The reality of leading or working in a life-sciences laboratory is paced by tight schedules, occasionally heavy teaching loads, and by an ever growing number of managerial tasks which subtract precious time from thinking.
Such constraints are exceptionally severe for early-career life-scientists who are also burdened by the pressure to set up their labs, recruit staff, procure funds, launch promising experiments and continue to publish. Competition for funds and faculty positions is fierce and it often demands junior scientists to specialise and find a unique niche, with the consequence of straying from a broader vision on a field of research.
With the College for Life Sciences, the Wissenschaftskolleg wants to revert this trend and grant early-career researchers in the life-sciences a unique opportunity to step back from their routine work, gain time to reflect on their domain of investigation, as well as formulate daring and unusual ideas, interacting with scientists and intellectuals from the widest possible spectrum of academic fields and traditions.
The Fellows of the College for Life Sciences are invited for a minimum of three months and are on equal terms with and have the same rights and duties as the other Fellows of the Kolleg. The institute expects them to work in Berlin for the duration of their fellowships and to take part in the common activities – such as the weekly internal Colloquium and the meals. The Fellows of the College for Life Sciences are free to engage in additional activities in their group and to seek collaborations with members of Berlin's academic community.
The Wissenschaftskolleg provides a stipend (based on prior salary), studio accommodation as well as library and IT services and a vibrant intellectual environment with regular talks, symposia and concerts.