Interest Groups

BR50 sees itself as an agile organization: interest groups operate in response to specific situations and topics, irrespective of which unit they belong to. This mode of action enables BR50 to operate quickly and flexibly, deploying its broad network and multiplier effect to support politics and science.

 
IG Program

The science area Berlin offers a great potential to keep up with the worldwide leading science metropolises. BR50 aims to contribute together with the universities, politics and society to this strategic and programmatic development of Berlin. Read on

BR50 was established with the aim to foster the cooperation among the non-university institutions in Berlin and to jointly develop strategies for research and for the exchange with politics and society. Together with the universities associated in the BUA, BR50 wants to emphasize common opportunities and collaboration potentials in order to create an integrated research area Berlin as well as to strengthen Berlin towards an international important science metropolis that stands international competition.

Berlin offers a diverse research landscape. BR50 is interdisciplinary and covers all research areas required to address technological, ecological and social challenges. The aim and purpose of the BR50 Interest Group Program is to pool this diversity in an inter- and transdisciplinary way in order to jointly address important and current scientific and societal issues.

The Interest Group Program develops impulses for thematic cooperation and drives the strategic and programmatic development of BR50 as a network.

 

Activities

The ideas for the thematic priorities were developed in several discussions like the BR50 Units and the BR50 General Assembly in September 2021 - including the BR50 position paper - and were taken up by the Interest Group Program in meetings at the end of 2021 and in January 2022. A series of events is planned for 2022 through which BR50 would like to play an active role in helping to address societal challenges.

Die Interst Group Progamm has agreed on a BR50 slogan that shows why a network of non-university research institutions is needed, what BR50 stands for and what the goals are for the network, but also for the research area Berlin:

Berlin Research - for a fair, healthy, and sustainable future
BR50 is drawing on the uniqueness of Berlin’s diverse science landscape to promote research and the pursuit of scientific knowledge. Together with the universities, Brandenburg´s research institutions and the public BR50 works to position the Berlin-Brandenburg area as one of the leading European metropolises in science, higher education, and development. Solving social and global challenges require cross-institutional and interdisciplinary collaborations. New methods and technologies are as necessary as are deeper understandings of the different cultural and historical ways of human sense-making in order to create a fair, healthy and sustainable future.

Contact

The BR50 offices will be glad to answer any questions. Read on

If you have any questions or suggestions regarding the Interest Groups, please contact the BR50 offices.

Contact:

Dr. Anja Sommerfeld
BR50 Office Berlin Adlershof
sommerfeld[at]fv-berlin[dot]de

Dr. Gregor Hofmann
BR50 Branch Office Berlin Mitte
gregor.hofmann[at]wzb[dot]eu


 
IG Ukraine

The Russian invasion of Ukraine has shocked us all. The impact on Berlin and science as a whole will concern us for a long time to come. BR50 establishes an internal collaboration to support Ukrainian scientist on an efficient level (please find a list of support activities by click on "Read on"), but as well as connects with other players in Berlin to develop long-term strategies for the research area. Read on

In a statement on February 26, the BR50 coordinators expressed their solidarity with the people on the ground as well as those who are working for free science and cultural exchange in Ukraine and also in Russia. The coordinators reaffirmed this position on March 3 in a statement of solidarity with an open letter of Russian scientists in view of the war against Ukraine (see: https://www.br50.org/en/br50/news).

At a BR50 internal networking meeting on March 4 (on the initiative of the Centre Marc Bloch and supported by BR50 offices), it was agreed to create a BR50 mailing list, through which those institutions can network on a case-by-case basis that would in principle be willing to host Ukrainian researchers or to support them in applying for funding. The aim is also to explore possible joint offers for inquiring scientists (e.g. shared funding for a few months or similar). BR50 institutions wishing to be added to this distribution should contact the BR50 offices.

In addition, a round table on Ukraine was held on March 14 at the invitation of BUA. Coordinator Ulrich Panne spoke on behalf of BR50. It became clear that so far there is no central coordinating body for help from academia for Ukrainians. The exchange is to be continued and strategies for cooperation will be developed.

