Max Planck School of Photonics
PhD application portal
Online Application

Instructions for applying online

Please read all the instructions carefully before starting your online application. The application for the PhD program works as a two-step-process:
    • In the first step, your personal data is entered in an online form (registration). After submission of this registration data, you will receive a confirmation email including your personalized Max Planck School of Photonics (MPSP) registration ID and further instructions. Your transmitted data cannot be changed afterwards. First and foremost, make sure that your email and contact data remain valid until the onsite start of the program in Germany.
    • In the second step and with your MPSP registration ID, you will be able to upload all required documents (PDF style). You may log in to this upload section several times to complete all required uploads.
Your application is complete and can be only taken into account after these two steps are performed. All requested documents must be uploaded before the closing deadline.

Prerequisites and application requirements

Applicants for the PhD phase must have obtained or be about to obtain a Master of Science (M.Sc.) degree with significant exposure to physics, engineering or a related subject.

The following documents are required for the online application:
    • Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.), Bachelor of Engineering (B.Eng.) or Bachelor of Technology (B.Tech.) degree with significant exposure to physics, engineering or a related subject.
    • Transcript of Records (ToR) including the explicit marks of all completed courses within your Bachelor studies. If available, a description with the explicit content of the courses you have mastered will support your application.
    • Master of Science (M.Sc.), Master of Engineering (M.Eng.) or Master of Technology (M.Tech.) degree with significant exposure to physics, engineering or a related subject. If you have not yet finished your Master's degree, you may apply likewise with a preliminary Transcript of Records (ToR) including the marks of all completed courses thus far. Again, a description with the explicit content of the courses you have mastered will support your application.
    • A comprehensive curriculum vitae (CV). Please list all stages of your education in chronological order. The CV must contain a clear statement about your current status and/or occupation including information on current employments, unemployment, or parental leave. Any prizes, scholarship, extraordinary social, cultural or sportive activities may also be part of your CV.
    • A letter of motivation (1 to 2 pages in length and to be typed). It should describe your personal background, interests and reasons for applying to the Max Planck School of Photonics. In there, please include a clear statement on your preference(s) of PhD project(s) you are applying. Therefore, please review the PhD research topics currently offered here. Your statement may include preferences on topics, research groups or Fellows. If you have been already in contact with any potential supervisor at the Max Planck School of Photonics, please indicate this as well.
    • A copy of your passport.
    • A Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) general test or subject test (highly recommended, but not mandatory).
    • Two letters of recommendation from two different referees (professors). A template is available; however, is not mandatory to be used by the referees. Please make sure that each letter of recommendation is signed. If one or both referees rather prefer personalized, free-style recommendation letters, they should contain a date and an official headline/stamp from the higher education institution the referee is affiliated with.
    • A list of your publications (including journal articles, conference contributions and proceedings, book chapters, etc.).
    • A proof of English proficiency by
      • TOEFL, or an equivalent English test (minimum points/grades): TOEFL PBT (550), TOEFL CBT (215), TOEFL IBT (85), IELTS (6.5), or
      • Cambridge English Proficiency (CPE) exam or Cambridge English Advanced (CAE) exam, or
      • German "Abitur" with comprehensive coverage of the English language.

Note that all documents must be provided in English or German for evaluation. In case that the original document is issued in another language than English or German, you are advised to upload both a copy of the original and a (certified) English translation to complete your application.

Language exemptions: The following students are exempted from providing the proof of English proficiency: nationals from the USA, U.K., Ireland, Australia, New Zealand or Canada; or B.Sc. or M.Sc. graduates who obtained their qualification in one of these countries.

Max Planck School of Photonics - PhD opportunities at the most excellent photonics institutions in Germany

PhD studies within the Max Planck School of Photonics are conducted in seven of the most liveable cities in Germany: Aachen, Erlangen, Göttingen, Hamburg, Jena, Karlsruhe and Munich. The research is performed either at one of the universities in these cities or at one of the partnering photonics institutes of the Fraunhofer Society, Leibniz Association, Helmholtz Association or Max Planck Society. After successful PhD studies and according to the PhD regulations of the hosting university, the academic title awarded to the successful candidate will be Dr. rer. nat. or, in individual cases, Dr. -Ing.

Please inform yourself in depth about the topics offered in the running call. During your application, you will be asked to express your personal priorities for up to five of them. Feel free to contact the advertising Fellows if you need more information on any of the topics.

If your application is complete after the closing deadline, it will be evaluated. Your preferences concerning the topic and the location will be very seriously considered.

Timeline of important dates

    • The application will close on December, 15 2018 (12:00 – noon CET).
    • Shortlisted candidates will be contacted and invited for a skype/phone interview in February 2019.
    • All candidates will be notified about the final decision in March 2019 at the latest.
    • The PhD studies will be started according to individual agreements between supervisors and students, and the earliest of them prospectively already in April 2019.
    • A great kick-off conference for all MPSP PhD students will take place in September 2019 in Jena, Germany.

Further Questions?

If you have more questions, please consider our FAQs. Please note that MPSP does not consider applications via email or mail. If your question cannot be answered by the FAQs, please contact our office and refer to your MPSP registration ID.

Ready to apply?

If you have carefully read and understood these instructions, start your application here.

This registration system has been created by GWDG, Göttingen.