PhD Programs

PhD Programs

You are creative, curious and passionate about basic research?

You would like to live in the oldest university town in Germany and work at one of the famous Max Planck Institutes?

You would enjoy doing research in a supportive, stimulating and diverse environment?

Then you’ve come to the right place. Our institute is a major center for fundamental research at the intersection of chemistry, physics, biology and material sciences. We strive to create knowledge with long-term relevance to basic medical science, focusing on molecular and cellular mechanisms and structures. Our institute enjoys worldwide recognition and is headed by scientists who are leaders in their fields.



We welcome graduate students from all over the world and a wide range of disciplines. Because Max Planck Institutes cannot confer PhD degrees, our students are simultaneously enrolled at Heidelberg University and receive their doctorate from one of the university’s faculties ( Biosciences FacultyChemistry FacultyPhysics Faculty). These faculties have their own specific requirements, which students must fulfill.

PhD students at the institute perform research work and write a thesis under the supervision of a scientist who leads a research group in one of the institute’s departments. Students are usually enrolled in a graduate program. We offer access to a number of graduate schools, such as the Max Planck School Matter to Life, the IMRPS-QD or other graduate schools of Heidelberg University. Most group leaders are associated with one or more of these graduate schools. Joining a graduate school makes you part of the Heidelberg life science community and gives you opportunities for scientific and social exchange outside of the institute.

For students who are not enrolled in a structured PhD program we offer support and guidance through individual Thesis Advisory Committees (TAC). The TAC monitors the progress and development of the PhD student and provides advice to both the student and his/her supervisor. The TAC members are also available for one-to-one consultations with the student and can become an important networking partner. Our PhD students can contact their committee members for personal discussions at any time.

For more information about the different PhD programs and the application procedure, please follow the links provided below. Alternatively, you may also directly contact the head of the department or group leader of the program you’re interested in. Just send an e-mail including your CV and a short description of your interests and expertise to establish first contact. Feel free to contact the PhD representatives or scientific coordinator with any general questions about working at our institute.

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