A PhD in astrophysics within the International Max Planck Research School for Solar System Science
In the "International Max Planck Research School for Solar System Science at the University of Göttingen" (Solar System School), the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research and the Institutes for Astrophysics and for Geophysics of the University of Göttingen collaborate to provide excellent PhD training in solar system science to both international and local students.
The Solar System School offers a research-oriented, three-year graduate program covering the full range of physics inherent in the growing field of solar system science, from geophysics and planetary science to solar and stellar physics, as well as the underlying fundamental physics. It ensures a broad, interdisciplinary and well-founded PhD education in astrophysics for a career in science. The program is complemented by training in computational physics, space technology, scientific writing and presentation skills, good scientific practice, and career development.
Along with the move of the MPS to the Göttingen Campus in 2014, the IMPRS has further extended its scientific scope. Solar system science as its key research area is now even more strongly embedded in the wider geo- and astrophysical context. The PhD topics are as diverse as the research topics of the participating partner institutions. These PhD projects predominantly comprise all areas of our own solar system - the Sun, its planets and small bodies-, but also more astrophysics-oriented topics such as the physics of other stars and their planetary systems. Methods of research include instrumentation, observations, data analysis, numerical simulations and theoretical modeling.
In education and training, the new location of the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research in the direct vicinity of the Faculty of Physics of the University of Göttingen, with its Institutes for Astrophysics and Geophysics, leads to a unique broad variety of courses on offer to IMPRS students at all partner institutions: lectures, seminars, colloquia, scientific exchange and interdisciplinary supervision.
On average, 40 to 50 students participate in the Solar System School's program at any given time. In total, from its establishment in 2002 to the end of 2015, the IMPRS has thus created a talent pool of more than 150 new graduates in solar system science, contributing significantly to the research community. Overall, these PhD students came from 45 different countries of origin. The share of international students in the cohorts 2013/14 was about 3/4, the share of female students was about 2/5.