Max Planck Schools

Max Planck Schools

Do you want to become part of the Max Planck Schools’ exceptional interdisciplinary networks, consisting of outstanding researchers and mentors? Do you have a Master’s or Bachelor’s degree in a relevant field, and are you ready to start your career in academia learning and collaborating with leading researchers across Germany?

Bundling scientific excellence in Germany and offering highly competitive interdisciplinary doctoral programs: this is what the Max Planck Schools stand for. The Max Planck Schools offer outstanding graduates from all over the world the possibility to obtain their PhDs while collaborating with the brightest minds in their fields across Germany. The pilot phase of the program started in fall 2019.

In Germany, the best researchers are often widely dispersed. They work at universities and non-university research institutions across the country. The Max Planck Schools aim to concentrate Germany’s decentralized research excellence in interdisciplinary networks that provide an exciting opportunity for aspiring researchers from Germany and across the world. Via these networks, early-career researchers can learn from the leaders in their fields, regardless of their institutional affiliation and location.

Three Max Planck Schools were selected in a competition to start the five-year pilot phase supported by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). They cover the innovative fields of Cognition, Matter to Life, and Photonics:

Max Planck School of Cognition
How do we acquire knowledge, how do humans or machines adapt and transform knowledge, and what, exactly, is there to know? The Max Planck School of Cognition aims to answer these questions using an interdisciplinary approach. Its scholarship revolves around researching knowledge in and of itself. more
Max Planck School Matter to Life
What, exactly, is life? Can processes, functions, and objects related to life be simulated and recreated in the laboratory? The Max Planck School Matter to Life’s interdisciplinary innovative curriculum and state-of-the art research focus on combining principles of physics, chemistry, biology, and engineering to better understand processes essential for living systems. more
Max Planck School of Photonics
How can a photon contribute to imaging without it hitting a camera? How can light be manipulated and how can its properties be used to develop non-contact sensors? The Max Planck School of Photonics explores key questions relating to photonics in order to explore the future of basic research and new technologies in related disciplines. more

The Schools’ different PhD programs are open not only to Master’s, but also to ambitious Bachelor’s graduates who want to lay the groundwork for their scientific careers within the networks of the Max Planck Schools. In order to begin studying at a Max Planck School in fall of a given year, applications have to be received until December of the previous year. Each School selects their candidates in a competitive multi-stage process.

Learn more here about programs and selection procedures of the Max Planck Schools and become part of an exceptional graduate program!

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