PhD Program

PhD Program

The scientific mission of our PhD program is to study fundamental biological processes in plants and to create knowledge and material that can empower innovative plant breeding. More than 30 research groups study regulatory networks controlling fundamental traits such as reproductive development, organ geometry and growth, innate immunity and microbiome effects on plant performance. They apply and develop a broad range of interdisciplinary technologies ranging from genetics and genomics to structural biochemistry, advanced imaging and computational modelling in established and novel model species.

We adhere to the core values of the Max Planck Society, treat each other with respect and do not tolerate any forms of discrimination based on ethnicity, gender, disability, religion or belief, age or sexual orientation or identity.

Our Program

Together with our university partner in Cologne, we train about 90 mostly international PhD students and encourage talented young researchers to apply for individual open positions or, once per year, to our International Max Planck Research School, IMPRS. Please contact the if you need further information. 

On top of working in a scientifically excellent and highly inspiring environment, all PhD students become part of a structured program which is designed to last three to four years. The program mission is to develop students into independent and creative researchers and to strengthen their scientific and technical background.

A core component of the PhD program is the thesis advisory committee, TAC. The TAC consists of the direct supervisor and additional co-supervisors that guide our PhD students until they have successfully completed their PhD program. TAC Meetings with the student take place on a regular basis and are essential to jointly evaluate past and future directions of each PhD project.

Alongside regular seminars at group or department level, PhD students have the opportunity to present their projects at an annual PhD Retreat and in an early career researchers' seminar series.

The PhD Office, the Max Planck Society and the University of Cologne make further offers that support your scientific and personal development and set you up for a successful career. We offer

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