PhD Life at the Institute

PhD Life at the Institute

At the Max-Planck Institute for Medical Research, we value a collaborative and supportive environment, which extends across the Heidelberg campus – and beyond.

Our institute aims to provide an environment where postdocs and PhD students come to work and learn while having a good time together. To facilitate scientific and social interaction between scientists from all departments, PhD students and postdocs organize a PhD/Postdoc Seminar Series with internal and external speakers covering topics in science and career development. An informal get-together after each seminar offers room for further exchange and networking.


Because scientific exchange, discussion and collaboration are the foundation of first-class research, all scientists from our institute go on an annual scientific retreat together. Postdocs and PhD students organize the retreat’s scientific program.

All PhD students can attend in-house as well as external trainings and seminars on a regular basis. Non-scientific trainings cover topics such as presentation skills, scientific writing, leadership skills, career planning, time management, conflict management, and more. Additional scientific workshops are offered by the institute’s scientific core facilities and experienced staff scientists.

The Max Planck PhDnet is a network representing the over 4500 doctoral researchers in the Max Planck Society. Founded in 2003, the PhDnet mainly works on improving working conditions of PhD candidates and promoting scientific exchange. Once a year, the external PhD representatives of all MPIs elect a steering group that represents all PhD candidates of the Max Planck Society. more
Guidelines on the Training of Doctoral Students at the Max Planck Society<strong> <br /></strong>
The aim of the Max Planck Society is to carry out basic research at the highest possible level. The same holds for the research carried out by its doctoral students. The Max Planck Society therefore has a particular responsibility for junior scientists and must, among other things, ensure optimal supervision and training. Doctoral students must meet high expectations. Likewise high requirements apply to the supervision of doctoral students at Max Planck Institutes, since responsible supervision with transparent framework conditions and rules are decisive factors in the successful completion of a doctorate. more
Guidelines on the Thesis Advisory Committee Meetings at our Institute
For students who are not enrolled in a structured PhD program we arrange individual Thesis Advisory Committees (TAC) to provide guidance throughout their studies. The TAC monitors the progress and development of the PhD student and provides advice to both the student and his/her supervisor. The committee members are also available for one-to-one consultations with the student and can become an important networking partner. Our PhD students can contact the committee members for personal discussions at any time. more
Guidelines concerning the Prevention of Plagiarism
The following guidelines are designed to prevent plagiarism in PhD, Master’s, Bachelor’s or Diploma theses written at the Max Planck Institute for Medical Research. They are adapted from those of the Faculty of Chemistry and Earth Sciences and the Faculty of Biosciences of Heidelberg University. Please note that these guidelines cannot cover all questions that you may have or situations you might be confronted with. If in doubt, please contact your supervisor, the ombudsperson or the scientific coordinator of our institute. In addition, you should always follow the rules of good scientific practice. more
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