BERA Program to Support Postdocs

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Seven Berlin Research Institutions Start Program for Postdoctoral Researchers with Support from Leibniz Association

What’s next, after your doctorate is finished? This is not an unusual question for postdoctoral researchers at universities and other research institutions. In the meantime, there are quite a few structured programs for supporting doctoral researchers, but postdoctoral researchers often feel that they receive little or no support on major issues of career planning. The new Berlin Economics Research Associates Program - BERA - aims to close this gap in targeted support for the period between the completion of a doctorate and a tenured position either inside or outside of academia. The BERA office will be located at DIW Berlin, and during the initial period, the program will be supported by the Leibniz Association. The program aims to promote the careers of 60 to 80 economists at seven academic institutions in Berlin as well as make the Berlin location even more attractive for international talent in the field of economics.

The components of BERA include the coordinated recruitment of academic staff, joint research activities, a mentoring program, workshops, exchange research visits, and targeted offers for women scholars. According to Marcel Fratzscher, the president of DIW Berlin, "The BERA program will make a very important contribution toward advancing the careers of national and international young scholars and scientists. A particular concern of all those involved is to support economists and to make it easier for local researchers to establish a network starting in Berlin with national and international researchers."

The program partners are the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin), Freie Universität Berlin, the European School for Management and Technology (ESMT), the Hertie School of Governance, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Technische Universität Berlin, and the Berlin Social Science Centre (WZB). The BERA program will officially be launched on April 1, 2016. The program and the director, Georg Weizsäcker, a professor at Humboldt-Universität and Research Director at DIW Berlin, were recently presented at a kick-off event. Georg Weizsäcker says, "Academia needs to find, to support, and to keep talented junior scholars. The Berlin location is not only attractive for economists from Germany, but also for international researchers. Financial support alone is not sufficient. The work environment and the research network both play a major role. The BERA program will link these components."

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