Title: MINERVA (W2) Programme/Max Planck Research Group Leaders
Field(s) of Action: * Presence and Visibility
Objective:Enhance career progression of talented (female) scientists, increase their chances of obtaining permanent leadership positions upon completion and increase the number of women in scientific leadership positions
Target Group(s): PhD students, PhD candidates and research assistants
Postdocs and mid-career scientific personnel
Early career (female) scientists/female scientists (post PhD, beginning of the Postdoc phase)
Description: In 1996, the Senate of the Max Planck Society decided on the instatement of “Minerva-W2-groups”. The Minerva-W2 programme financed 33 positions with a fixed-term of five years, which entailed the provision of resources and staff. Female scientists could not apply themselves, but potential candidates needed to be put forward by the Max Planck Institutes.
In 2014, the programme was harmonized with the Max Planck Research Group Leader programme, an internationally renowned programme allowing early career scientists to establish themselves as scientific leaders by conducting independent research with limited, but guaranteed resources. Since this adjustment, the Minerva group leaders are selected within the application procedure for the Max Planck Group Leader programme, meaning that female scientists can apply for the programme by themselves. Furthermore, it is possible to extend the programme twice by two years. Additionally, the number of positions was increased to up to 44.
The streamlining of the two programmes, furthermore, entails that Minerva-W2 groups are externally referred to as “open-topic research groups”, while still maintaining the distinction internally to ensure that the resources available for the Minerva-W2 positions are received by women.
The programme has been a success. Out of the 94 Minerva-W2 group leaders, 62 have accepted consecutive posts in 2014; both in scientific leadership positions within and outside of the MPG. A total of four of these researchers have since become directors at a Max Planck Institute.
More information:Max Planck Society (Germany)
Website: https://www.mps.mpg.de/equal-opportunities/minerva-w2

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