International Programmes 2018/2019

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International Max Planck Research School (IMPRS) on Astrophysics at the Ludwig Maximilians University Munich International Max Planck Research School on Astrophysics IMPRS

Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics • Garching b. München

Degree
PhD - Dr rer nat
Doctoral degree or degree awarded by
Ludwig Maximilians University Munich or Technical University of Munich
Course location
Garching b. München
In cooperation with
Ludwig Maximilians University Munich (LMU)
Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics (MPE)
Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics (MPA)
European Southern Observatory (ESO)
University Observatory Munich (USM)
Teaching language
  • English
Languages

The IMPRS programme is designed for international students. Therefore, all the teaching and communication is in English. Nevertheless, we provide the possibility and funds for the IMPRS students to attend German classes.

Programme duration
More than 9 semesters
Beginning
Winter semester
More information on beginning of studies
The programme starts 1 September every year.
Application deadline

Application deadline is 15 November every year. The application portal will be accessible starting in August. If you want a notification as soon as the portal will be opened again, please send a short e-mail to office@imprs-astro.mpg.de.

Tuition fees per semester in EUR
None
Combined Master's degree / PhD programme
Yes
Joint degree / double degree programme
No
Description/content

The International Max Planck Research School on Astrophysics is a graduate school that offers a PhD programme in Astrophysics and Cosmology. Open for students from all countries worldwide, the school intends to attract highly-qualified and motivated young scientists aiming for a graduate degree in Physics and Astronomy. Outstanding research facilities and training programmes as well as grants for all PhD students provide a unique environment for participants.

The IMPRS on Astrophysics is a joint programme of:

  • the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics (MPE)
  • the Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics (MPA)
  • the University Observatory Munich (USM)
  • the European Southern Observatory (ESO)

Together, we form one of the largest centres of astrophysical research in the world, covering every subject from planets, stars, and galaxies to cosmology. Access to the world's largest telescopes and a stimulating scientific environment provide our students with the ideal conditions for their PhD research.

Course organisation

The IMPRS provides a programme consisting of an Introductory Course and a set of Advanced Courses. 

The IMPRS Introductory Course is combined with the LMU's MSc course. It is mandatory for all IMPRS students to write an exam at the end of the Introductory Course. The exam mostly provides an evaluation of the student's general astronomy background and should indicate where further learning is desirable.

The Advanced Courses consist of nine one-week morning lectures on various topics of modern astrophysics taught throughout the year. They are given by professors and lecturers from all member institutions (MPE, USM, MPA, ESO). It is mandatory to participate in at least seven of these lectures within the three year PhD period.

In addition to the courses taught at and relevant for the IMPRS, most lecturers teach other courses at the LMU or TUM in the framework of the university’s regular course programme. IMPRS students do have access to these courses.

At the IMPRS, PhD projects are carried out under the supervision of an IMPRS professor from one of the member institutes or from a research group associated with the IMPRS. A thesis committee will monitor the student's progress regularly. The official and project supervisors will automatically be members of the thesis committee. Other members will be chosen following the suggestions of the student and his/her supervisor.

A two-day IMPRS student symposium takes place twice a year. The participation in the  symposium is mandatory for all IMPRS students. It is organised by the students and for the students. IMPRS students are expected to give at least two talks during their participation in IMPRS on their own research or on journal papers.

Regular student excursions are part of the IMPRS programme, too. These activities encourage IMPRS students of different age groups and institutes to develop an "esprit de corps".

International elements
  • International guest lecturers
Special promotion / funding of the programme
  • IMPRS
Course-specific, integrated German language courses
No
Course-specific, integrated English language courses
No
Tuition fees per semester in EUR
None
Semester contribution
Our IMPRS students will be granted PhD degrees by the Ludwig Maximilians University, the Technical University München or another university, according to their rules. The relevant university depends on the affiliation of the supervisor.
During the course of their PhD studies, IMPRS students have to be enrolled at the university for at least two (and up to six) semesters. The enrolment fee is about 130 EUR per semester. This includes a basic transport ticket for the public transport system.
Funding opportunities within the university
Yes
Description of the above-mentioned funding opportunities within the university
Students at the IMPRS in Garching work on their PhD theses for three to four years. They receive a funding contract or fellowship from various sources. Examples of funding sources include the Max Planck Society (MPG), the institutes’ budgets, ESO, the Excellence Cluster Universe and the German Science Foundation (DFG). This can lead to small variations in the financial support among the students. On average, however, the monthly payments are all at a comparable level.
Academic Admission Requirements

MSc in Physics or Astrophysics or an equivalent university degree including a Master's thesis that corresponds to a research project of at least 60 ECTS points

Language requirements

Candidates whose native language is neither English nor German are required to provide a certificate documenting proficiency in English, for example, TOEFL (of at least 550 points/computer-based: 220 points) or IELTS (of at least six points) or equivalent.

Application deadline

Application deadline is 15 November every year. The application portal will be accessible starting in August. If you want a notification as soon as the portal will be opened again, please send a short e-mail to office@imprs-astro.mpg.de.

Submit application to

Application - IMPRS on Astrophysics

Accommodation

We support all students in finding suitable accommodation in the Munich/Garching area.

We also support them with visa, insurance and other related issues. 

Structured research and supervision
Yes
Research training / discussion
Yes
Career advisory service

IMPRS students get broad support from different facilities within the institutes (e.g., there are specified career seminars and recruitment days as well as a lot of possibilities for networking with high-ranking scientists from all over the world).

Specific specialist or non-specialist support for international students and doctoral candidates
  • Welcome event
  • Buddy programme
  • Tutors
  • Specialist counselling

Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics

Content Bild
IMPRS students of 2017

Our PhD students work in one of our participating institutes. These institutes include the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics (MPE), the Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics, the Observatory of the Ludwig Maximilians University (USM), and the European Southern Observatory (ESO). Together, these institutes form one of the largest centres for astrophysical research in the world.

Additionally, our PhD students are enrolled either at the Ludwig Maximilians University (LMU) or at the Technical University (TUM). The relevant university depends on the supervisor's affiliation. Both universities are top listed both in national and international rankings.

Location

Munich is one of Germany's most popular destinations. Visitors from all over the world are attracted to Munich not only because of the Oktoberfest but also because of sites like the historic centre, the space age design of the Olympic stadium, the Allianz Arena, and the attractive surroundings of the Alps as well as a wide range of world-class museums, galleries, and cinemas.

More information about living and studying in Munich can be found on Munich's official website: http://www.muenchen.de/int/en/living/studying-in-munich.html.