The path to a doctorate

The path to a doctorate

When it comes to training and supporting doctoral students, Max Planck institutes have a wealth of experience to call on. They cooperate closely with the universities through which the doctorates are officially awarded.

At any given time there are around 3,800 young people researching at Max Planck institutes in preparation for their dissertation; one in three are members of an International Max Planck Research School (IMPRS). Together with their partners at universities and other research institutions, the IMPRS offer a structured graduate training programme with a defined curriculum.

What you need to know:

  • There is no central application procedure
  • You will receive a support contract that combines the scientific freedom of a grant with the security of an employment contract 
  • In recognition of outstanding scientific performance, the Max Planck Society each year awards around 35 doctoral students the Otto Hahn Medal

 How do I apply?

 …to a Max Planck institute:

  • As a university graduate with a Master’s degree, you can make contact at any time directly with a Max Planck institute engaged in areas of research that match your interests Visit the institute website or view a collection of job offers.
  • Dissertation topics are decided upon by agreement with scientists at the institutes, who are also responsible for selecting candidates
  • Each Max Planck institute decides for itself whether to admit doctoral students

 … to an International Max Planck Research School:

Contact an IMPRS of your choice. They cover a wide range of differing scientific disciplines, and each has its own admissions procedure with varying deadlines.

In addition, the Max Planck institutes also offer jobs and grants that are available to any applicant outside of the career path outlined above. If you would like to apply for one of these doctoral positions, you will find the latest calls for applications at our Jobs Exchange. Moreover, we provide regular information about new job offers and calls for applications on our Facebook page and Twitter.

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