand potential political collaboration partners.
- Publish the analysis of the 2022 survey, as well as design the harmonized N2 2023 survey.
- Protect identified victims of power abuse cases within the MPS and act as one of the first response groups to potentially new cases.