About the IMPRS-SPCE

About the IMPRS-SPCE

The International Max Planck Research School on the Social and Political Constitution of the Economy (IMPRS-SPCE) is a unique international three-and-a-half-year doctoral program in the fields of economic sociology, political economy, and organization studies that is offered jointly by the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies (MPIfG), the University of Cologne's Faculty of Management, Economics and Social Sciences, and the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Duisburg-Essen.

Located in the vibrant city of Cologne, the IMPRS-SPCE provides a supportive and intellectually stimulating environment for research-oriented doctoral students from around the world. Established in 2007 as the first program of its kind in the fields of economic sociology and political economy in Germany, it offers an unparalleled curriculum that includes intensive training in research design and methods of empirical research.

Research at the intersection between economy, politics, and society

Research at the IMPRS-SPCE focuses on the crucial intersection between the economy, politics, and society. Our doctoral students work with renowned faculty from some of Germany's most prestigious research institutions and develop new approaches in economic sociology, comparative and international political economy, and organization studies. Students at the IMPRS-SPCE can complete part of their studies at one of our five partner universities in France, Italy, or the United States, or another academic institution abroad. Our international exchange program gives junior researchers the opportunity to benefit from meeting and working with some of the most distinguished scholars in their fields.

With its unique curriculum of seminars, colloquia, international conferences and summer schools, and the opportunity to contribute actively to the intellectual life at the MPIfG and the two partner universities, the School creates an environment in which students operate at the highest academic level, can build essential professional skills, and make the best possible start to a successful research career. Graduates from the program have won prestigious awards such as the German Thesis Award and the Otto Hahn Medal. The IMPRS-SPCE prepares its graduates for careers in academia. While most alumni successfully pursue careers at universities, some also go on to work in the private sector, government, associations, and international organizations.

A vibrant research environment

Every year the School admits up to eight students. Candidates should hold a master's degree or equivalent in political science, sociology, organization studies, or related fields and possess strong English skills. The positions begin on October 1. The application period usually runs from mid-December to late February. Doctoral degrees in political science and sociology are awarded by the University of Cologne and the University of Duisburg-Essen. Students at the IMPRS-SPCE may also acquire a French doctorate by entering the joint doctoral program (cotutelle de thèse) with Sciences Po in Paris.

Please note that applications for the next academic year can only be accepted through our application portal, which will be open as of mid-December.

To learn more about the structure of the doctoral program, as well as financial support and the application procedure, please explore the links provided. Please direct all inquiries to the coordination office by email to imprs@mpifg.de.

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