Today, we want to provide you with a brief update on the recent efforts the Leibniz PostDoc Network is working on to promote the needs of postdoctoral researchers within the Leibniz Association.
A few weeks ago, our two spokespersons—Drs. Gitta Heinz and Lydia Repke—had the opportunity to speak with Leibniz Association President Prof. Mattias Kleiner and Secretary-General Dr. Bettina Böhm about the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on postdoctoral researchers within the Leibniz Association. We thank the 14 researchers that answered our questions regarding their current situation and thereby helped us to prepare for the meeting. Among the main topics expressed to Prof. Kleiner and Dr. Böhm were concerns about how these unstable times would impact the feasibility of completing scheduled projects and evaluation standards for employment/ funding/ awards. We also discussed with them possible measures to address the insufficient degree of digitization at some institutes and long-term effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the research system.
Prof. Kleiner and Dr. Böhm were grateful for the open and honest conversation and wanted to highlight their support for postdoctoral researchers. Currently, they are addressing many of the concerns brought up through discussions among the Leibniz Präsidium on how to navigate this situation best. Prof. Kleiner emphasized that the continuation of research projects is not only in the interest of the individual researcher but also in the interest of the Leibniz Institutes. Therefore Prof. Kleiner is confident that most ongoing research projects can be completed and he trusts that the institutes will do their utmost to support their research staff accordingly.
As the Leibniz PostDoc Network, we intend to follow up on these topics in future discussions with Prof. Kleiner and Dr. Böhm. We always welcome input of any additional concerns that you as Leibniz PostDocs feel need to be addressed.