Come and join us!
Are you creative, curious, focused and excited about basic research? Have you successfully completed your studies or perhaps even gained your doctorate already and want to pursue a career in science? Are you interested in living in Germany, in an inspiring cultural environment? Are you eager to carry out research in an international environment?
Then the Max Planck Society is for you! Surveys show that the Society, which enjoys worldwide recognition, is a preferred employer for many students. Providing solid training for outstanding junior scientists is the key mission of 80 Max Planck Institutes in 40 German cities and in Nijmegen (the Netherlands), Florence and Rome and Florida.
A creative cosmos
This is where top scientists conduct research in fields such as physics, chemistry, biology, medicine, computer science, law, social sciences, art and education. You will work in an interdisciplinary and team-focused environment, meeting colleagues from all over the world. You will benefit from the knowledge of renowned mentors who are in contact with research partners around the globe, and use state-of-the-art equipment in your research.
What would you like to do at a Max Planck Institute?
I would like to do a Ph.D.
I would like to conduct postdoctoral research
I would like to lead my own research group
The road to a Ph.D.
Max Planck institutes pride themselves on a wealth of experience when it comes to supporting and training doctoral students. The institutes work with universities, which officially confer the doctorates at the end of the education and training period. Approximately 4,000 young people continually conduct research for their doctorates at the Max Planck Institutes; one third of them are doing so as a member of an International Max Planck Research School (IMPRS). Together with partner universities and other research facilities, these offer students the opportunity of a structured graduate training program with a designated curriculum.
What you need to know:
- There is no centralized application process.
- You will receive either a three-year employment contract or a grant that will cover your living expenses.
- The Max Planck Society awards the Otto Hahn Medal to around 35 doctoral students every year to honor outstanding scientific achievements.
Applying to …
…a Max Planck Institute
- If you are a university graduate with a Master’s degree, find a Max Planck Institute whose areas of research coincide with your interests and contact the institute directly at any time. Visit the Institute’s website or view the job offers available on our job board.
- Topics for dissertations are agreed with scientists at the Institutes, who also select the candidates.
- Each Max Planck institute decides autonomously on the Ph.D. students that it accepts.
… an International Max Planck Research School
Contact the IMPRS of your choice. They cover a broad range of academic disciplines and each school has its own acceptance procedures and deadlines.
Encouragement to advance as a post doc
Once you have earned your doctorate, you can work on your own larger research project as a postdoctoral student at a Max Planck institute and gain teaching experience at the same time. You will be appointed project leader.
What you need to know:
- These positions are advertised as the need arises in specialist journals (both in Germany and abroad), on the Max Planck Society’s online career portal or on the individual institute’s homepage.
- If you are interested in a specific research topic at a Max Planck Institute, simply contact the institute directly at any time.
- You will receive a grant or temporary employment contract for a duration of between five and seven years.
- You will be part of a Director’s department at the Max Planck Institute and you will be evaluated within this department.
Positions for group leaders
Max Planck institutes around the world are always looking for particularly gifted young scientists to head up research groups. As a group leader, you are responsible for a small number of employees, are assigned a budget and can work with absolute autonomy – the perfect starting point for a scientific career.
What you need to know:
- Apply directly to the Max Planck institute of your choice. Positions are advertised individually as the need arises, both on the particular institute’s website and in specialist journals. Successful applicants are then appointed by the respective Board of Directors.
- You work independently of the Max Planck Institute’s Board of Directors.
- You are evaluated by the Scientific Advisory Board of the Max Planck institute.
The Max Planck Society also offers additional management positions as part of a centrally administered development programme for Max Planck research groups.