 

Activities

BR50 supports the initiative #ScienceForUkraine and would like to encourage all member institutions to register on that platform and promote their support activities, like open positions, stipends, scholarships and language courses. The webpage serves a network pool to connect Ukrainian scientists with German and international research institutions. The Website collects the support activities for Ukrainian scientists from all over the world and functions as networking platform.
Further platforms to post job vacancies are: https://www.euraxess.de/ukraine and https://www.jobaidukraine.com/.
Furthermore, there is a moderated list where labs from all over the world publish available positions for Ukrainian scientists.

A variety of BR50 institutions and its umbrella organizations are very committed to provide support for Ukrainian researcher. We encourage you to visit the websites of the BR50 institutions and find information about their relief efforts.
Unfortunately, we cannot name all individual activities, but we will try to keep the content as up to date as possible by deleting outdated offers and including new ones. In case you would like to publish your activities here, please inform the BR50 offices (sommerfeld[at]fv-berlin[dot]de, gregor.hofmann[at]wzb[dot]eu).

Job Vacancies:

At short notice, many BR50 institutions and the corresponding umbrella organizations set up jobs with short-term contracts in an unbureaucratic manner to allow quick hosting of Ukrainian scientists. Most of the positions are filled already. Long-term strategies are currently under discussion.

Excellence cluster SCRIPTS

  • SCRIPTS has set up an emergency fund for scholars at risk from Ukraine, Belarus and Russia. Scholars who fled from Ukraine as well as scholars at risk due to the domestic political situation in Russia and Belarus can apply for a special fellowship at SCRIPTS. The fellows will be affiliated for a minimum of three months with the International Research College (IRC) of SCRIPTS. Further information about the program and the application can be found here: https://www.scripts-berlin.eu/birt/irc/Fellowship-Scholars-at-Risk/index.html

Bundesanstalt für Materialforschung und -prüfung (BAM)

Rathgen Forschungslabor of the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin - Stiftung Preußischer Kulturbesitz

  • The Rathgen Forschungslabor of the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin offers two scholarships for refugee Ukrainian emerging professionals. The scholarships are intended to enable emerging professionals to undertake their own research projects in the context of heritage science. The Rathgen Research Laboratory deals with the development of analytical, in particular non-destructive investigation technologies as well as questions concerning the documentation and accessibility of cultural heritage in the digital age. Preventive conservation, art technology and archaeometry are further areas of research. The Rathgen Heritage Science Scholarship enables emerging professionals to undertake a research project at the laboratory within a three month duration, which can be extended by request in order to apply for longer-term follow-up funding. More information: https://www.icon.org.uk/resource/heritage-science-scholarship-2022-for-refugee-ukrainian-russian-belarusian-emerging-professionals.html

Zuse Institute Berlin (ZIB) and the excellence cluster MATH+

  • The ZIB and the excellence cluster MATH+ are offering support for mathematicians from academic institutions in Ukraine that have recently left the country. The program is an offer for refugees from Ukraine in the Berlin area that hold a master’s degree or higher in mathematics or a closely related field and have pursued mathematical research at a university or other academic institution in Ukraine within the past year. Further information about the program and the application can be found here: https://www.zib.de/node/5150

Max-Delbrück-Centrum für Molekulare Medizin in der Helmholtz-Gemeinschaft (MDC)

  • MDC offers the individual Ukrainian scientists, technicians or administrators to jointly apply for long-term fellowships offered by the Helmholtz Association, Phillip Schwarz Initiative (Alexander von Humboldt Foundation), Volkswagenstiftung or others. We strive for quick individual support in form of short short-term employments to bridge the gap between the arrival and the start of the fellowship. In case of interest, please contact: ukraine[at]mdc-berlin[dot]de

Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research (IZW)

  • IZW has limited institutional funding that can be increased by the Leibniz Association to help one or two Ukrainian scientists with short-term contracts covering 4 – 6 month. In case of interest, please contact:  Viktoriia Radchuk (radchuk[at]izw-berlin[dot]de).

