International Max Planck Research School
on the Social and Political Constitution of the Economy


This competitive program admits up to seven students each year through a selection process jointly undertaken by the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies (MPIfG) , the University of Cologne, and the University of Duisburg-Essen. Admission is in part contingent on the availability of thesis supervisors in the student's area of research interest.
Please note, that applications can only be accepted through our application portal, which will be open as of December 10. Please upload your application together with your documents to the application portal as soon as the official application period has started. If you have a particular question for the academic coordinator we would kindly ask you not to add any personal documents to your email.


To be admitted students must hold an MA, Magister or Diploma in a discipline relevant to the School's program: sociology, political science, economics, organization studies or related disciplines. Applicants must hold a master's degree or equivalent in a discipline relevant to the School's program (sociology, political science, economics, organization studies, or related fields).
The IMPRS-SPCE aims to have a large proportion of international students. 
Degrees must be received by the end of September in the year applicants would enroll in the program. Candidates must have a proven record of academic excellence. In their research proposal, applicants must specify their research interests, and they are asked to identify an advisor from the program faculty. A list of successful proposals of preceding years is published on our website.

Applicants must have high English proficiency. Students may write their thesis in German or English, but they must be able to present their work at workshops and conferences in English and participate in courses taught in English and based on literature only available in English. Special training in English writing is available for our students. We also strongly urge our international students to learn German – doing so will give you greater access to German culture and enable you to participate more fully in the intellectual and social life of the institute and the universities.
Students receive a monthly scholarship of 1468 EUR.

Academic Advisors and Degrees

During the program, doctoral students are advised by a member of the IMPRS-SPCE's faculty. Applicants are asked to name one or two preferred advisors.
The IMPRS-SPCE does not grant academic degrees. Students usually submit their doctoral theses to the Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences of the University of Cologne or the Faculty of Social Sciences of the University of Duisburg-Essen.

Application Schedule

Date Event
Dec 10 - Feb 28 We welcome applications to the IMPRS-SPCE program once a year starting December 10.
Feb 28 The application deadline is February 28.
April Candidate interviews take place in April.
May Selection notifications are sent in May.
October 1 The program start date is October 1.







We welcome applications to the IMPRS-SPCE program once a year from mid-December to late February.


Max-Planck-Institut fuer Gesellschaftsforschung University Cologne University Duisburg Last modified 28.05.2019