The "Back to the roots" Lab, a joint initiative of several departments at the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine in the Helmholtz Association (MDC), is one of the winners of the Community Prize of the German Research Foundation (DFG). This competition was held for the first time this year with the aim of increasing international visibility of German universities and research institutes and fostering of the networking within the research marketing community. Now, the six best international research marketing ideas have been selected by the German academic community in an online vote. The Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) is funding the prize from special funds of the "Research in Germany" initiative with 20,000 euros for each winning idea. An award ceremony for the winning projects will be held next year.
Ambassadors for the MDC
Scientists from over 60 countries carry out their research at the MDC locations in Berlin Mitte or Berlin Buch. More than a third of them originally come from abroad. The MDC “Back to the Roots”-Lab is designed to motivate and enable 20 of these MDC scientists and science managers to reach out to talented early-career researchers in countries of their origin and/or their Alma Mater universities abroad. By sharing their first-hand experience of successfully studying and/or carrying out research in Germany these MDC-ambassadors will provide real-life insights, also in their native languages, into diverse range of careers in science in Germany. Thus, they will act as role-models and inspire talented young researchers, students and doctoral candidates to consider Germany as a desirable research location. In doing so, they can use their international contacts from alumni networks, PhD programs or joint research projects and make use of the local networking opportunities offered by the Helmholtz offices in Moscow, Israel and Beijing or other partner institutions, e.g. from the EU-LIFE Alliance.
"This award is a true example of the MDC's team spirit" says the project lead Dr. Oksana Seumenicht from the Research Funding Department. The “Back to the roots”-Lab concept was developed together with her colleagues, in close cooperation with Dr. Jean-Yves Tano from the Postdoc Office and Dr. Luiza Bengtsson from the Communications Department. Starting in February, interested candidates will be invited to apply with their individual research marketing ideas and receive support to implement their projects. The MDC will assist the participants in their preparation and implementation activities, complemented with in-house training - for example on science communication and funding opportunities for international collaborations and academic mobility.
"Research in Germany"
The Community Prize is part of the "Research in Germany" initiative. It presents Germany as a location for research and innovation worldwide and creates a forum for international exchange and cooperation. The BMBF initiated "Research in Germany" in 2006 and is providing funding for the current project phase. The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), the DFG, the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft and the DLR Project Management Agency are jointly implementing the initiative.
Text: Christina Anders