IMPRS and PhD Programme

IMPRS and PhD Programme

University graduates who are interested in modern plant research can work on their doctorate at our institute. Our doctoral programme is open to students from all countries. The doctoral research is done under the guidance of our directors, group leaders and senior scientists. We work closely with the University of Potsdam where most of our doctoral students are enrolled during their doctoral studies. The doctoral thesis is submitted and defended at the University, which also confers the doctoral degree.

Doctoral Research at the MPI-MP

There are about 80 students from about 15 different countries worldwide who are currently working on a full doctoral research project at the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Plant Physiology. In addition, we host several guest PhD students every year who are doing part of their doctoral research in one of our groups.

Students choose our institute for their doctoral research because of:

  • their enthusiam and interest in modern plant science encompassing experimental, bioinformatic and theoretical approaches.
  • top scientists who do cutting-edge research with state-of-the-art facilities and resources.
  • our doctoral training and support programme including PhD advisory committees, lectures and courses.
  • our lively international scientific environment close to Germany's capital, Berlin.


How to join us as a doctoral student

If you wish to do research for a full doctorate at our institute there are different possibilities of how you can join us.

  1. You apply for a project offered by one of our research groups.
  2. You apply for your own funding, for example from your home country, the DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service), or other grant-giving institutions.
  3. You apply for our International Max Planck Research School 'Primary Metabolism and Plant Growth' (IMPRS-PMPG).

In all cases, it will be important that you inform yourself about the research that we do to see if your interests fit with our research areas and questions. Information about our institute and research groups can be found if you explore the links in the navigation panel on the top of this page.

If you would like to apply outside the IMPRS-PMPG, have a regular look at our Job Offers. Even if there are no doctoral positions on offer, you can send us your application. Please send your application to our human resources team, clearly describing your research background and interests and naming the research groups you would like to work with. To make initial contact with one of our research groups, please contact our human resources team as well, clearly stating the research group and name of the group leader.

Would you like to apply for the IMPRS-PMPG? Then look out for our yearly application call! The IMPRS-PMPG application portal is usually open in December and January and application deadlines are announced on this page. You can learn more about this doctoral programme all year round by exploring the links in the navigation panel on the left hand side of this page. If you have any questions about our IMPRS, please contact the IMPRS coordinator, Ina Talke.


Doctoral training and support

All graduate students at the MPI-MP

  • carry out their doctoral research in one of our research groups, under the guidance and supervision of the group leader.
  • have a PhD advisory committee (PAC), which is an independent panel comprising 2-3 scientists who give advice and guidance, and monitor the progress of the research project at regular intervals.
  • give yearly presentations at the MPI-MP's weekly Progress Seminar, and write a report on their project after year 1 and 2.
  • attend seminars, lectures and courses, and are encouraged to present their results at conferences.

Doctoral training at the MPI-MP is organized in the frame of the IMPRS doctoral programme. All graduate students can participate in the graduate training activities and courses as much as possible. For transferable skills training, we collaborate closely with the Potsdam Graduate School. Every two years, our doctoral students organize the 'Plants and People' Conference - an exciting scientific event and a great possibility to hone your organization skills if you join the organizing committee!

The graduate students at the MPI-MP, including IMPRS students, are represented by the PhD representatives. The PhD representatives organize events and transferable skills training for all doctoral students at the MPI-MP. All doctoral students in the Max Planck Society are organized within the PhDnet.

Advice and support on administrative questions regarding the University of Potsdam, for example on how to register as doctoral student, is offered by the doctoral programme coordinator, Ina Talke. If you would like to learn more about campus life, funding and tuition, have a look at our FAQ page.

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