How would the German political parties support junior researchers?

On September 27th, Germany will elect its 17th parliament (Bundestag). In anticipation of the election, we wanted to know what the large German political parties would do to support junior researchers in Germany in the future.

So we asked the parties some questions: about financial support structures for PhD students, career paths in German science, gender equality in academic research settings, and support for scientists with children, among others.

Now, you can read the answers of the parties here. To help you compare the parties’ positions, we prepared a summary, with extracts of the parties’ statements in response to each question.  You can also read the full statements of each party (Grünen, Die Linke, SPD, FDP; CDU).

This survey of the political parties is a joint initiative of three large German networks of PhD students: Max Planck PhDnet, THESIS, and the Helmholtz Juniors.  Commentaries written by representatives of these networks will be posted here on the blog.

Of course, we would also like to know what you think!  Which party has the best ideas?  Which ideas are garbage?

Do you agree with the SPD that the Wissenschaftszeitgesetz protects researchers from an indefinite series of short-term contracts?  Or with the FDP that new, unique payment structures are needed that take into account the special situation of researchers?

Do you agree with DIE LINKE that hiring procedures should be formalized in order to be fairer towards women?  Or with the Greens (BÜNDNIS90/Die Grünen) that universities should be required to meet a quota of at least 40% representation of each gender at every level of employment and in every department (Fachbereich)?

Post your comments here on the blog and join in the discussion!  (The texts are in German, but also feel free to comment in English)

Here, again are all the links to the answers of the parties (in German):

Parteien zur Wissenschaftpolitik 2009 (comparison of answers to our questions by all parties, plus a short foreword)

FDP zur Wissenschaftspolitik 2009

Die Grünen zur Wissenschaftspolitik 2009

Die Linke zur Wissenschaftpolitik 2009

SPD zur Wissenschaftspolitik 2009

CDU zur Wissenschaftspolitik 2009

Also, check out the commentaries that are being posted on this blog:

Science And Society (German)

The PhD: financing, insurance, supervision and the right to grant degrees (German)

Science as Career (German)

A partly similar party survey on science policy was published in the August/September edition of the magazine Physik Journal:

Dabei beziehen sich die Fragen insbesondere auf Forschung, Technologie und universitäre Bildung. Welche Prioritäten möchten die Parteien in der Forschungsförderung setzen? Welche Klimaschutzziele verfolgen sie und wie sollen diese erreicht werden? Wie lassen sich die deutschen Hochschulen für Wissenschaftler und Studierende attraktiver machen?


10 Responses to How would the German political parties support junior researchers?

  1. All documents are online. You can find them also at the homepage of THESIS ( and here.

  2. Alexander Krupp says:

    Thanks very much to the organizers of the questionnaire! First of all, this information might be relevant background information for the upcoming election. Even more importantly: The questionnaire hopefully made clear to the representatives of the parties that we do care how they care for us! It made them aware that PhD students also vote and observe very carefully how they are treated. This side-effect might be even more important by the end of the day than the information about political goals.

  3. […] on Stipends are goodLeonard on Stipends are goodPlattfom wissenschaf… on NetworkingHow would the German… on Science and societyAlexander Krupp on How would the German political…PhD student on […]

    • Emanuele Achino says:

      Dear All,

      at the FREI University in Berlin, in cooperation with Professor M. Mayer, we had a project proposal named YOUNG: YOUTH ORGANIZATIONS AND UNIONS IN NORTH AMERICA AND GERMANY: MIGRANTS’ PARTICIPATION IN A COMPARATIVE MANNER.

      I really would be grateful to ask you if someone has some fund to support this network indeed.

      You can contact me at the following:

      I hope to hear you soon, and all the best,


  4. Harald Völkerr says:

    Sehr gute Initiative. Haben CDU und CSU Antworten in Aussicht gestellt? Es wäre natürlich schön zu wissen, welche Projekte die momentan grössere Regierungspartei verfolgt.

  5. Susannah says:

    CDU/CSU haben als einzige Partei leider überhaupt nicht auf unsere Anfrage reagiert. Falls sie noch antoworten sollten, würden wir ihre Antwort selbstverständlich auch hier veröffentlichen.

    Unfortunately, the CDU/CSU was the only party that did not react at all to our inquiry. If we still receive an answer from them, we will of course also publish it here.

  6. Harald Völker says:

    Das ist schade. Vielleicht gibt es hier bei den Mitlesern jemand mit guten CDU/CSU-Kontakten, der/die auf dieses Versäumnis über seine Kanäle noch einmal aufmerksam machen kann?

  7. Susannah says:

    Die CDU hat heute versprochen, mir morgen ihre Antwort zukommen zu lassen. Sie würde dann spätestens Freitag auch hier erscheinen.

  8. Susannah says:

    Die Antworten der CDU sind jetzt auch online!

  9. Harald Völker says:

    Dank dir Susannah, dass du nachgehakt hast!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: