In publica commoda

Press release: Research Campus: Research Institutions moving closer together

Nr. 261/2010 - 16.12.2010

Göttingen University, Medical School and the Max Planck Society sign joint venture agreement

(pug) For many years, the University of Göttingen, the Göttingen University Medical School and the Max Planck Society have maintained a collaborative relationship at the Göttingen Research Campus. Now, they aim to systematically expand their existing collaboration. To this end, the three institutions have signed a framework agreement that contractually governs the terms of their cooperation on the likes of appointment procedures, teaching events and research projects. The three parties to the contract are part of the Göttingen Research Campus – a merger between academic institutions in Göttingen. "Through this joint venture agreement, the collaboration and scientific exchange taking place at the Göttingen Research Campus will gain in status," Prof. Kurt von Figura announced. "With this, we will continue to promote the research being done in Göttingen over the long term and continue to expand the offering of courses taught."

The Chairman of the Board of the Göttingen University Medical School, Prof. Cornelius Frömmel, M.D, also views the agreement as a valuable gain for the location: "This is a stellar example of how the synergies of the cooperation partners can be maximised whilst making their research achievements that much more transparent nationally. Linking topics and methodologies and getting young researchers from the appropriate institutes involved solidifies the concept of a research network even further."

The Max Planck Society's President Prof. Peter Gruss also explained: "Now, on the basis of our agreement, every one of the five participating Max Planck Institutes can continue to expand their cooperative efforts with the university and design projects more successfully. This fact is a great personal pleasure for me as a former resident of Göttingen."

Apart from governing the academic exchange as reflected in mutual research projects and joint appointment procedures among other things, the new agreement sets forth the responsibilities and rights of scientists and academics at the Max Planck Institutes who are awarded the title of "honorary professor" or "professor by special appointment" by the University. For example, professors with these appointments hold the same rights as faculty members and can thus assume the role of an assessor on doctoral and post-doc dissertation committees. At the same time, these professors should become more involved in academic teaching at the university: The faculties are required take the research focus areas of the allied Max Planck Institutes into account when planning curricula and writing examination regulations. Other items covered by the agreement include the nomination of university teaching staff to become Max Planck Fellows or external researchers to become members of a Max Planck Institute. Setting up Max Planck research groups at the University and mutual international Max Planck research schools where doctoral candidates can be given a structured education aligned along international criteria is yet another subject of the contract. In addition to all that, the joint venture partners intend to examine the options for working together more closely on the procurement and utilization of large-scale machinery and equipment, data processing technologies and libraries.

Southern Lower Saxony is home to a total of five Max Planck Institutes – all of whom are affiliates of the Göttingen Research Campus. The MPI for Biophysical Chemistry, MPI for Experimental Medicine, Dynamics and Self-Organisation and MPI for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity are all situated in and around the city of Göttingen. Currently, the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research is still located in Katlenburg-Lindau in the county of Northeim, but likewise will be moving to Göttingen by 2014. Then, it will be headquartered directly next to the University's Institute for Astrophysics.