Lise-Meitner-Forschungsgruppe von Maria Bergemann am Max-Planck-Institut für Astronomie in Heidelberg. Copyright (Bild): Wolfram Scheible für MPG

Early autonomy and a budget of your own

Max Planck Research Groups offer early career researchers who hold a doctoral degree an excellent opportunity to qualify for a further career at a high level. Leaders of these groups are appointed by the President of the Max Planck Society and – similar to directors at Max Planck Institutes – enjoy an independent status within the Institute.

At the Max Planck Society, there are various ways of obtaining a group leadership position: there are research groups, for example, to which the Max Planck Institutes themselves make appointments, as well as the so-called “Max Planck Research Groups”. The positions are, for the largest part, centrally advertised and financed; appointments to the groups are made in accordance with a competitive selection process. A fixed pool of positions is reserved for female scientists. Furthermore, there is the Lise Meitner Excellence Programme for particularly outstanding female scientists.

All Group Leader positions are initially limited to five years, but can be extended. Group Leaders can draw on infrastructure and administration of a Max Planck Institute, but are also provided with own funds for personnel, equipment and running costs, which enable them to independently engage in their research project, thus laying the foundations for a successful career. Applications from individuals of all genders are welcome.

From spring 2018, up to ten further Lise Meitner Groups will be advertised for exceptionally qualified female scientists as part of the new Lise Meitner Excellence Programme in order to recruit outstanding women for a career in science and provide them with specific support. more
Every Max Planck Institute has Research Group Leader positions, appointments to which are made at various times. The Institutes make calls for applications for appointment to these positions based on their own procedures – sometimes also internationally – and specify a research field. more
Max Planck Research Groups are the cornerstone of our support of junior scientists, as they provide outstanding researchers with the opportunity to develop their own profile and assume leadership responsibility. more

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