Platforms for job offers:

Housing:

The housing situation in Berlin is very tense and therefore, it is difficult to accommodate refugees. However, many employees of the BR50 institutions offer their private guest rooms and secondary residences. Do not hesitate to inform us in case you can offer support for housing and we will post available accommodation here.

Max Planck Institute for Human Development (MPIB)

Max-Delbrück-Centrum für Molekulare Medizin in der Helmholtz-Gemeinschaft (MDC)

  • Two apartments on MDC Campus are available for Ukrainian scientists and their families.

Connecting Scientists:

Since all institutional cooperation with and to Russia are currently frozen, it is even more important to maintain the individual connections. These are based on year-long collaboration and trust and the scientific bridges should not be teared down.
Therefore, many BR50 institutions start networking campaigns and platforms to keep existing contacts and establish new contacts.
In addition, scientists use and provide their own networks to connect Ukrainian scientists with researchers within Berlin and from all over the world to offer help during the arrivals, further support or develop future perspectives.

Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research (IZW)

  • A group of scientists established help4ukrainianscientists[at]gmail[dot]com to connect those Ukrainian biologists and ecologists who left Ukraine with European scientists with the same scientific interest so as to find jobs and homes.   

Max-Delbrück-Centrum für Molekulare Medizin in der Helmholtz-Gemeinschaft (MDC)

Relief Offers and Fundraising Activities:

Many BR50 institutions are very active and get involved in fundraising activities or initiate relief offers. The activities are not limited to large-scale campaigns to collect funding and consumables but as well, support staff members in volunteering. There are several fundraising activities and calls, like organizing charity cake sale, aid transports to national borders or support and assistance in securing scientific samples and data from Ukraine.
For example, Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research (IZW) provided, through the Tierpark Berlin and the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria, institutional veterinary support for the convoy to Ukraine Zoos.

Max Planck Institute for Human Development (MPIB)

  • The MPIB started a fundraising activity to help the relief offers of the Sister Cities Association Steglitz-Zehlendorf to support humanitarian aid transports for medical care and equipment in Ukraine. https://www.bsz-spv.de/charkiw-hilfe/

Max-Delbrück-Centrum für Molekulare Medizin in der Helmholtz-Gemeinschaft (MDC)

  • The MDC has set up a donation account to collect money for special purposes like support for hosts and guests: www.betterplace.org/p107604
  • Free science courses for Ukrainian children will take place at Gläsernes Labor, the non-school learning center with Ukrainian MDC employees as tutors.   

 

Support services of the Berlin University Alliance for students and researchers affected by the war 

BR50 regularly coordinates with the partners of the Berlin University Alliance (BUA) regarding support services. The BUA also informs on its website about current initiatives and offers of the universities for students and researchers affected by the war: https://www.berlin-university-alliance.de/en/ukraine/index.html

Contact

The BR50 offices will be glad to answer any questions. Read on

If you have any questions or suggestions regarding the Interest Groups, please contact the BR50 offices.

Contact:

Dr. Anja Sommerfeld
BR50 Office Berlin Adlershof
sommerfeld[at]fv-berlin[dot]de

Dr. Gregor Hofmann
BR50 Branch Office Berlin Mitte
gregor.hofmann[at]wzb[dot]eu


 
IG Artificial Intelligence

AI as a contemporary research topic is found in many institutions in Berlin. BR50 works towards establishing networks between the different actors and creating a platform for interdisciplinary AI research. Read on

The term artificial intelligence (AI) has been on everyone's lips for years and is thus no longer just fiction, but object of current research and real-life applications. AI has thus made the leap from science to politics and society, is widely discussed and considered as one of the most exciting research fields of the future, not only in the natural sciences and technical disciplines, but also in the social sciences and humanities.

