Doing a career together in the Rhine-Main-Region - “Mainzer Wissenschaftsallianz” joins the network supporting dual career partnerships

Frankfurt / Attracting highly qualified couples to the Rhine-Main-Area is the goal of the network, which was founded by four universities and eleven external research institutes in Frankfurt and Darmstadt two years ago. At present eight members of the MAINZER WISSENSCHAFTS-ALLIANZ have joined the network, so that the network now encompasses 26 scientific organizations from the entire area of Rhine-Main. All members of the network have signed a strategic agreement to support the so-called “dual career couples”. These are couples who both place importance on consistently following their professional career.

All organizations in this association have made the experience when recruiting experts and executives that they often do not want to take up the offered position when as a result the career of their partner may suffer or they have to continually commute between their family and their place of work. Many experts and executives are in a relationship with an equally highly qualified partner who is following their own career path. However, to offer two acceptable positions for such couples at the same time is difficult. This is where a broad network of versatile organizations offers attractive possibilities.  Each organization offers contact people who refer enquiries from the network to the right place.

This proved successful for Juan Castillo, a physicist and computer scientist with a PhD from Spain. Once his wife, Shizu Minami, who also has a PhD in Physics and is originally from Japan, received a research position at the Helmholtz Center for “Schwerion” Research (GSI), he also began looking for work in the region. Before that he commuted from the Netherlands - a difficult situation considering their child of 15 months. Since last fall the family shares a home between Darmstadt and Frankfurt as Juan Castillo has been working at the Max-Planck-Institute for Biophysics at the Frankfurt Riedberg. He found the position through the Dual Career Network, which both institutes belong to. “Particularly good was the fact that I found the position while I was still in the Netherlands. I also like the international working environment. My family and I have felt very welcome here.”

The MAINZER WISSENSCHAFTSALLIANZ has even recommended its own members to join the network. “In competing for high flyers the advantages of being located in an area of strong research activity and an international environment simply must be used,“ underlined Prof. Dr. Gerhard Muth, chairman of the MAINZER WISSENSCHAFTSALLIANZ and president of the University of Applied Sciences in Mainz. He continued: “Once profession and family can be reconciled, then the best minds can be convinced. For this reason the Rhine-Main association is so attractive to scientists as well as to research institutions.”

Companies are also concerning themselves more and more with this topic since they have often experienced that their favorite candidates have rejected job offers due to the fact that partners cannot be offered any career perspectives. Especially companies which are already experiencing a lack of expertise or which pride themselves as “family-friendly” are networking with the universities’ Dual Career Services.  In the near future the first companies will be joining the Dual Career Network of the metropolitan region of Rhine Main.

Eight of the new members from the MAINZER WISSENSCHAFTSALLIANZ include:

  • Fachhochschule Mainz
  • Universitätsmedizin der Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz
  • Akademie der Wissenschaften und der Literatur
  • Helmholtz-Institut Mainz
  • Institut für Europäische Geschichte
  • Institut für Mikrotechnik Mainz GmbH
  • Max-Planck-Institut für Polymerforschung
  • Naturhistorisches Museum Mainz

Previous members of the network include:

  • Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main
  • Technische Universität Darmstadt 
  • Evangelische Fachhochschule Darmstadt
  • Fachhochschule Frankfurt am Main
  • Hochschule Darmstadt
  • Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen
  • Deutsches Institut für Internationale Pädagogische Forschung (DIPF)
  • Frankfurt Institute for Advanced Studies (FIAS)
  • Fraunhofer Institut für Graphische Datenverarbeitung (Fraunhofer IGD)
  • Fraunhofer Institut für Sichere Informationstechnologie (Fraunhofer SIT)
  • Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung GmbH (GSI)
  • Hessische Stiftung Friedens- und Konfliktforschung (HSFK)
  • Institut für Molekulare Biologie gGmbH Mainz
  • Max-Planck-Institut für Biophysik
  • Max-Planck-Institut für europäische Rechtsgeschichte
  • Max-Planck-Institut für Hirnforschung
  • Max-Planck-Institut für Herz- und Lungenforschung
  • Senckenberg Gesellschaft für Naturforschung (SGN)


Marlar Kin, Koordinatorin Dual Career Service, Goethe-Universität , Gleichstellungsbüro, Campus Westend, Tel: +49 69 798-18113, 

Birgitta Loehr, Leitung Geschäftsstelle, Mainzer Wissenschaftsallianz, Tel: +49 6131 628-7016,

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