Wednesday, June 15, 2011

International Max-Planck Research School (IMPRS) on "Physical Processes in the Solar System and Beyond"


The International Max-Planck Research School (IMPRS) on "Physical Processes in the Solar System and Beyond" offers a first choice possibility for graduate students to obtain their PhD degree in a major scientific discipline with optimal career opportunities.

The school is located at the Max-Planck Institute for Solar System Research (formerly MPI for Aeronomy) in Katlenburg-Lindau and the partner institutes at the University of Göttingen (Institute of Astrophysics, Institute of Geophysics) and the Technical University Braunschweig (Institute of Geophysics and Extraterrestrial Physics, Institute of Theoretical Physics). These institutes are uniquely positioned in the fields of solar system physics with excellent facilities, internationally renowned researchers and experienced teachers.

The school offers a research-oriented 3-years graduate program. A prerequisite is a diploma or a masters degree in physics. Teaching language is English.

The program covers the full range of physics inherent in the rapidly growing field of solar system science from geophysics and planetary physics to solar physics as well as the underlying fundamental physics. The science program is complemented by training in computational physics, space technology and project management.

High-profile space missions, outstanding projects for ground-based instruments and data analysis as well as theoretical and extensive numerical modeling provide a wide range of research possibilities for PhD students.

The program starts each 1 January, review of application begins 1 July of the preceding year. Successful applicants will receive adequate financial support.

Application and Admission

Students from all countries are welcome.

An admission committee composed of members from the participating institutes reviews the applications, selects them based on the students excellence as proven by their university records and by letters of recommendation, and advices the potential supervisors about the candidates and their qualifications. The final decision about the acceptance of a student rests with his/her potential supervisors.

Generally, the program is announced and students are admitted to the Research School once per year. This year's application deadline is 31 July 2011 for a start in January 2012.

Highly-qualified and well-motivated applications are, however, considered at any time of the year.

Applicants for the graduate (PhD) program must have a masters or diploma or equivalent degree in physics, including a thesis. (Applications are encouraged even if the degree is not yet, but will soon be obtained).

Candidates whose native language is not English or German are required to provide a certificate documenting proficiency in English, for example TOEFL or IELTS or equivalent. If no language test is available, the proficiency in English can be evaluated during a personal interview.


A complete application must include the following items:

- a curriculum vitae
- a complete application form (PDF), including a list of all courses including credits
- two letters of recommendation (PDF form)
copies of academic records, including High School Diploma, B.Sc., Vordiplom, M.Sc., Diplom etc., with English or German translation, GRE Physics test scores, where applicable
proof of proficiency in English language, where applicable (e.g. transcript of TOEFL / IELTS scores or equivalent).
- Review of application for the PhD program starting in January 2012 begins 1 August 2011.

Program Admission

Applications will be reviewed by an admission committee that includes faculty members of the participating institutes. Candidates will be pre-selected based on their academic qualifications and recommendations.


An important part of the selection procedure is a personal interview by faculty members for which the applicants under consideration will be invited. This will give the opportunity to meet the training faculty and to visit the participating scientific institutions. The interview may be held in Katlenburg-Lindau or in one of the partner institutes. In rare cases, it may be conducted by phone. Applicants who are invited for an interview will receive financial assistance for travel and accommodation expenses. The interviews will probably be held in September and October 2011.


Final decisions about admission will be made by November 2011, and all students will be notified thereafter. Admission to the Program may be dependent on the fulfillment of certain requirements that need to be met before the begin of the new academic year (e.g. completion of a degree, completion of credit courses, participation in an English language course).

For questions according to the application and admission process please contact


There are no tuition fees for the training program.

However there is a general administration fee to be paid for the registration as a student of the University of Göttingen or the Technical University of Braunschweig (amounting about EUR 180 twice per year).

Financial Support

Successful applicants will receive financial support.

Unless students obtain their own fellowship, PhD students with a Master or Diploma degree receive a fellowship, which is free of tax and social insurance. Health insurance is mandatory and must be paid by the student. The monthly fellowship amounts about EUR 1250, plus up to EUR 150 for the accompanying spouse, plus EUR 50 for each accompanying child. The fellowship is offered for 2 years plus 2 times 6 months of possible extension.

In some cases, depending of the source of the fellowship, PhD students are offered a working contract and are paid a salary according to the German Public Service standards, 1/2 BAT IIa for 2 years plus 2 times 6 months extension, if necessary, subject to income tax, a contribution to health insurance, social insurance (pension, unemployment), and, if applicable, a church tax. Expect a net income between EUR 1000 and 1200 per month, depending on family status and age.

Contact detail

IMPRS Solar System School, Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research, Max-Planck-Strasse 2, 37191 Katlenburg-Lindau, Germany, Phone: +49-5556-979-431, Fax: +49-5556-979-190, Email:, Homepage:

Please quote on your application when applying for this scholarship

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Scholarship Team: Ph.D Scholar Krisstofferson Joniel Scholarship Adviser, PhD Scholar Vitom Chea Scholarship Adviser, PhD Scholar Rebecca T. Dalisay Scholarship Adviser, Ph.D Student Jiao Wang Scholarship Coordinator, MSc Student Dennise Maricel Scholarship Coordinator
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Scholarship Team: Ph.D Scholar Krisstofferson Joniel Scholarship Adviser, PhD Scholar Chea Vitom Scholarship Adviser and Senior Lecturer, PhD Scholar Rebecca T. Dalisay Scholarship Adviser, Ph.D Student Jiao Wang Scholarship Coordinator, MSc Student Dennise Maricel Scholarship Coordinator