Two strong voices for doctoral candidates

Katjana Schwab and Martin Bagic from the Leibniz Institute on Aging - Fritz Lipmann Institute (FLI) were elected to the leadership team of the Leibniz Doctoral Network at this year's general meeting of the Leibniz Association.

Jena. PhD student Katjana Schwab and PhD student Martin Bagic from the FLI have been elected treasurer and spokesperson of the eight-member team leading the Leibniz PhD Network. Martin Bagic is delighted with his election and explains: "Academia is both invaluable and in need of reform. For me, being a spokesperson is an opportunity to talk to researchers and decision-makers to understand what works, what doesn't and why – and then talk to those who can do something about it.”

This year, the network will organize the annual general meeting. Further tasks of the network are

  • leading the working groups on diversity, mental health, abuse of power and contracts,
  • distributing and evaluating the annual survey on the experiences of doctoral researchers in the Leibniz Association
  • the co-organization of the biennial event of N2, the "Network of Doctoral Networks", which represents 16,000 doctoral students from the Leibniz, Max Planck and Helmholtz Institutes and the IPP Mainz (,
  • participation in various initiatives within (e.g. Leibniz Inclusive) and outside the Leibniz Association (e.g. the EU proposal to reform research assessment).

To this end, the network brings doctoral candidates into contact with each other across institutes and disciplines, acts as a mediator between doctoral candidate representatives and the Leibniz Association, leads working groups on topics that affect doctoral candidates and participates in political events and initiatives outside Leibniz.
The Leibniz PhD Network is a self-organized initiative launched by Leibniz doctoral researchers in 2016. The aim is to represent the interests of the almost 4,000 doctoral candidates at the 97 Leibniz Institutes. The elected positions are each valid for one year. More information at