International Programmes 2023/2024

International Max Planck Research School for Science and Technology of Nano-Systems (IMPRS-STNS) IMPRS for Science and Technology of Nano-Systems (IMPRS-STNS)

Max Planck Institute of Microstructure Physics • Halle (Saale)

Doctoral degree (Dr rer nat or Dr Ing)
Doctoral degree or degree awarded by
Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg
Teaching language
  • English

Courses are held in English. Participants can choose to write their doctoral theses in English or German.

Programme duration
6 semesters
Only for doctoral programmes: any time
Application deadline

There is no application deadline.
Please refer to for details.

Tuition fees per semester in EUR
Combined Master's degree / PhD programme
Joint degree / double degree programme

The International Max Planck Research School links the Max Planck Institute of Microstructure Physics with the Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg and the Fraunhofer Institute for Microstructure of Materials and Systems, Halle, to carry out research into novel atomically engineered materials for nanosystems - tackling grand societal challenges in the fields of information technology and sustainability.

The key advanced research areas include the following: Spintronics, Oxides and Interfaces, Atomically Engineered Materials, Computational Materials Discovery, Topological Materials, Non-Equilibrium Materials, and Routes to Room Temperature Superconductivity.

IMPRS-STNS fosters interdisciplinary research, provides courses in entrepreneurship, offers support with technology transfer, and provides career counselling for admitted PhD students.

We support excellent young scientists on their way to a doctorate with a doctoral contract to cover their living expenses. Candidates are selected on a competitive basis. English is the teaching language in all courses. It is also spoken in the laboratories.

Course organisation

IMPRS-STNS is a dynamic school that tailors the teaching to each doctoral student individually. In addition to their research projects, IMPRS-STNS graduates are given the opportunity to take part in a complementary training programme.

These activities include the following:

  • Seminars
  • Lectures within the field of Science and Technology of Nano-Systems
  • Thesis Advisory Committee (TAC)
  • Mentoring
  • Complementary skills training
  • Career counselling
  • German language courses
  • Yearly retreats, summer/winter schools
  • Secondments
  • Workshops, events organised by students
A Diploma supplement will be issued
International elements
  • International guest lecturers
  • Language training provided
  • Training in intercultural skills
  • Projects with partners in Germany and abroad
Integrated internships

Doctoral candidates are encouraged to spend some time abroad during the PhD programme.

Special promotion / funding of the programme
Course-specific, integrated German language courses
Course-specific, integrated English language courses
Tuition fees per semester in EUR
Semester contribution

250 EUR per semester. There are two semesters per year; one from April to September (summer semester) and the second from October to March (winter semester). Doctoral candidates can choose if they want to benefit from a doctoral student status. It is not mandatory to be enrolled.

Costs of living

The costs of living amount to 300 EUR per month. Rent is not included in this estimate. Rent for an apartment usually amounts to an additional 300-400 EUR (including costs for heating, water, electricity).

For the acceptance as a doctoral candidate at the title-issuing faculty, applicants with a degree that was not earned at a German university must submit a Statement of Comparability for Foreign Higher Education Qualifications from the Central Office for Foreign Education as proof of equivalence. This is a one-time cost of approx. 200 EUR, which has to be be covered in the first year of the doctoral programme.

Funding opportunities within the university
Description of the above-mentioned funding opportunities within the university

Doctoral candidates of the IMPRS-STNS typically get funded through a doctoral contract either by the programme or the connected members. We encourage completion within three years.

Academic admission requirements

A very good Master's degree in physics, chemistry, materials sciences, engineering, or in a related field

Language requirements

A very good command of the English language is mandatory and must be proven with a standard English test (TOEFL or similar).

Application deadline

There is no application deadline.
Please refer to for details.

Submit application to


Members of IMPRS-STNS can find accommodation in one of the student residences, the guest houses of the MPG, or privately. Halle has an abundance of living space, and rents are fairly cheap. A suitable one room flat can be found for about 250 to 300 EUR per month.

Structured research and supervision
Research training / discussion
Career advisory service

We offer a career advisory service to our doctoral students. A special focus is placed on the transition to the first job after the completion of the doctoral degree.

Support for international students and doctoral candidates
  • Buddy programme
  • Specialist counselling
  • Visa matters

Max Planck Institute of Microstructure Physics

Content Bild
Main entrance at MPI-msp © MPI-msp

The Max Planck Institute of Microstructure Physics has substantial experimental and theoretical research programmes that are focussed on novel materials with useful functionalities. Of particular interest are spintronic materials and devices, neuromorphic devices and systems, nano-photonics, topological metals and insulators. The institute is involved in numerous collaborative research projects with academic and industry partners from Germany and around the world (including Europe, North America, and Asia). Additionally, the institute has an extensive infrastructure that includes a state-of-the-art model shop, an electronics workshop, a supercomputer, and a clean room as well as a wide range of modern experimental facilities.

The Max Planck Institute of Microstructure Physics was founded in 1992 as the first institute of the Max-Planck-Gesellschaft in the eastern part of Germany. It is partly located in the buildings of the former Academy of Science Institute of Solid State Physics and Electron Microscopy. The institute consists currently of two experimental departments and a theory department.

Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU) offers a wide range of academic subjects in the humanities, the social sciences, the natural sciences, and medicine. The oldest and largest university in Saxony-Anhalt was created in 1817 when the University of Wittenberg (founded in 1502) merged with Friedrichs University Halle (founded in 1694). Today the university has around 20,000 students and 340 professors (


Halle is a medium-sized town in the middle of Germany with some 240,000 inhabitants. The town is located on the banks of the river Saale. First mentioned in the ninth century, Halle owed its wealth mainly to salt production.

The university was founded in 1694 and flourished quickly. Shortly afterwards a second educational centre was established in the form of Francke's Foundations. Starting out with an orphanage, August Hermann Francke soon built a schooling town in Halle.

Burg Giebichenstein, an art and design college, was founded in 1958 in a castle built in the 10th century.

Georg Friedrich Händel was born in Halle in 1685 and lived there until 1703. This is commemorated especially in summer during the Händel Festival.

Today, Halle is the largest town in the federal state of Saxony-Anhalt, with industry and service companies, but also a large range of recreational activities.

Apart from Martin Luther University and the College of Art and Design at Burg Giebichenstein, the town hosts a number of other scientific and technological institutes.

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