Bachelors - Der schnelle Weg zur Promotion

The fast track to a doctorate

Early-stage support: The Max Planck Society provides training for outstanding junior scientists with a Bachelor’s degree who wish to enter into research at the earliest opportunity.

At several International Max Planck Research Schools (IMPRS), excellent graduates with a Bachelor’s degree are inducted into combined Master’s/Ph.D. programmes or an individually tailored qualification phase prior to a doctorate.

For a maximum of 18 months, graduates with a Bachelor’s degree may receive a grant in the amount of 934 euros per month, in addition to various social benefits that may be awarded:

  • a child allowance of 400 euros per month for the 1st child and 100 euros per month for each additional child
  • a health insurance subsidy of 50 percent of the premium (maximum 100 euros) for those insured under the statutory health insurance scheme or comparable private health insurance; in certain cases, this subsidy may also be available for family members with no income of their own
  • flat-rate contributions of 75 euros towards the cost of outward and return travel

Not all International Max Planck Research Schools offer this fast track route to a doctorate. You are therefore advised to consult the IMPRS websites to confirm whether this career option is open to you.

In addition, the Max Planck Schools, a joint graduate program currently consisting of 27 universities and 35 institutes of non-university research institutions, provide ambitious candidates the opportunity to start a PhD directly after their Bachelor's degree.

The current three Max Planck Schools Cognition, Matter to Life and Photonics train international talent within the framework of an integrated, five-year (direct track) or four-year (fast track) program. The MPS Cognition offers a fast-track program in collaboration with the Berlin School of Mind and Brain or the Cognitive Neuroscience Master’s program at the Freie Universität Berlin, whereas a newly established joint-degree Master's program of the MPS Matter to Life is administered by the Universities of Heidelberg and Göttingen. Furthermore, the MPS Photonics offers a full-time Master's program with different specializations at one of the three teaching universities — Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena or the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology — as a direct-track program. 

PhD candidates at the Max Planck Schools benefit from:

  • Interdisciplinary cutting-edge research in the future-oriented fields
    of Cognition, Matter to Life, and Photonics;
  • Outstanding supervision by leading scientists in a unique network of
    excellent German universities and non-university research institutions;
  • an integrated MSc and PhD program (or a stand-alone PhD program);
  • early access to first-class research infrastructures and innovative teaching
    and learning formats;
  • an internationally competitive funding (without tuition fees).

More information on the three Schools and their individual programs is available here.

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