A Selection of MPI-CBG’s Core Values and Guiding Principles

In line with the central philosophy of the Max Planck Society, MPI‑CBG wishes to attract top brains to the institute from wherever they may currently reside, and then provide them with the optimal environment to pursue their research interests. We believe bringing top international scientists together in an environment that fosters open communication and collaboration leads to the production of innovative research. In order for this strategy to be successful, it is essential that scientists of all nationalities, ethnicities, skin colours, sexual orientation, religions and / or whatever particular cultural or societal position or inclination feel equally welcome at MPI-CBG. Furthermore, all staff should feel well supported regarding their personal career development and family situation.

Our core values are reflected in the structure of the MPI-CBG, which is focused on removing hierarchy and providing equal access to resources and services for all people at MPI-CBG (staff and guests) as well as our efforts to provide an environment with equal opportunities and support for families.

Our guiding principle of open communication and caring keeps all staff at MPI-CBG informed of MPI-CBG’s expectations and / or resources pertaining to many critical issues including:

Sexual harassment, Mobbing, Discrimination

All people (staff and guests) at MPI-CBG have access to resources and advice regarding harassment, mobbing and discrimination (collectively referred to as ‘incidents’). A few of the guiding principles are summarized in bullet point form here:

  • All allegations and reports of incidents maintain complete confidentiality and anonymity of the person reporting the incident will be protected.
  • No action whatsoever will be taken unless approved and expressly agreed to by the victim. In other words, reporting an incident does not trigger a chain of events over which the victim has no control. Further steps are taken only with the agreement of and in consultation with the victim
  • Each incident is treated on a case-by-case basis with sensitivity and the subsequent actions are considered carefully and with fairness and with consultation with the victim. 
  • If the incident involves someone who is not in the reporting line nor a supervisor of the victim of such incident, the immediate supervisor of the victim may be the most appropriate person from whom to seek advice or to whom to report the incident
  • If the incident involves someone who is in the reporting line or a supervisor of the victim of such incident, the Ombudsperson for issues related to research integrity or Gender Equality Officer for issues related to sexual harassment, discrimination and family may be the most appropriate persons from whom to seek advice or to whom to report the incident
  • All directors and the COO at MPI-CBG are available and committed to provide advice or support for further reporting the incident on request of the victim
  • The Personnel Department is available at any time to provide advice and guidance
  • MPI-CBG strongly encourages anyone who feels they may have been a victim of an incident (even if they are not sure if the experience qualifies as an incident) to come forward and report the incident to someone whom they feel comfortable approaching (whoever it may be) since only by so doing can MPI-CBG uphold this core value to ensure that every person at MPI-CBG is treated with dignity and respect 

Further information and resources (including central resources provided by the Max Planck Society) are available here:
Procedures and Regulations
Ombudspersons at Max Planck
Focus on equal opportunity

Animal Caretaking

MPI-CBG researchers and staff are acutely aware of the great responsibility that comes with animal experimentation in basic biological research. Providing the highest level of animal welfare and care for our laboratory animals is an unconditional commitment of the institute and its staff. We believe all laboratory animals under our care should be treated with respect and dignity throughout their lives. We are convinced that good quality science can only be achieved with the highest level of animal welfare. We are committed to the core value of humane care in the use of all animals. The MPI-CBG staff (scientists, technicians, animal caretakers, veterinarians) who are involved with animal care, housing and experiments, commit to the following guiding principles:

  • All animal use must be justified, licensed and approved by the relevant governmental (veterinary) authorities.
  • Animals must be provided with optimal housing conditions, food, water, proper handling and care as required by law. Furthermore, we continuously strive to achieve better environmental conditions and housing that goes beyond the legal requirements in order to support improved animal welfare and better science.
  • Alternative (animal-free) methods must be applied whenever possible. 

Further information regarding the approach of the Max Planck Society towards animal research is available here: www.mpg.de/animal-studies-in-basic-research.

Good Scientific Practice

  • Science is based on honesty and trust. Scientists must therefore be truthful and honest in their research and follow generally accepted research practices. Misuse of statistical methods or partial reporting of data to influence the outcome of experiments are not allowed.
  • Science is a collective effort of a community. Research methods and findings must be accurately and extensively documented so that others can reproduce experiments.
  • Acknowledging other researchers work and ideas is essential to create an environment where ideas can be freely exchanged fostering open discussions. Plagiarism (including self-plagiarism) is not allowed.
  • Scientists must be open to discussions and criticism about their work. Researchers should maintain an objective opinion of their research and question assumptions.
  • Senior scientists have an obligation of mentoring younger scientists and help them in their career.
  • Data fabrication, forging and manipulation are not allowed.
  • Researchers must support the validation of their research by others and have to respond when others fail to reproduce their results.
  • Legislative and regulatory rules must be followed.
  • Scientists have an obligation to report suspected misconduct.