Students entering the program at the research phase must either have successfully completed the study phase of the program or have otherwise received an excellent Master's with sufficient exposure to physics from elsewhere.
During the research phase, students focus on the scientific research for their PhD project which is conducted within a research group led and supervised by an MPSP-Fellow. Students are also assigned a co-supervisor, ideally located at another university. Close supervision is ensured through regular meetings and progress reports. The final academic degree (usually Dr. rer. nat. or Dr.-Ing.) is awarded by the university with which the supervising MPSP-Fellow is affiliated. Students are also encouraged to conduct short- or mid-term research stays with the research group led by their co-supervisor.
Students are offered various training opportunities and workshops to further social or professional competencies such as project management or start-up leadership and organisation, as well as more discipline-specific expert seminars. Furthermore, in an effort to establish and maintain a strong network, MPSP study and research students participate in MPSP summer and autumn schools.
Additionally, PhD students present and discuss their research progress at doctoral seminars offered on a regular basis, bringing together participants from the various research groups. Due to the nationwide character of the program, courses during the research phase will be provided largely via MPSP Virtual Campus.