Fair pay for PhD candidates
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You are about to sign the statement below, referring to the article "Lehrjahre im Labor" (published by the Max Planck President Prof. Peter Gruss in "Der Tagesspiegel" on April 5th). If we reach enough signatures, we will use them only for addressing the President and for Max Planck internal circulation. We will not publish your signature. This petition has been initiated by Caroline Behrens, Theresa Kungl, Andreas Sorge and Hendrik Vennekate.

As young scientists, we feel privileged to be a part of the Max Planck Society (MPG) and enjoy the great scientific environment. Also, we acknowledge the recent addition of health insurance and child care subsidy to MPG scholarships.
Nevertheless, significant differences with the MPG administration regarding salaries and conditions of PhD candidates remain unresolved. Among these is our firm belief that differing funding modes among PhD candidates are unjust, with large gaps in pay and social security: e.g., MPG rules explicitly allow scholarships for the same work to vary by more than 400 € per month.
A lot of us PhD candidates work overtime and on the weekend in full commitment to the science we love to do. We feel that our pay should reflect this commitment. Therefore,

- we expect the MPG to raise the minimum pay of the MPG PhD candidates (employees and scholarship holders alike) to German standards as set by the DFG (65% TVöD E13).
- It is our conviction that every PhD candidate should have a choice between an employment contract or a scholarship.
- The existing MPG rules for scholarship holders need to be put into practice, which means free and independent research without institutional or fixed attendance duties.

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