In the technical and engineering disciplines, AI is applied in regards to autonomous driving and in natural sciences, AI and machine learning are used for material sciences and crystal growth. In the life sciences, AI supports the simulation of complex structures based on gene sequences or the identification of diseases by applying image recognition. The social sciences and humanities benefit from new research fields resulting from the ability to use automatic structuring and evaluation of large texts generated e.g. by social media platforms and digital archives. 

However, not only the usage and application of AI, including related ethic, social and legal questions, are of interest, but also the research field of developing AI itself and the transition of research and science caused by using AI as method, need to be considered in that context .

The BR50 Interest Group Artificial Intelligence is working towards a platform supporting the thematic linkage across all disciplines that furthermore involves the economy, start-ups and the Berlin government. This network is essential to support establishing the research field in Berlin and to meet the social challenges.

 

Activities

BR50 Workshop on Artificial Intelligence in Research – December 13th 2021

Experts from all topics were invited to the BR50 Workshop on AI to give short presentations that introduce the diverse research fields in terms of:

  • AI, machine learning, and technological challenges
  • Applications of AI and machine learning
  • AI and Data Science in Health and Life Sciences
  • AI, society and culture

The participants got an overview about the status of research, especially taking place in Berlin, and could use the opportunity for further networking and starting collaboration. The workshop was a kickoff for the content-related BR50 Interest Group Artificial Intelligence.  

Contact

The BR50 offices will be glad to answer any questions. Read on

If you have any questions or suggestions regarding the Interest Groups, please contact the BR50 offices.

Contact:

Dr. Anja Sommerfeld
BR50 Office Berlin Adlershof
sommerfeld[at]fv-berlin[dot]de

Dr. Gregor Hofmann
BR50 Branch Office Berlin Mitte
gregor.hofmann[at]wzb[dot]eu


 
IG Corona Task Force

In the Corona pandemic, BR50 already plays an important role as the voice of non-university research institutions in Berlin. Read on

In dealing with the Corona pandemic, non-university research institutions also face enormous challenges. Many of them are dealing directly or indirectly with the pandemic and its effects. As employers, it is important to digitalize processes as far as possible and shift them to the home office. At the same time, institutions must make the conditions for researchers as secure as possible, for example with regard to the use of laboratories and other infrastructures. And last but not least, new ways must be found to enable the exchange among researchers that is essential for science.

 

Activities

As Interest Group Corona Task Force, the coordinators of the BR50 units closely exchange information on this.

BR50 advises the Senate Administration as a member of the Senate Task Force on how to deal with the corona pandemic in Berlin as a science hub.

In addition, the BR50 offices coordinated the distribution of the Covid-19 vaccine provided by the Berlin Senate for the non-university research institutions in Berlin. The vaccination campaign was successfully implemented in July and August 2021 in collaboration with the Charité.

At the Berlin Science Week 2020, BR50 also held a public panel debate entitled How much home office can science take? to take stock of the changed research conditions in the context of a global pandemic.

Contact

The BR50 offices will be glad to answer any questions. Read on

If you have any questions or suggestions regarding the Interest Groups, please contact the BR50 offices.

Contact:

Dr. Anja Sommerfeld
BR50 Office Berlin Adlershof
sommerfeld[at]fv-berlin[dot]de

Dr. Gregor Hofmann
BR50 Branch Office Berlin Mitte
gregor.hofmann[at]wzb[dot]eu


 
IG International Issues

The science hub Berlin is very attractive to international researchers. The Interest Group serves the exchange on all questions around internationalization. Read on

The non-university institutions in Berlin are very attractive to international researchers - as research and training sites, as employers, and also for visiting research stays. In addition, BR50 institutions are also involved in strategic international collaborations, such as the Oxford-Berlin Research Partnership. At the same time, individual BR50 institutions maintain a variety of institutional collaborative relationships around the world.

But how can Berlin be promoted more strongly as an international research location? How can international researchers receive even better support during their stay in Berlin? And what opportunities are there for collaboration in order to bundle the cultivation of contacts in the wake of researchers' stays in Berlin? These are the questions addressed by the Interest Group on International Issues. It serves as a forum for the exchange of experience among those responsible for internationalization issues at the BR50 institutions.

