Guest Programme

Guest Programme of the Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding Research (MPIPZ)

The Guest Programme of the Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding Research provides access to the Institute’s infrastructure for scientists from Germany and abroad. Guests and their research projects are a significant component of the Institute’s scientific exchange. They enhance the Institute’s key research areas and contribute to a more effective establishment of results in various research fields within the international research environment. In addition, the scholarship programme aims at promoting personal and institutional contacts with research scientists working on areas relevant to plant breeding research to continuously extend the Institute’s global network. Pursued research projects need to coincide with the research areas of the Institute in order to ensure an in situ scientific exchange of the fellowship holders with other scientists as well as access to relevant literature in our library. The programme offers various forms of grants and financial support, depending on the researchers’ qualification or project stage, reason for and duration of the research stay,

 1. Target groups

PhD Students

The Guest Programme offers two different lines of funding to university graduates (MSc) in order for them to become acquainted with the key research areas and functioning of the Institute as well as to further develop their own research project, suitable for funding with a scholarship:

  • German and foreign university graduates (MSc) who are still at the beginning of their PhD project, for better orientation, obtain the opportunity to situate their research project in the context of existing key research areas and to conceptually refine it.
  •  A research fellowship with a duration up to six months offers German and foreign PhD students at an advanced stage in their project the opportunity to have a profound scientific exchange with a research scientist of the MPIPZ in order to profit from his/her expertise regarding sources, research debates, methodology or theoretical foundations.


The institute offers a number of Postdoc Fellowships of up to two years duration in order to provide the option of a research stay at the Institute to international research scientists, upon having obtained their PhD. Prerequisite for such a fellowship is the compatibility of their research project with one of the current key research areas of the Institute. Postdoc scholarships are exclusively intended for researchers from abroad.

Senior researchers from abroad, established in the science system, who are not eligible for a Postdoc Scholarship or who have obtained their PhD more than 10 years ago can promote their research project as a guest with a Research Fellowship. These fellowships are awarded for a duration of up to two years with the possibility of extending the grant beyond the two-year period in exceptional circumstances.

 2. Purpose

The purpose of the Guest Programme is the integration of highly qualified researchers, still in their qualification phases, into an international research context at an early stage of their work.

PhD Fellowships will enable university graduates (MSc) from Germany and abroad, for their individual orientation, to get acquainted with the Institute’s main research areas, to use this as a starting point for the development of their own PhD project and for its localization within the existing research dialogue. In addition, ongoing research projects can be focused and systematically promoted by way of scientific exchanges with researchers of the MPIPZ. The latter, however, is not designed as completion grant.

Postdoc Fellowships enable highly qualified postdocs from abroad to either develop a new research project at the MPIPZ or to further pursue an already ongoing project. These research stays at the MPIPZ are expected to promote networking on an international level.

MPIPZ Research Fellowships are designed for established researchers from abroad with research projects relevant as enhancement to the MPIPZ research areas also by adding further international perspectives. These fellowships are, in particular, intended to deepen already existing cooperations with research institutes from abroad or to develop new joint research projects. These research fellowships, however, cannot be granted immediately after a MPIPZ Postdoc Fellowship.

All supported projects should match with the Institute’s research programme as well as with its thematic focus. For the duration of their stay, all guests are expected to actively participate in the Institute’s activities. This means specifically - depending on the duration and aim of their stay – attending the Institute’s academic events, willingness to present a research project or a talk in one of the Institute’s in-house events, writing a research paper and providing it for publication in one of the MPIPZ’s publication series.

3. Application/ award procedure/ fellowship committee

Award of a fellowship requires the submission of the according application including CV to one of the MPIPZ Group Leaders. The fellowship committee consists of the Kollegium and the head of administration and decides about the award of a fellowship. The equal opportunities representative as well as the works council are informed about the decision.

4. Amount of the fellowship, additional benefits

The amount of the fellowship is determined by the respective guidelines for the promotion of young researchers.

Guests with a MPS-fellowship are not covered by statutory health insurance and the employers' liability insurance association (Berufsgenossenschaft). It is strongly recommended to conclude a private insurance package. A framework agreement regarding insurance coverage of fellowship holders of the MPS who are working at the MPIPZ includes:

  • private health insurance and the private long term care insurance (mandatory),
  • private accident insurance (individually elective),
  • as well as personal liability insurance (individually elective)

Accompanying family members have the option to conclude a private health- and long term care insurance as well as a personal liability insurance.

Conclusion of a health insurance corresponding to the services of the German social health insurance is mandatory. It is subsidized by the MPIPZ with 50 % of the health insurance contribution (max. € 100 per month). The same rules as for the fellowship holders themselves apply to their accompanying family members without income.

The mandatory health insurance of the insurance package mentioned above does not have to be concluded if a social health insurance or a comparable private health insurance exists.

The fellowship holder has to provide proof of a health insurance eligible for subsidy. You are obliged to submit evidence of sufficient health insurance coverage within 14 days of accepting the grant.


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