Development and achievements of iness

iness was founded in 2006 at a time and in response to defined shortcomings in the scientific system in Germany and at the DKFZ and upcoming changes that had been implemented in the meantime. From the beginning, the activities of iness were supported by both, the Scientific and Administrative Directors of the DKFZ.

It is and was the intention of iness to stimulate and support these internal and external processes and to contribute the view, ideas and concepts of the senior scientists. These activities were initiated and steered at regular meetings by a committed group of senior scientists, the iness organizers. Among these activities were:

-          Discussion on and information about the 12-year rule for scientists in public-funded research

-          Changes, chances and pitfalls in the German Habilitation process

-          Cross-topic interaction and collaboration within the DKFZ

-          Iness Scientific Retreats

-          Implementing rules for closing departments and new job perspectives for “released” senior scientists

-          Teaching within the DKFZ and at the University of Heidelberg

-          Creating awareness for Good Scientific Practice and implementation of corresponding policies at DKFZ

These topics and potential solutions were for instance discussed with and communicated to a broader audience at three iness retreats between 2007 and 2010. These meetings also fostered scientific exchange and collaborations between scientists of different research programs. Intramural cross-platform funding further supported collaborative projects within the DKFZ in the following years.

In 2010, former iness members supported the initiation of the Post Doc Network (PDN) at DKFZ creating a communication platform especially for junior PostDocs. The PDN flourishes very well and is now established as a highly accepted network for young scientists starting their own career at the DKFZ.

In addition, three very successful lectures on Good Scientific Practice have been organized by iness between 2012 and 2014 bringing this important topic into the focus of DKFZ scientists: Prof. J. Löwer (Bonn) discussed legal issues, Prof. R. Jahn (Göttingen) contributed the view of a scientist and mentor while Prof. G. Vollmer (Braunschweig) reflected on the philosophic foundations of science. These events were attended by up to 300 internal and external guests and a lively discussion has proven the great interest in this topic.

Based on these events, iness members are still involved in giving several lectures on Good Scientific Practice at the DKFZ and the University of Heidelberg each year. In addition, a yearly discussion round on Habilitation in Germany is organized. We are open to new topics currently not covered and are willing to help.

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