Helmholtz Refugee Initiative

United we stand: the MDC combines efforts with the HZB and GFZ Helmholtz Centers to assist refugees


The MDC, the Helmholtz Center of Berlin (HZB) and the German GeoForschungsZentrum in Potsdam (GFZ) have developed a model project within the framework of the Helmholtz Refugee Initiative to help integrate them and give them a chance to stand on their own two feet. The aim of our project is to help refugees from Syria, Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan enter a profession and get to know the Helmholtz Association. Successful integration requires an international working atmosphere and the willingness of employees to support refugees in direct ways on-site.

Initially refugees can get to know the Helmholtz Center in a period of practical training or trial period in a job lasting up to six weeks. If this proves successful, the applicant can go on to obtain a contract that runs for a longer, limited time.

We are working with partners such as the Employment Office, various technical schools and the sponsors of integration projects in Berlin and Brandenburg to develop tight contacts with refugees who already have a residency permit or good chances to obtain one. This gives us a list of potential applicants that we can propose and give you access to.

Financial support for up to one year can be obtained from both the Employment Office (Eingliederungszuschuss, EGZ) and a central fund from the Helmholtz Association. The Centers also offer support. If a young refugee is taken on beyond the trial period, the central fund will provide 50 percent of the personnel costs for the first year of training. The same applies to those seeking a PhD.

Further initiative on the Helmholtz Association Refugee Initiative


Maimona Id
Project Coordinator of the Helmholtz Refugee Initiative for Berlin-Brandenburg

Office: Max-Delbrück-Centrum für Molekulare Medizin in der Helmholtz-Gemeinschaft (MDC)
Robert-Rössle-Str. 10
13125 Berlin

phone: +49 30 9406 2499
fax: +49 30 9406 2700


"Welcome to the World of Science": Souriana Almeer Mahmoud from Syria is completing an internship at the MDC