The Max Planck Society is a non-profit organization under private law in the form of a registered association. Its highest-ranking decision-making body is the Senate. Its members come from major sectors of academic and public life.
There are 83 institutes and research facilities (as of January 1, 2015), 5 institutes and one research facility are situated abroad.
On January 1, 2015 the Max Planck Society employed a total of 17,284 staff (previous year: 16,988), of whom 5,654 were scientists (previous year: 5,516). This represents 32.7 % of the total number of employees and an increase of 1.7%.
Additionally, as of January 1, 2015 there were 4,718 junior and visiting scientists working in the institutes of the Max Planck Society. A total of 22,002 people (17,284 staff and 4,718 junior and visiting scientists) worked at the Max Planck Society (previous year: 21,640), representing an decrease of 1.7% as compared with the previous year.
In the course of 2014, a total of 14,859 Bachelor students, fellows of the International Max Planck Research Schools, PhD students, postdoctoral students, research fellows, and visiting scientists worked at the Max Planck Society, compared to 13,178 in the previous year.
As of January 1, 2015, the proportion of female employees was 44.6%; of these, around 29.4% were scientific employees and 55.4 % were non-scientific staff members. 20.5% of all of the employees were foreign nationals.
On January 1, 2015, 39.6% of scientists were foreign nationals. During the course of 2014, 55,5 % of the junior scientists and guest scientists came from abroad.
The financing of the Max Planck Society is predominantly comprised of basic financing from the public sector: Including the MPI for Plasma Physics, the MPG is financed to approximately 1,7 billion euros in 2015. In addition, third-party funding contributed to basic financing.
The German federal government together with the state governments each assume half of the funding for the budget of the Max Planck Society (budget A). The calculation of the financial contributions provided by the states is based on a distribution formula that is re-calculated each year as well as on the "home state quota", which has been steady at 50 percent since the year 2000. In addition, all partners may agree to provide extra funding in addition to the specified quotas.
The exception to this is the Max Planck Institute for Plasma Physics, which is funded by the German government and the states of Bavaria and Mecklenburg Western Pommerania in a ratio of 90:10 (budget B) in accordance with regulations for major research institutions. In addition, this institute receives subsidies from EURATOM for a joint research program within the scope of association agreements.
In addition to the grants provided by the German federal government and its states for institutional support, the Max Planck Society and its institutes receive project funding from the German government and state ministries, from the European Union, grants from private individuals, in the form of membership fees, donations and remuneration for services rendered.