In Germany, the universities alone have the right to award doctorates. So it is not possible to sit your doctoral examinations at a Max Planck institute.
However, the International Max Planck Research Schools (IMPRS) – in cooperation with the universities – offer a structured doctoral training program. After completing the usually three-year training period, during which you will be supported both by university supervisors and the Max Planck institute, you will be examined by these two bodies jointly. Since 2009, the figure of Minerva – the logo of the Max Planck Society – has graced many IMPRS doctoral certificates.
In addition, the opportunity exists at most Max Planck institutes to prepare your dissertation even outside of this centrally funded programme. You will find vacancies advertised on the websites of the institutes, at the MPG Jobs Exchange, as well as in the daily papers and scientific journals.