Written and verbal communication is fundamental to scientific progress. The MPI-MP attempts to foster good communication at every level - within groups, amongst groups, and within the scientific community at large. German and non-German colleagues work side-by-side speaking predominantly in English, the international language of science. English is spoken in all meetings and seminars. English lessons are organised for institute members, be they scientists or non-scientists. In addition, many non-Germans relish the chance to enhance their experience here by learning German.
Each research group meets regularly to discuss the work in progress. This allows group members working on different projects to stay abreast of the work of the group as a whole, to discuss results, troubleshoot, and to talk about potential directions the work can take. Relevant publications of other investigators are also discussed. These meetings alternate with synergy group meetings (see below).
Affinity group meetings
Groups with complementary projects meet once or twice a month in lieu of group meetings. These meetings allow the rapid exchange of ideas and provide a forum within which to discuss current literature.
We hold an in-house seminar in which two researchers (from group leaders to students) present their results each week.
Invited guest speakers
Nearly every week the MPI-MP invites an international guest to talk about their work. These seminars are open to the public. Scientists and students from local universities often attend.
Colleagues teaching colleagues
Since much of the equipment available to us here is cutting-edge, learning to make the most of it is a big part of the research process. Routine users of (or new users responsible for) such equipment often give special seminars in order to acquaint others with methods, to explore new applications, and to transfer basic knowledge.
Self-organized PhD students seminar
Our PhD students organise self-teaching, bimonthly meetings. In these meetings, students review biochemistry and molecular biology, discuss topics of interest, and share technical expertise.
Group leader meetings
The group leaders meet once a week to briefly discuss organisational matters and once a month to discuss institute-wide research or organisational matters in an open-ended meeting.
Annual institute conference
Once a year we hold a two-day conference during which every research group presents their work. To enrich the experience, we invite leading scientists from one international partner institute (e.g. Riken Institute (Japan), Weizmann Insitute (Israel), CSIRO (Australia) and Cornell University USA) each year.