Support of Junior Researchers
Fostering young researchers is of particular importance at the Institute. Positions as an Institute fellow or research assistant are awarded to post-doctoral and doctoral candidates. Special Institute programmes support doctoral and postdoctoral candidates in terms of both their research and their career development. Various academic events and institutional exchange programmes allow young researchers to build an international academic network. In addition to the Institute's internal schemes, junior academics have the chance to participate in career development programmes organised by the Max Planck Society's and they can also take advantage of other opportunities.
Doctoral Students at the Institute
Structured Supervision of Doctoral Students
The structured doctoral student supervision supports the institute’s doctoral students in carrying out their dissertation projects. It supplements their supervision through their formal doctoral supervisor and consists of three components: the introductory workshop “Doctoral Thesis: Methods and Tools”, regular doctoral student colloquia, and discussions with the doctoral student advisor.
Doctoral Student Representative
Once a year, the doctoral students and those academic employees at the institute who have not yet completed their dissertations elect the doctoral student representative. This person organizes and coordinates events such as the doctoral students’ lunch break in order to promote cross-subject and cross-team exchange among the institute’s doctoral students. The doctoral student representative also maintains contact with other legal-studies-oriented Max Planck institutes and the Max Planck PhDnet, providing information on their activities.
PhDnet and HanseHub
The PhDnet is a Germany-wide network made up of all the doctoral students of the Max Planck Society. It serves as an exchange platform for all its members and as a central point of contact for the doctoral student representatives of the various institutes.
The HanseHub has emerged out of this larger network as a regional group and is made up of institutes from Hamburg, Bremen, Hannover, Greifswald, and Plön. Within this smaller framework regular meetings are held for members to get to know the other institutes and to exchange information with the other doctoral students.
Structured supervision of habilitation candidates and postdocs
In addition to regular meetings with the supervising figure at the Institute, the structured supervision of habilitation candidates and postdocs also features a one-time consultation with an external scholar to assess the status of the postdoctoral or habilitation project.
The Colloquium (Wissenschaftliches Konzil) is a cornerstone of the institute’s academic communication. Every six weeks, junior scholars present their research and discuss their findings with the institute’s directors, research fellows, and doctoral students, as well as with foreign scholarship recipients and guest researchers, the academic guests of the library, and interested members of the nearby legal faculties.
The Aktuelle Stunde is a weekly workshop. Here questions related to substantive civil law, the history of law, and comparative private law are presented and discussed. Guest researchers also regularly use this forum to present their research and engage in discussion with the institute’s scholars.
Postdoctoral Candidates’ Colloquium
The institute not only supports the postdoctoral dissertation (Habilitation) projects of its own employees but also views it as its duty to bring together internationally oriented junior scholars from universities, both among themselves and with the scholars of the institute, to get to know one another and exchange ideas. This aim is served by the Postdoctoral Candidates’ Colloquium, which has been held by the institute every two years since 1999 and to which postdoctoral candidates from German, Austrian, and Swiss universities are invited.
Max Planck PostDoc Conference on Private Law
The PostDoc Conferences on Private Law take place every two years. The institute invites junior scholars from non-German-speaking countries and offers them the opportunity to present and discuss their research in English and French.