The Postdoc Phase

MPI-AB’s vision is to understand and predict animal decision-making in the natural world. This is an ambitious goal; and meeting it relies, in no small part, on the talent and creativity of an interdisciplinary team of early career researchers. The MPI-AB is committed to creating an environment that elevates our early career researchers—promoting exchange and collaboration, and providing the training for them to realize their potential.

This commitment starts with the Max Planck Society’s core values: we treat each other with respect, act honestly, ethically, and with integrity, and communicate transparently and respectfully both within and without. It continues with the Max Planck Society’s Rules of Conduct for Good Scientific Practice, which all members of the MPI-AB are bound to.

At MPI-AB, our commitment to early career researchers is enshrined in our Postdoc Agreement—a transparent set of guidelines that define the career conditions for scientists at the postdoctoral stage. The agreement applies to postdocs regardless of funding sources and contract details, unless it conflicts with the type of funding involved.

MPI-AB Postdoctoral Agreement

The guidelines communicate the processes and decisions that relate to scientists at the postdoctoral stage. It covers the following topics:

  • Concept and purpose of the postdoc stage
  • Relationship between postdoc and adviser
  • Research data
  • Publications and inventions
  • Skills and career development
  • Societal and Institutional engagement
  • Career and Family Life
  • Conflict Management

In addition, the Postdoc Agreement comes with an Individual Development Plan (IDP) and Co-Supervision Agreement. The IDP is meant as a tool to prepare, structure, and document the obligatory annual status reviews for postdocs. The Co-Supervision Agreement helps to clarify and document everyone’s roles and tasks when it comes to student supervision.

Download the full Postdoc Agreement from the MPI-AB or the Guidelines for Postdocs from the Max Planck Society .


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