Kickstart your career with a PhD at the Max Planck Schools


Thrive to excellence with our top-tier graduate program!

The application period for a program start next year just ended -
the next application period begins in fall of 2024 for admission in 2025! 

Embedded in a unique scientific network of currently 27 universities and 35 institutes from non-university research organizations the Max Planck Schools bring together Germany's leading scientists within one doctoral program. As a member of our joint graduate program you will be able to pursue topics at the forefront of fundamental and applied research.


    • Cutting-edge interdisciplinary research in the fields Cognition, Matter to Life, Photonics;
    • Close supervision by outstanding scientists in their respective field, within a
      unique network of leading German universities and non-university research organizations;
    • An integrated MSc and PhD program (or standalone PhD program)
    • Early access to first-class research infrastructures and innovative teaching formats;
    • An internationally competitive funding scheme without tuition fees.



    Admission to a Max Planck School comes with full funding for up to five years. This funding allows you to focus entirely on your scientific work. During the first program phase (usually with a Bachelor’s degree), students receive an attractive scholarship and, if applicable, a subsidy for health insurance and material costs. With the successful completion of the first phase, our candidates get a contract according to the local Wage Agreement for Public Service (TVöD/TV-L, E 13) in the second phase.


      The Max Planck Schools warmly invite highly ambitious and promising candidates from all over the world to apply to their excellent PhD programs. The Schools’ different PhD programs are open not only to Master’s, but also to talented Bachelor’s graduates who want to lay the groundwork for their scientific careers within the unique scientific network of the Max Planck Schools.



      Applications are accepted exclusively via our

      In order to begin studying at a Max Planck School in fall of a given year, applications have to be submitted until December 1 of the previous year. Each School selects their candidates in a competitive multi-stage process. Applications must be submitted to the respective Max Planck School on the basis of their specific requirements - see for more information on these requirements below. 

      Applications via email can unfortunately not be accepted.


      Details on the recruitment process for each School can be found here:

      Please make sure to check the individual FAQ sections as well.


      Excellent research requires outstanding scientists.
      If you aspire to be one of them, join the Max Planck Schools!



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