The Max Planck Schools call on forward-thinking scientists in the interdisciplinary research fields "Cognition", "Matter to Life" and "Photonics" to apply for the positions as Max Planck Schools Fellows.

2nd Fellows Open Call for Applications


August 01, 2022

The Max Planck Schools call on forward-thinking scientists in the interdisciplinary research fields "Cognition", "Matter to Life" and "Photonics" to apply for the positions as Max Planck Schools Fellows. Apply now and join our unique scientific network. We are looking forward to your application!


Since 2018, the Max Planck Schools have brought together Germany’s leading scientists in three growing research fields – Cognition, Matter to Life, and Photonics – to train a new generation of excellent and critical early-career researchers. As a joint graduate program of German universities[1] and research organizations[2], the Max Planck Schools aim to establish a flagship program for PhD training in Germany. The three Schools bring together the brightest minds in their respective fields as so-called “Fellows” to train internationally outstanding young scientists within the framework of a structured PhD program.


Fellows of the Max Planck Schools are appointed by the Presidents of the Max Planck Society and the German Rector’s Conference. Their main responsibilities are the supervision and scientific as well as personal support of ambitious and promising PhD candidates. Moreover, Fellows advance their respective Max Planck School by


    • Generating new research topics;
    • Supporting selection procedures of PhD candidates;
    • Facilitating the personal development of PhD candidates;
    • Contributing to curriculum development and implementation;
    • Further developing the concept of the respective Max Planck School;
    • Promoting the overall idea of the Max Planck Schools.


For these tasks, Fellows will be appointed for four years[3]; a renewal of the appointment by a subsequent application is possible. Currently, the three Max Planck Schools have a small number of open Fellow positions. To become a Fellow, candidates should


  • Have their main affiliation at a German university or research institution;[4]
  • Demonstrate an internationally recognized scientific profile in one or more research fields connected to Cognition, Matter to Life or Photonics;
  • Bring high levels of engagement to the support and advancement of young potentials aiming for an international research career;
  • Demonstrate interest to contribute to a highly innovative graduate program with international orientation and a lively scientific community across disciplinary, organizational and local boundaries.



The Max Planck Society and the German Rectors’ Conference together with all its partners seek to increase the number of women in those areas where they are underrepresented and therefore explicitly encourage women to apply.


We are looking forward to your application by October 13, 2022 via our online portal.


[1] Key partner universities of the pilot phase are: Friedrich Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg (FAU), Friedrich Schiller University Jena, University of Göttingen, Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf (HHU), Humboldt University of Berlin, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Technical University of Munich (TUM), Heidelberg University and Leipzig University.

[2] Max Planck Society, Fraunhofer Society, Helmholtz Association and Leibniz Association.

[3] Subject to a continuation of the Max Planck Schools beyond the end of the pilot phase (30.09.2025).

[4] In a capacity that enables them to receive public research funding.

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