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Max Planck

  1. Mar 8, 2010 #1
    I am considering PhD positions in Physics. Can you guys tell me how reputable Max Planck institute (Heidelberg) is compared to top universities?

    Thank you.
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 8, 2010 #2


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    It's considered quite prestigious to do your PhD with someone there, but if it's anything like the MPI in Munich, they don't offer PhDs directly - you'd have to be enrolled in a nearby university and be working with someone at the MPI.
  4. Mar 9, 2010 #3
    Thank you for the reply. Yeah I guess my PhD would actually come from the university of Heidelberg. What are the best places in Eurpoe to go for physics. Most specifically astrophysics?

  5. Mar 9, 2010 #4
    According to ARWU, the top European Universities in Physics are:
    1. University of Cambridge
    2. Imperial College London
    3. Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich
    4. Université de Paris Sud
    5. University of Munich

    Although really that is based on research output so it may have nothing to do with the quality of instruction there.. The full list is here : http://www.arwu.org/SubjectPhysics2009.jsp [Broken]
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  6. Mar 10, 2010 #5
    Okay thank you. And I assume Max Planck Institute would not appear on there because it is not a university, but does anyone know how it would compare to the list above?
  7. Mar 10, 2010 #6
    In Germany (and i guess in many countries), only Universities are allowed to grant the PhD degree. Therefore, any institute in Germany are not qualified or eligible to give you PhD degree. To my knowledge, in Germany there is no university that grant you PhD degree, instead you get a degree equivalent to PhD, which is called as Dr. rer. nat [Doctor of natural sciences] in physics. Moreover, when you work on your PhD, you are technically not a student but you are called as scientific cooworker.
    I my view, Although MPGs are considered as reputed and famous, i have seen several people, even after finishing PhD find difficult to find some positions. However MPGs are very prestigious.
    For Physics in Germany: Göttingen and München are good; Heidelberg is good for Chemistry.
  8. Mar 11, 2010 #7


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    This is true, but the leading positions of the Max Planck institutes are usually joint with professorships at the university which is hosting the MPI, so it is possible to get the Dr. rer. nat. there. The MPIs usually have a very sensible amount of funding. And in most cases you do not have to do teaching at MPIs during your time there, while it is quite usual to do some teaching when doing your Dr. rer. nat. at an university.
  9. Mar 11, 2010 #8
    Hi cthuga,
    yes i agree this scheme joint professorships..MPGs pay phd students 200 to 300 EUR more than in Univ (also no teaching jobs).
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