Equal opportunities and support for families

Diversity drives creativity, innovation, and success. We want to build a diverse team of employees, and to foster a supportive and inclusive work environment for all. That means taking into account our employees’ individual needs and supporting them—not only in their careers—but also with private and family issues. The Welcome Office is usually the first point of contact, where our staff and visiting scientists can get help in all non-academic matters—from finding a place to live to enrolling children in school. Meanwhile, our in-house Gender Equality Officers and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion team advance our goals in ensuring equal opportunities for all.

Equal Opportunities

Our institute has taken big steps towards achieving gender equality. Since we began, the percentage of women scientists has increased across all stages—from doctoral students to directors. Today, over 50 percent of our staff are women.

We’re proud of this effort, but we acknowledge that equal opportunities go beyond the line of men and women. The Max Planck Institute of Animal Behavior is supported by dedicated teams working for Equal Opportunities as well as Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Together, they support our employees, elevate voices of under-represented groups, and drive progress in Institute-wide efforts towards equal opportunities goals.

Equal Opportunity Office

Supported by the EO office, our Institute strives to create an environment in which all staff and students can realize their potential, be it in academic careers or beyond. We recognize the early career stage as paramount to achieving equal opportunity at the Institute. And while there is an emphasis on female scientists, who are still heavily underrepresented at higher career levels in science, all genders are included in our EO focus. Furthermore, the EO team recognizes that compatibility of work and family life is a key factor for long-term professional success for all members of our community, and so pursues measures to foster that balance. Taking a holistic approach, our EO initiatives cut across the Institute’s other services such as the IMPRS program, the Welcome Office, the Work’s Council, and Science Coordination.

Our initiatives are guided by an Equal Opportunities Plan, which defines five primary fields of action:

  • early career support
  • work-life balance and family friendly working conditions
  • gender and diversity awareness
  • equal opportunities in selection processes
  • ensuring a safe and inclusive working environment

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

The DEI team works to create systems within the Max Planck Institute of Animal Behavior that facilitate the on-boarding and continued support of under-represented groups. With the aim of amplifying the voices of these groups throughout institutional operations and decision making, the DEI group focuses on five areas:

  • sustained development
  • hiring practices
  • empowerment
  • education
  • community building

Max Planck Society

The Max Planck Society is equally committed to advancing the careers of employees through equal opportunities. Read the MPG Career Guide or visit the Diversity and Inclusion webpage for more activities and offers.



As a family-friendly institution, the Max Planck Institute of Animal Behavior is committed to supporting employees in balancing work with family. We know that in order to recruit and retain leading international scientists and professional staff, the entire family needs to have a perspective in Konstanz and Radolfzell.

Our Welcome Office provides personal assistance to help MPI-AB employees and their families. Please contact our welcome officer to find out more about our offers. As part of the Max Planck Society, employees also have access to a range of resources and services offered by the MPG. Read the MPG Career Guide or visit the Family and Career webpage for more.

Dual Career Policy

We strive to offer dual career couples a common place to live and work while strengthening their integration in the Konstanz region.  We define dual-career couples as partnerships where both partners are employed and career-oriented and at the same time lead a joint (family) life.

Our dual career support provides professional and support to the partners of our postdocs and group leaders. We provide information, advice, and assistance services to help partners integrate into the regional job market.

Starting a Family

Starting a family and pursuing a career in tandem can be challenging—even more so in a foreign country. We have established transparent and accessible guidelines for employees who are starting a family in Konstanz. This includes practical resources for finding a doctor, giving birth, and applying for financial assistance. It also covers explanations of German laws and institute policies protecting the rights of parents.

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