Max Planck Research Groups - Announcement 2020 / 2021

The Max Planck Society (Max-Planck-Gesellschaft zur Förderung der Wissenschaften e.V.; MPG) is a world leading, independent, non-profit research organization with the goal to promote cutting edge basic research. Within 86 Max Planck Institutes, over 23,500 employees pursue basic research in broad areas of life and natural sciences as well as humanities, social sciences and law and have a strong interest in innovative and interdisciplinary research. To support emerging scholars early in their career path, we need you - outstanding postdocs in all fields of research pursued in our organisation. We invite you to apply for a position as Max Planck Research Group Leader.

With this call for applications, MPG und Technische Universität München (TUM) combine again their respective career opportunities to a highly attractive career option for international top talents: Successful candidates will be offered a Max Planck Research Group Leader position accompanied by the excellent research conditions in a Max Planck Institute, and additionally - in case of interest - also the opportunity to apply for a Tenure Track Assistant Professor at TUM with doctorate granting rights and career options via Associate to Full Professor according to the TUM Faculty Tenure Track system.

Tenure track options may also be possible with other universities on an individual basis. In addition, the MPG also considers outstanding Max Planck Research Group Leaders when hiring new directors.

The successful candidates will be offered a Max Planck Research Group for a period of five years at a participating Max Planck Institute of their own choice. This includes a W2 position equivalent to assistant or associate professor level and additional resources for research positions, budget, and investments. The cumulative amount of funding is competitive with top class start-up packages of international career development programs. Start of funding is in 2022, with a lead-time of up to three months.

Excellent research and teaching is irrespective of gender. However, the MPG and the TUM still lack female scientists and hereby explicitly welcome applications from highly skilled women in all disciplines. The MPG and the TUM Munich Dual Career Office provide support for dual career couples and families.

Besides, the MPG and the TUM strives for gender and diversity equality. Therefore, applications from all genders are welcome. Furthermore, the MPG and the TUM are committed to increasing the number of individuals with disabilities in its workforce and therefore encourages applications from such qualified individuals.

The selection procedure is designed as a two-stage process. At first step, the MPG evaluates the candidates according to the regulations applicable for Max Planck Research Group Leader positions (see below). At second stage, interested candidates have to pass the entry evaluation in the TUM Faculty Tenure Track process at TUM. Prerequisite to be appointed to Assistant Professor is a Max Planck Research Group Leader position to be offered by the MPG.

Applications are submitted according to the regulations specified below. Candidates who intend to be appointed to Tenure Track Assistant Professor are invited to notify that fact in the application form.

The MPG is committed to support Open Access on all levels. We therefore ask applicants to highlight in their list of publications all items which are freely available in an open access repository or on a journal’s website.

The deadline for application is October 22, 2020.

General Information

Since 1969, the MPG has supported many talented young scientists and researchers through its Max Planck Research Groups, providing them with the opportunity to lay the stepping stones for a successful career in science by assuming responsibility for research early on in their career. An overwhelming majority of Max Planck Research Group leaders has very successfully proceeded to full professorships at German universities or abroad after their term, and a significant part also has been appointed as a Max Planck Director later on.

The standard setting and contract conditions for Max Planck Research Groups are as follows:

  • the group leader position (W2; approximately equivalent to assistant or associate professor position without tenure)
  • Postdoc position(s)
  • PhD position(s)
  • Technical Assistant position(s) as far as necessary
  • internationally competitive start-up package for equipment
  • adequate budget for consumables and running costs

The MPG offers high flexibility in the use of the allotted money, allowing the group leaders to assign their budget individually according to need. The contract will be for 5 years plus a possible start-up phase. Limited extensions are possible after positive evaluation.

Important information about the application procedure

The Max-Planck-Gesellschaft operates over 86 Max Planck Institutes and Research Facilities divided into three Sections: Chemistry, Physics and Technology (CPT), Biology and Medicine (BM), and the Humanities and Social Sciences (H).  The three Sections have separate application modalities. Applicants are therefore asked to first and foremost identify the Section(s) in which the possible host institute(s) closest to their own field of expertise are located. More information about the Sections and their allocated Max Planck Institutes can be found here. In case you are interested in several alternative institutes located in different Sections, and you cannot decide on a suitable Section for your evaluation, you may apply in each appropriate Section separately.

Please then follow the Section-specific application instructions which you find on the start page of the respective application database.

We strongly recommend that candidates approach their institutes of choice before submitting the application.

Applicants for the Biology and Medicine Section

Applicants for the Chemistry, Physics and Technology Section

Applicants for the Human Sciences Section

Frequently asked questions

If you want further information about the Max Planck Research Group Leader program and the selection procedure in general, we recommend visiting our FAQ page.