From Quantum Dynamics to Criminology
Six new International Max Planck Research Schools
This year, six new International Max Planck Research Schools will join the already established 43 schools. The spectrum of the new Research Schools ranges from quantum dynamics and plant growth, through to criminology. Three of the new Research Schools are in the fields of humanities and social sciences. Since 2000, the International Max Planck Research Schools have been a cornerstone of the Max Planck Society's doctoral student scholarship program, offering especially gifted junior researchers from Germany and abroad excellent research conditions for their doctoral work.
Each International Max Planck Research School is established by one or more Max Planck Institutes in close cooperation with universities and other research facilities, some of which are located abroad. It is this spirit of cooperation that enables the schools to provide Ph.D. students with first-class education and research opportunities that are of even greater benefit for those involved in interdisciplinary research projects or projects requiring specialist research equipment or materials. A further advantage of the International Max Planck Research Schools is the thematic and conceptual dovetailing of doctoral projects, creating synergy effects that directly benefit the research of the individual Ph.D. students.
The new International Max Planck Research School come under the auspices of one of the three Sections of the Max Planck Society:
Human Sciences Section
This Research School focuses on the relationship between modern economy and the socio-political climate. The cooperation partners involved are the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies and the University of Cologne. The spokesperson is Prof. Jens Beckert of the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies.
In a continually changing society such as ours, and with such incomplete knowledge of the facts, is it possible for us to make the right decisions? This is the issue that this interdisciplinary Research School seeks to address. To this end, three Max Planck Institutes are working closely with the University of Jena, namely the Max Planck Institute of Economics in Jena, the Max Planck Institute for Educational Research in Berlin and the Max Planck Institute Collective Goods in Bonn. Prof. Werner Güth of the Max Planck Institute of Economics in Jena will be the spokesperson for the School.
These are three key issues that all peace and social orders must address, as they are becoming increasingly relevant in these times of globalisation. Here too, several Max Planck Institutes have joined forces to create this interdisciplinary Research School: the Freiburg-based Max Planck Institute for Foreign and International Criminal Law, which also provides the School's spokesperson, criminologist and criminal lawyer Prof. Hans-Jörg Albrecht; the Max Planck Institute for European Legal History in Frankfurt am Main; the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law in Heidelberg; and the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology in Halle/Saale. The Universities of Freiburg and Halle will serve as cooperation partners.
Chemistry, Physics and Technology Section
One of the key research areas of this Research School will be how mathematical models can be used to improve process management in chemistry and biology. The cooperation partners in this School are the Magdeburg-based Max Planck Institute for Dynamics of Complex Technical Systems and the University of Magdeburg. The spokesperson is Prof. Udo Reichl from the Max Planck Institute for Dynamics of Complex Technical Systems.
Quantum dynamics in all the natural sciences: the Research School set up by the MPI for Nuclear Physics and the MPI for Medical Research, both in Heidelberg, will also follow a strong interdisciplinary approach. The University of Heidelberg is the third member of the team, and the spokesperson is Prof. Christoph Keitel from the Max Planck Institute Nuclear Physics.
Biology and Medicine Section
The objective of the only new Research School in the Biology and Medicine Section is to achieve a better understanding of plant metabolism and its influence on plant growth. The institutions cooperating to ensure the success of this School are the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Plant Physiology in Potsdam and the University of Potsdam, with Prof. Lothar Willmitzer of the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Plant Physiology as spokesperson.
The individual Research Schools announce their Ph.D. posts and grants throughout the world and about half the grants available are set aside for foreign applicants. In so doing, the Max Planck Society wishes to improve the education and qualification opportunities available to international junior researchers, who are so urgently needed in Germany, while at the same time offering German junior researchers a more international environment. The Research Schools provide education and training in line with the highest international standards, enabling the young Ph.D. researchers to lay the foundations needed for international scientific collaboration and, at the same time, strengthening Germany as a science location. The role of Max Planck initiatives based in eastern Germany is becoming increasingly important. Furthermore, Research Schools throughout the country will also work together with the graduate schools planned as part of the German Excellence Initiative. The Research Schools initially run for six years, though this timeframe may be extended after an external evaluation.