Animal researchers in the home office - with family-friendly structures and cohesion through the corona crisis

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FBN receives the prestigious "berufundfamilie" certificate for the third time

The Leibniz Institute for Farm Animal Biology Dummerstorf (FBN) has been awarded the certificate for the third time in a row for its family-conscious personnel policy. The research institute is one of a total of 334 organisations that were honoured today by the Federal Minister for Family Affairs, Dr. Franziska Giffey, with the seal of approval awarded by berufundfamilie gGmbH in an online certification event. These included FBN and the Sana-Hanseklinikum Wismar, two institutions from Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and a total of 134 companies, 164 institutions and 36 universities from Germany.  
"During the Corona crisis, our experience with family-friendly structures has paid off", stressed Dieter Wirges, head of administration at FBN. " Already the very intensive work in research is a challenge for young families. However, the pandemic phase with the increased protection against infection has presented the entire institute with great problems in compensating for the impairment of international exchange on the one hand and the limited educational and social structures on the other. Together we have reacted to the different individual burdens and coped well with the difficult phase. The third award of the seal of approval is a confirmation of our claim and our efforts to ensure the basis for a modern work-life balance for all employees. As a team we have grown during this time".
Parent-child area well utilised
A floor on the FBN campus that has been redesigned to be suitable for children has proved particularly successful in recent months. Normally it is possible to bring the children to work if existing childcare facilities are temporarily unavailable. However, this was the normal situation in the heyday of the Corona pandemic. Not all employees were able to move exclusively to the home office, so that the separate work and play rooms were always well occupied. Since 2013, there has been a cooperation with the "Sonnenblume" day care centre in Dummerstorf for emergency childcare, also on weekends. In addition, a cooperation with the after-school care centre "Am Feldrain" in Dummerstorf for the care of children of primary school age is being coordinated. New employees are given comprehensive advice, support in finding accommodation and childcare, as well as assistance with official matters. The care of relatives is also playing an increasingly important role and requires a new way of thinking in work organisation.
"In recent years, FBN has further developed the possibilities of both flexible working hours and work location design. Family-friendliness measures have also been combined with company health management, quality management and the recruitment of skilled workers. Despite all the progress made, however, the work intensity in research remains very high. There will be an increased need for action at all levels in the future," emphasized Wirges.
At present, 301 employees work at the Dummerstorf Research Institute. The proportion of women is 61 percent and the average age of all employees is 49 years. Seven colleagues are currently on parental leave. The institute not only conducts research together with partners from all over the world, but also counts 38 international researchers from all five continents among its staff at the traditional scientific location of Dummerstorf.
In addition to FBN Dummerstorf, the University of Rostock, the Universities of Stralsund and Wismar as well as the Sana Hospitals in Bergen on Rügen and Wismar and the Leibniz Institute for Atmospheric Physics e. V. in Kühlungsborn currently hold the berufundfamilie quality seal in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern.

The audit berufundfamilie/audit familiengerechte hochschule is a central service offered by berufundfamilie Service GmbH and is based on an initiative of the non-profit Hertie Foundation. As a strategic management instrument, the audit supports employers in sustainably shaping a family and life phase conscious personnel policy and family-friendly research and study conditions. Certificates for the audit berufundfamilie were first awarded in 1999, the audit familiengerechte hochschule since 2002. since then, around 1,800 employers have been awarded the audit certificate for three years at a time. The practical implementation is reviewed annually by berufundfamilie Service GmbH. Dr. Franziska Giffey is the patron of the audit.
Further information is available at
Photo FBN/Matuttis:
Monique Müller, personnel and organisation officer, presents the certificate, hot off the press, together with Dieter Wirges, the administrative director of FBN

The Leibniz Association
The Leibniz Association connects 93 independent research institutions that range in focus from the natural, engineering and environmental sciences via economics, spatial and social sciences to the humanities. Leibniz Institutes address issues of social, economic and ecological relevance. They conduct knowledge-driven and applied basic research, maintain scientific infrastructure and provide research-based services.
The Leibniz Association identifies focus areas for knowledge transfer to policy-makers, academia, business and the public. Leibniz institutions collaborate intensively with universities – in the form of “Leibniz ScienceCampi” (thematic partnerships between university and non-university research institutes), for example – as well as with industry and other partners at home and abroad.
They are subject to an independent evaluation procedure that is unparalleled in its transparency. Due to the importance of the institutions for the country as a whole, they are funded jointly by the Federation and the Länder, employing some 19,100 individuals, including 9,900 researchers. The entire budget of all the institutes is approximately 1.9 billion Euros.


Leibniz Institute for Farm Animal Biology (FBN)
Wilhelm-Stahl-Allee 2, 18196 Dummerstorf
Director: Prof. Dr. Klaus Wimmers
T +49 38208-68 600
E wimmers{at}

Scientific Organisation:
Dr. Norbert K. Borowy
Wilhelm-Stahl-Allee 2, 18196 Dummerstorf
T +49 38208-68 605
E borowy{at}