Steering Group

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.

The Steering Group consists of a spokesperson, three representatives for the different sections (BM/CPT/HUM), the deputy spokesperson (financial officer) and the general secretary. The members of our current Steering Group are:

Spokesperson Lindsey Bultema
Deputy spokesperson (financial officer) Cornelia van Scherpenberg
General secretary Julia van Beesel
BM section representative Nikki van Teijlingen Bakker
CPT section representative Sarah Young
GSH section representative Simon M. Hofmann


Excellent doctoral researchers deserve outstanding working conditions, career development and communication.

To achieve this, Steering Group 2020 will collaborate with the General Administration and diverse Max Planck Society bodies on the following key points:

Working conditions

  • Raise of minimum salary to at least 65% of TVöD to remain competitive

  • Translations of contracts and relevant documents

  • Clarification of Thesis Advisory Committee

  • Involvement in director hiring process

  • Training for supervision and management

  • Defining routes to report harassment and bullying

  • Increase equality and inclusion of DRs regardless of nationality or gender

Career Development

  • Welcoming new PhDs with streamlined onboarding procedures and
     release of a travel guide

  • Non-academic career guidance and transition

  • Facilitate networking with alumni 


  • Increase our social media presence

  • Streamlining our website and social media channels

  • Release of a FAQ with recurring topics

  • Clearly outline reporting procedures

  • Showcasing institute achievements and events

  • MPG-wide open science and open access strategies


We are always open for input on any topic! For this, questions, and advice don't hesitate to contacts us via

We are looking forward to an interactive year!

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