7 September 2018, No. 23/2018

Joint press release issued by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, the German Academic Exchange Service and the German Research Foundation (DFG)
 

GAIN18 to start in Boston with new formats

More than 460 postdocs and early researchers will meet with presidents of German universities, research institute directors and politicians at GAIN18. From 7 to 9 September the spotlight in Boston will be on innovation and jobs in Germany, an attractive location for science and research.

For three days, international and German researchers will discuss at GAIN18 what the continuation of their careers in Germany could look like: a university career, a switch to the private sector, a professorship at a university of applied sciences, entry into science management, or launching a start-up. The subjects extend from dual career planning to heading a junior research group and tenure track professorships. At the Talent Fair, research institutes will present themselves along with the career paths and actual jobs they have to offer. Funding bodies will provide information on programmes for returning researchers and on fellowships.

Professor Dr.-Ing. Sami Haddadin, winner of the 2017 Deutscher Zukunftspreis (German President's Award for Innovation in Science and Technology), entrepreneur and Director of the Munich School of Robotics and Machine Intelligence at TUM will give the keynote speech. At the Start-up Pitch, six researcher teams will present their start-up ideas in a contest for the 2018 GAIN Award. This year marks the first time this award is being presented. Prizes include a week of coaching and mentoring on the subject of research spin-offs at a Germany university.

The President of the German Academic Exchange Service, Prof. Dr. Margret Wintermantel, Prof. Dr Peter Strohschneider, President of the German Research Foundation (DFG), and Prof. Dr. Hans-Christian Pape, President of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, will jointly welcome the German researchers in North America on Friday morning.

Professor Wintermantel will underscore the importance of international networking in the science sector: "German universities, universities of applied sciences and non-university research institutions have significantly increased their capabilities and competitiveness in recent years. International networking has been crucial to this success. It is important that young researchers have the opportunity to gather experience and build their skills for a while at eminent universities throughout the world. Top German researchers in North America can also learn a lot about careers outside academia, such as starting up their own companies or marketing their innovations."

"Many researchers are presently returning to Germany. That might be related to the fact that the sciences enjoy a high degree of social and political support here. And this is by no means a matter of course in times of growing scepticism vis-á-vis science. And, what is more, without trust, there can be no freedom of science! This latitude, this space where individuals can pursue their curiosity and do so over a long period of time is fundamental to very good research", says DFG President Professor Strohschneider.

Professor Pape will focus on the community of values among researchers: "Every year, the GAIN meeting allows us to experience the fact that science is a community – indeed, a community of values. We as researchers are dedicated to values such as reliance on facts, verifiability and openness to new ideas. These are prerequisites for our success, the basis of our reciprocal trust and stabilising factors for our scientific collaboration and alliances. And last, but not least, there is the pleasure of being enriched by other experiences, other cultures, that make our alliances stable."

Dr Georg Schütte, State Secretary at the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), Katharina Fegebank, Second Mayor and Senator for Science, Research and Equal Rights of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg, and a delegation from the Bundestag Committee on Education, Research and Technology Assessment will represent state and federal-level politics. They will respond to the demands and questions raised by the German-American research elite during workshops and the new Meet-a-Politician event. Professor Dorothee Dzwonnek, Secretary General of the DFG, will interview members of the Bundestag, State Secretary Dr Schütte and Senator Fegebank regarding the outlook for Germany's research policies.

State Secretary Dr Schütte outlined the federal government's research policy: "Germany stands out for practising freedom of science and for its high level of investment in education and research. This makes it one of the most attractive countries in the world not only for researchers but also for students and young scientists and scholars – and especially for those who currently work and conduct research in North America. We want to start up a conversation with them and make these ambitious, creative and mobile researchers aware of the advantages and benefits Germany has to offer as a location for science and research. These include not least of all the new Tenure Track Programme that is being operated by Germany's federal and state governments and will inject greater transparency and planability into academic and research careers in Germany."

The Senator: "It is a great honour for Hamburg to co-represent Germany in its capacity as the official host state for the GAIN meeting. We are a centre for science and scholarship that is on the up and up. Our city stands for open-mindedness, tolerance and freedom of thought. We are guided by the idea of cooperation in science and science policy. Our universities, non-university research institutions and research-based companies work together on the major social issues of our time and ensure the transfer of solutions and ideas to society. In addition, they train excellent specialists – for Northern Germany and for Germany as a whole."

About GAIN

The German Academic International Network (GAIN) is a network for German scientists and researchers who work in North America. GAIN has helped them since 2003 with a diverse programme to establish and maintain contact with German research institutions, prepare them for their return to the German research landscape and help them articulate their interests vis-à-vis political decision makers. GAIN is a joint initiative of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation (AvH), the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and the German Research Foundation (DFG). It is funded by the Federal Ministry of Research and Education (BMBF). Associated members are the German Cancer Aid (Deutsche Krebshilfe), German Academic Scholarship Foundation (Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes), the German Rectors' Conference (Hochschulrektorenkonferenz), the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft (Fraunhofer Society), the Helmholtz Association of German Research Centers, the Leibniz Association, and the Max Planck Society. A variety of cooperation partners from science, industry, and politics regularly support it in its work.

GAIN18 will be held at Boston Marriott Copley Place from 7 to 9 September 2018.

The Alexander von Humboldt Foundation

Every year, the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation enables more than 2,000 researchers from all over the world to spend time researching in Germany. The Foundation maintains a network of well over 29,000 Humboldtians from all disciplines in more than 140 countries worldwide – including 55 Nobel Prize winners.

Contact

Press, Communications and Marketing
Phone: +49 228 833-144
Fax: +49 228 833-441
presse(at)avh.de

Dietrich Wolf Fenner
GAIN Programme Director
DAAD New York Office
Phone: +1 (212) 758-3223, Extension 217
fenner(at)daad.org