On Monday November 2nd, less than 12 hours after arriving in Germany, Travis officially started his new job in Göttingen at the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry. His institute is one of the 83 MPI institutes that operate collectively under the umbrella of the Max Planck Society. The organization was named after the famous theoretical physicist, Max Planck, in 1948. It was created with the intent to pursue interdisciplinary scientific research across the fields of chemistry, physics, and biology. Prior to that, between 1911 and 1948, it was already developing cutting-edge science while operating as the Kaiser Wilhelm Society.
In the international ranking system for research organizations, MPS is ranked among one of the best in the world, hobnobbing with the likes of Harvard, MIT, Stanford, the US NIH, the Chinese Academy of Science, and the Russian Academy of Sciences. In its entire history as a scientific research institute, 33 scientists from the Society have been awarded Nobel prizes. Their most recent Nobel laureate just won in 2014; at the time, he was the director of Travis’s institute.
No pressure, eh? Travis is well aware he has big footprints to follow, but I have no doubt he’s up to the task. Far better than the prestige of his new employer, though, is that he’ll soon be back to the science research he loves so much, once again surrounded by people who know what the heck he’s talking about!
On Trav’s first day at MPI, I spent the better part of Monday hanging out on the institute’s gorgeous grounds taking advantage of the guest WiFi and admiring the spectacular fall colors.
Travis spent the day meeting with his new boss and signing his new contract. He to sign a German copy, but they sent him an English version for translation. He connected with someone in HR who walked him through the inevitable new employee requirements, plus a host of confusing requirements we’ll need to take care of as expats.
We’re apparently required to apply for medical insurance before we can even register with the local authorities or apply for visas, so that’s now our top priority this week – that and finding a place to stay after November 4th.