Students of all three Max Planck Schools at Kick-off-symposium of the Max Planck Schools in September 2019.  Photographer: David Ausserhofer

Welcome to the Max Planck Schools!

"The whole is greater than the sum of its parts" – this is the underlying idea of the Max Planck Schools. We take graduate education in Germany to a new level, creating uniquely attractive PhD programs for outstanding candidates from all over the world.

Since 2019, the Max Planck Schools are offering a visionary graduate program to exceptional PhD candidates. The faculties of each school unite some of the best scholars in their field to teach and work with highly motivated doctoral candidates, all embedded in a network spanning across universities and non-university research institutes.

The Max Planck Schools are looking for applicants with Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from all over the world, aiming to further develop their research skills and network in one of the most innovative graduate programs in Germany. Their applications are screened in a multistage process to identify high potential candidates. Over the course of three to five years, candidates will earn their PhD. Close contact to faculty and fellow students is ensured via regular seminars and lab rotations as well as innovative digital teaching formats.

The Max Planck Schools offer innovative formats and exceptional mentoring by the Fellows in order to attract the best young researchers to conduct their doctoral studies in Germany. Supported by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), the pilot phase of the Max Planck School serves as a platform for educational reform that aims to advance the system of doctoral education in Germany.

Currently, there are three Max Planck Schools in the fields of Cognition, Matter to Life, and Photonics.

Are you looking for an exciting and challenging graduate program to kick-start your academic career, or do you want to join the interdisciplinary faculties of the Max Planck Schools as a Fellow? Check out the Schools’ programs and partners and become part of a unique network!

Our Mission

At Max Planck Schools the brightest minds in their fields have come together from within the scientific community to interconnect in faculties. Our selected PhD candidates benefit from these networks through close personal exchange,  scientific mentoring and access to excellent infrastructures.

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Our Fellows
Fellows mentor our young researchers and accompany them throughout their PhD studies. more
Our Governance

Each Max Planck School is steered by outstanding scientists as Speakers and supported by a head office that is responsible for program implementation and administration of the respective School.

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The Max Planck Schools offer unique PhD programs with fully financed PhD positions for Bachelor and Master Graduates in an outstanding scientific environment. more

Picture on top of page: Students of all three Max Planck Schools at Kick-off-symposium of the Max Planck Schools in September 2019.

Photographer: David Ausserhofer

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