Reflections on the BMBF panel discussion on future postdoc employment rules

For this short blog post we collected some of your reactions to the BMBF panel discussion on the WissZeitVG reform on March 30th 2023 (mainly from Twitter). If you need some background on the topic see our previous post. Not every opinion expressed here necessarily represents the views of the steering committee of the Leibniz PostDoc Network.

First of all, we don’t think it reflects well on the BMBF’s intentions that not a single postdoc nor doctoral student representative was present at the meeting. We have stated this explicitly in our joint statement with several German postdoc networks.

The decision to live-stream the whole discussion without subtitles was also not very inclusive for thousands of international students and postdocs in Germany (to put it mildly). Thankfully, Michael Gerloff (doctoral student at MPI for Molecular Genetics) provided a subtitled version to be shared just before midnight. Thank you Michael!

Barbara Orth (doctoral student in human geography at FU Berlin) provides a longer thread with several critical comments about different aspects of the discussion. You’ll have to click through to see all of it.

Given all the feelings of frustration it’s not surprising that people turned to sarcasm and irony as did Ayushi Nayak (doctoral student at MPI of Geoanthropology)…

… or Lea Hartwich, postdoc in social psychology at the University Osnabrück.

At least, the discussion surely won’t stop here and the topic even made it into the major news show in German TV. 

As a final note, it needs to be highlighted that the three year rule that was announced two weeks ago, is dead. At least that is what Stephan Seiter stated according to reporting by education journalist and blogger Jan-Martin Wiarda.

The story doesn’t end here. We will keep you updated!

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