Family and Career

Family and Career

A functional work-life balance is a major concern for the Max Planck Society (MPG) and the MPI for Biological Intelligence. A balance between professional and private life is a basic prerequisite for long-term professional success. To this end, it is important, among other things, to provide care for children or relatives in need of care.

Family friendliness

The MPI for Biological Intelligence makes every effort to accommodate the needs of parents in scheduling. Many of our employees who become parents take parental leave and then return to work without any problems. This explicitly applies to both mothers and fathers. Contact us if they need support in returning to work.

During pregnancy, women working in the laboratory can count on the institute's help in working out an individual solution so that there is no danger to mother and child and scientific work can continue. The MPG has produced a guide for practical implementation on this - please contact us.


At the Martinsried site, various facilities care for the children of institute members while they pursue their careers. For example, the BioKids daycare center (for children from 10 months to 6 years) and the Klopferspitzchen parent initiative (for children from 12 months to 3 ½ years) are only a few minutes walking distance from the institute.

For the Seewiesen location, we are happy to help arrange childcare places in the surrounding area.

Parent-child rooms

At both the Martinsried and Seewiesen sites, parent-child rooms offer a flexible option for necessary childcare under the supervision of a parent. In this way, employees can compensate for a short-term absence of childcare by bringing their children to the institute.

pme family service

The institute cooperates with pme family service, which offers support in all life situations. The portfolio includes: 

  • placement of childcare personnel in private households (e.g. babysitters,  au-pair, “hired grandmas”)
  • emergency care, i.e. a very short-term placement of caregivers in emergencies
  • care during conferences (school-age children) and holiday care (children up to 14 years)
  • elderly and homecare services as well as placement of domestic staff

The Max Planck Society covers the costs for the consultation and mediation services of the family service. The costs of the actual care are borne by the parents.

Funding opportunities

Scientist with funded projects can apply for child grants. There is an option for female scientists to extend a fixed term contract in accordance with the Academic Fixed-Term Contract Act by six months in case of pregnancy and childbirth.

The "Christiane Nüsslein-Volhard-Stiftung" (Christiane Nüsslein-Volhard Foundation) supports doctoral candidates in scientific and medical fields with up to 400 €/month to facilitate the double burden of career and childcare/household.

Upon application, reimbursement for necessary additional childcare on weekends/evenings or on business trips is also possible within the framework of the MPG rules (up to €80/day/child, up to €600/year/child). In addition, the Rosa-Laura and Hartmut Wekerle Foundation supports young scientists at the Institute in their everyday lives, their research, and in balancing work and family life.

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