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The MArburg University Research Academy (MARA) was initiated in 2008 by Prof. Dr. Babette Simon, Vice President of Junior Scholars and Equal Opportunity, and established as an academic center in 2009. In 2014, it underwent a process of structural reorganization in which the two former graduate centers for the promotion of doctoral candidates – the Graduate Center for Humanities and Social Sciences and the Graduate Center for Life and Natural Sciences – and the Academic Career Development Center for postdoctoral scholars were integrated into MARA. The Hochschuldidaktische Netzwerk Mittelhessen (HDM; Network for Teaching in Higher Education of Central Hesse), which was formerly a part of MARA, became independent. The new MARA Statutes (PDF) entered into force on April 30, 2015.


MARA is an additional institution of Philipps-Universität Marburg in accordance with § 20, para. 4 of the Statutes of Philipps-Universität Marburg (GrundO) in conjunction with § 4, para. 1, sent. 3 HHG. As a university-wide institution spanning all disciplines and departments, MARA has the objective of assisting junior scholars in the best possible pursuit of their career opportunities in all stages of academic or non-academic qualification by providing a framework, both structurally and in terms of content, that meets national and international quality standards and is aligned with future developments. It pursues this objective in ways that take into consideration the various career pathways both inside and outside academia. MARA serves to facilitate an institutionalized dialogue among junior scholars across academic cultures and disciplinary boundaries. MARA is committed to promoting equal opportunity and making the reconciliation of academic career and family a reality.


At the heart of the MARA program is extracurricular  continuing education for junior scholars across all disciplines. In workshops and seminars tailored to the needs of specific target groups, doctoral candidates and postdoctoral scholars can acquire and enhance the transferable skills required to be successful on the job, be it research and teaching or leadership and management. MARA is also happy to support the structured doctoral programs at Philipps-Universität in implementing training offerings outside of the core curriculum of their discipline. Apart from continuing education,  funding opportunities consultation services, and support of networking activities are among the tasks of MARA.


Programmatically, MARA has been organized in divisions that correspond to the former centers. Accordingly, there is a  Doctoral Program with two foci – one in the humanities and social sciences, and the other in the life and natural sciences – as well as a  Postdoctoral Program and a  Managing Division. Whereas continuing education rests with the Doctoral and Postdoctoral Programs, the MARA Managing Division is responsible for MARA's funding programs. Please visit the webpages of the  MARA team and the various services to find the respective contact person.


MARA is a membership organization and is defined by its membership. All doctoral candidates admitted to pursue a doctoral degree at Philipps-Universität Marburg and all scholars holding a doctorate who are members of Philipps-Universität Marburg and do not belong to the professorial group may become members upon application. Professors and assistant professors of Philipps-Universität Marburg are automatically members of MARA. The administrative-technical staff of MARA are also represented in MARA.
In addition to this genuine membership status, doctoral candidates, postdoctoral scholars, and professors with a similar status who are members or affiliates of other universities and non-university institutions and are involved in joint projects with Philipps-Universität Marburg can become associated members of MARA upon application for the duration of the respective project. Associated membership status involves the same rights and obligations as genuine membership, with the exception of passive and active voting rights.

Becoming a member is free of charge and has many advantages: Members can attend MARA seminars at reduced prices. Most of MARA's funding opportunities are available to members only. Moreover, genuine members can play an active role in shaping the conditions for junior scholarship at Philipps-Universität via their representatives on the MARA Board of Directors. This is not limited to the MARA program alone but also extends to other areas, such as the organization of the doctoral and postdoctoral phase or measures for the promotion of junior scholarship at Philipps-Universität Marburg, in which the MARA Board is involved as well.

Academic Groups

To promote dialogue among junior scholars across academic cultures and disciplinary boundaries, members are encouraged to form self-organized  academic groups that are then integrated into MARA. These groups are given the opportunity to present themselves on the MARA website and can be supported in other ways within the limits of MARA's possibilities.

Board of Directors and Steering Committee

Responsibility in matters of fundamental importance to MARA is with the  Board of Directors, which is composed of representatives of the MARA membership groups. Managing daily operations is the task of the  Steering Committee, which also represents MARA externally. It consists of two Executive Directors, one from the humanities and social sciences and one from the life and natural sciences, and the Managing Director in an advisory capacity.