Ursula Westphal (IGAFA) and Claudia Eggert (BAM) have been appointed as coordinators of the Interest Group International. The Interest Group is supported by the BR50 offices. If you have any questions or suggestions or if you are interested in participating in the Interest Group, please do not hesitate to contact us.

 

Activities

13 January 2022

It is intended to establish a working group on Guest Services for Spring 2022. The working group will serve as a forum for exchange on helping guests and international researchers with accommodation, providing support in dealing with authorities and medical issues, or networking between guests and internationals in the context of recreational activities, (e.g. through events). A common wiki with relevant information for visiting researchers is also envisaged. 

For further meetings, exchanges on the topic of dual careers and with Berlin Partner are planned, as well as discussions with other actors in the field of international issues, such as the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation and the coordinators of the Berlin-Oxford partnership.

In addition, a low-threshold internal query on key figures on internationalization and central research collaborations of the BR50 institutions is planned.

The next meeting is scheduled for March/April 2022.

 

03 September 2021

The first meeting of the Interest Group International Issues was held in person at the Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM). A large number of BR50 institutions were represented. It quickly became apparent that depending on the size of the institutions, the topic of internationalization is addressed to varying extents. However, all participants agreed that networking and cooperation is crucial to make Berlin attractive for international scientists. 

Based on a survey conducted in advance on the status, challenges, and desires regarding the topic of internationalization, interests were identified for brainstorming. The following topics emerged as initial areas of work for the Interest Group International Issues:

  • Guest relations and the support of international scientists in Berlin,
  • Recruiting talents from all over the world and attracting them to Berlin,
  • International research marketing to increase Berlin's visibility and expand international networks,
  • Support for international research collaborations.

These issues cannot be addressed by the non-university research institutions alone, but only together with the universities and politics. Therefore, the Interest Group strives to exchange ideas with suitable partners in Berlin and beyond.

Ursula Westphal (IGAFA) and Claudia Eggert (BAM) have been appointed as coordinators of the Interest Group International Issues. The Interest Group is supported by the BR50 offices.

The next meeting is planned for late 2021/early 2022.

Contact

Ursula Westphal (IGAFA) and Claudia Eggert (BAM) have been appointed as coordinators of the Interest Group International. The BR50 offices will be glad to answer any questions. Read on

Ursula Westphal (IGAFA) and Claudia Eggert (BAM) have been appointed as coordinators of the Interest Group International. The Interest Group is supported by the BR50 offices. If you have any questions or suggestions or if you are interested in participating in the Interest Group, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Contact:

Dr. Anja Sommerfeld
BR50 Office Berlin Adlershof
sommerfeld[at]fv-berlin[dot]de

Dr. Gregor Hofmann
BR50 Branch Office Berlin Mitte
gregor.hofmann[at]wzb[dot]eu


 
IG Cooperation between BR50 and BUA

Cooperation with the Berlin University Alliance (BUA) is an important goal of BR50. A variety of activities are already underway. Read on

Many of the BR50 institutions already work closely with the alliance partners of the Berlin University Alliance (BUA) - be it in joint professorships and junior research groups, in collaborative research projects, PhD programs as well as graduate schools, or within the framework of the seven Berlin Clusters of Excellence Math+, Matters of Activity, NeuroCure, SCIoI, SCRIPTS, Temporal Communities and UniSysCat.

The BR50 Interest Group Collaboration between BR50 and BUA encompasses all activities in which the two major collaborative initiatives of the Brain City Berlin seek a regular dialogue. The goal is to further strengthen the cooperation between Berlin's non-university institutions and the universities in Berlin in strategic fields of action. On the one hand, this includes regular exchanges between the BR50 coordinators and the presidents of Berlin's universities on strategic questions of academia. On the other hand, exchange is also sought at the working level on topics that can be shaped even better together, for example in the promotion of diversity and equality in the Berlin research area.

