What you Need to Know


Each Director heads a department, the administrative unit of the Max Planck Society and enjoy full academic freedom benefitting from an international and excellent research environment, outstanding infrastructure, and competitive, long-term scientific funding.

Independent Group Leaders

Independent groups are commonly recruited via the free floater program of the Max Planck Society, but other options also exist as listed below. As the name implies, independent research group leaders are independent. Though often associated with a department, research groups address their own questions, are responsible for their own research programs, and fully autonomous also in terms of budget which they need to negotiate.

Research group leader positions are limited to a maximum of five years and must not extend beyond the retirement of the Director. The appointment as research group leader also requires approval by the Max Planck Society. The leadership of a research group and the resources negotiated are fixed for five years and can be extended for additional five years after further evaluation by means of a Board of Directors’ decision. 

In terms of mentoring, research group leaders on campus have their own regular meetings, they are encouraged to pick one of the directors as their personal mentor, and they have access to the training courses and other resources offered by the Max Planck Society’s headquarters in Munich.

Research group leaders also include all scientists who are financed by external grants, such as Max Planck Research Groups, DFG Emmy Noether Groups, Biofuture Groups, Holders of ERC starting/consolidator grants, etc.

Max Planck research group leaders are assigned to the Max Planck Society both in scientific and administrative terms, all other research groups are administered via a department in the MPI-NAT.

Excellent Support for Directors and Group Leaders on multiple levels

All Directors and Research Group Leaders receive excellent support from the institute on multiple levels. This includes administrative support from the administrative assistant, the institute’s finance and personal department, excellent service facilities as well as support for grant applications. In terms of science, departments and research groups have access to the large number of facilities at the institute and they are invited to join one or multiple of the many PhD programs that provide access to bright and motivated students.

The Faculty of the MPI-NAT

All directors and research group leaders are members of the "MPI-NAT Faculty", participate regularly in evaluations by the institute's Scientific Advisory Board and are granted authorization to teach within the bounds of the Göttingen Graduate School for Neurosciences, Biophysics, and Molecular Biosciences (GGNB)

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