Dr. Stefan Fabry
Max Planck Research Groups
Phone:+49 89 2108-1295


How can I apply for a Max Planck Research Group Leader position?

MPRGs are established as smaller, independent research units, often supplementing departments at Max Planck Institutes. The groups offer young male and female junior scientists who hold a doctorate an exceptional opportunity to further qualify themselves on a very high level. Under the guidance of the leaders, doctoral students and post-docs work together on a specific research topic. The leaders of the research groups are appointed by the President of the Max Planck Society for a five-year term.

When can I apply? And what are the details for the advertisement procedure?

You can apply on advertisement only. There are two adverts procedures:

(1) Advertisements for institute-specific positions

Depending on the resources and, importantly, space available at the respective MPI, these institute-specific positions are continuously advertised according to need. In general, the positions relate to a particular research field. Advertisements usually appear in scientific journals corresponding to the field as well as on the homepage of the respective MPI.

(2) Major advertisements for the centrally announced positions

These are usually published once a year in autumn, and are also placed in important scientific journals (paper and internet). These positions are not linked to specific scientific topics. Applicants state their past and future individual research projects, identify and indicate the institute(s) they would choose. Please note: The next call for applications will probably take place in autumn 2017. However individual institutes may publish announcements when openings become available. These will be published in major scientific journals and on the homepage of the individual institutes.

On which target groups do the MPRG-L positions focus?

This program is particularly suitable for excellent young applicants who have already held one or two post-doc jobs and who would now like to – and deem themselves apt to – head a group and to elaborate together on own research ideas independently. Please note that MPRG-L positions are only open to applicants who hold a doctorate.

What resources are available for MPRGs?

This strongly depends on the research field and its orientation (i.e., mainly theoretical or rather experimental?). MPRG-L are offered internationally competitive packages for personnel, start-up money, and yearly operating costs. The leader’s salary is similar to that of junior and assistant professorships or associate professorships in the U.S. The total financing sum corresponds to the level of first-class, international start-up or career development programs. Moreover, MPRG-L are bestowed a great deal of individual flexibility, if necessary, and can employ the funds allocated to them according to need.

What are the perspectives for a career afterwards?

Please see the introduction above.

Will I be expected to contribute to external teaching activities?

This is no formal requirement. However, you are free to commit yourself to the training of junior scientists at a local university.

Is there an age limit for MPRG-L positions?

No, there isn’t. However, the positions are aimed at talented junior scientists. Ideally, you obtained your doctorate a maximum of seven years ago (for a doctorate in medicine: nine years). If you have passed this limit, please explain in detail why you nevertheless deem yourself eligible for this 5-year-program.

Does a completed habilitation disqualify me from the start?

No, it doesn’t. A habilitation is neither a requirement nor is it considered a disadvantage. MPRG-L often habilitate at a neighboring university. Please note that the Max Planck Society is in any case not authorized to confer habilitations.

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