Contact

The BR50 offices will be glad to answer any questions. Read on

If you have any questions or suggestions regarding the Interest Groups, please contact the BR50 offices.

Contact:

Dr. Anja Sommerfeld
BR50 Office Berlin Adlershof
sommerfeld[at]fv-berlin[dot]de

Dr. Gregor Hofmann
BR50 Branch Office Berlin Mitte
gregor.hofmann[at]wzb[dot]eu


 
IG Administrative Dialog

There are enormous opportunities for cooperation in the area of science management and administration that BR50 seeks to promote and exploit. Read on

The diversity of the institutes involved in BR50 and their respective structural contexts not only allows for a fruitful exchange with regard to joint research projects or strategic networking. There are also enormous opportunities for cooperation in the area of science management and administration, from which not only the individual institutions, but also the entire science hub Berlin can benefit.

The Interest Group Administrative Dialog is dedicated to these potentials for synergies and joint activities. It provides a forum for the commercial and administrative management of BR50 institutions to network and exchange experiences as well as best practices.

 

Activities

The Interest Group Administrative Dialog meets on a biannual basis and identified topics that could be handled on administrative level within BR50. This does not only include issues that are relevant for the non-university institutions, but considers potential synergies that effect the whole science area of Berlin. In particular, the governance structure of BR50, joint professorships and the taxation of research cooperation are subjects of discussions. In addition, a working group formed out of the Interest Group that faces questions about mobile working.

Contact

The BR50 offices will be glad to answer any questions. Read on

If you have any questions or suggestions regarding the Interest Groups, please contact the BR50 offices.

Contact:

Dr. Anja Sommerfeld
BR50 Office Berlin Adlershof
sommerfeld[at]fv-berlin[dot]de

Dr. Gregor Hofmann
BR50 Branch Office Berlin Mitte
gregor.hofmann[at]wzb[dot]eu


 
IG Interdisciplinary Career Development

Due to interdisciplinary networking, BR50 supports personnel development and career paths of junior scientist. For an adequate implementation, an Interest Group was founded that designs a BR50 postdoctoral fellowship program and, together with relevant actors in Berlin, concepts for leadership development. Read on

Together with Berlin's universities, the BR50 institutions form a regional knowledge alliance that is unique in Europe, covering all scientific disciplines and the spectrum from basic to applied research. Forward-looking research questions that require cross-disciplinary expertise can be addressed here locally and without the disadvantages of spatial distance.

The Interest Group Interdisciplinary Career Development is engaged in the development of a BR50 postdoc fellowship program. The goal of the program, which is currently in the conception phase, is to promote postdoctoral fellowships on innovative, emerging research questions and topics that have not yet been institutionalized and require interdisciplinary treatment. In this way, cross-institutional exchange is to be promoted in a targeted manner and the potential of the diversity of the BR50 institutions is thus to be exploited.

 

Activities

The BR50 office at the WZB collaborated with the Berlin Cluster of Excellence SCRIPTS to organize two roundtable events on postdoctoral career paths for researchers in the social sciences and humanities in the fall of 2021. Both events took place via Zoom and attracted lively interest. The collaboration is continuing in 2022, with a series of events on funding opportunities for postdoctoral projects.

BR50 develops, together with the Berlin Leadership Academy (BLA) from the BUA, options to broaden their training programs. At the moment, the BLA programs address people in leading positions and professors as well as junior professors and leaders of junior research groups at the universities. Starting in May 2022, in a pilot project, some events will be opened to participants from non-university research institutions. In addition, it is envisioned to establish a joint BLA and BR50 training program that considers the requirements of the non-university research institutions.

 

Contact

The BR50 offices will be glad to answer any questions. Read on

If you have any questions or suggestions regarding the Interest Groups, please contact the BR50 offices.

Contact:

Dr. Anja Sommerfeld
BR50 Office Berlin Adlershof
sommerfeld[at]fv-berlin[dot]de

Dr. Gregor Hofmann
BR50 Branch Office Berlin Mitte
gregor.hofmann[at]wzb[dot]eu