Max Planck Institute of Economics 2012 Doctoral Fellowships in Law, Economics, and Psychology at Germany

The International Max Planck Research School on Adapting Behavior in a Fundamentally Uncertain World (Uncertainty School) combines approaches from Economics, Law and Psychology to explain human decisions under uncertainty more effectively and to better design institutional responses.

Max Planck Institute of Economics offers PhD Fellowships in Law, Economics, and Psychology at IMPRS, Germany 2012

Study Subject(s):Law, Economics, and Psychology
Course Level: PhD
Scholarship Provider: Max Planck Institute
Scholarship can be taken at: Germany

Applicants are required to hold a Diploma, a Masters Degree or a State Exam with honors in one of the above mentioned disciplines or an equivalent degree in a related discipline.

Scholarship Open for International Students: Yes

Scholarship Description: The IMPRS Uncertainty combines approaches from Economics, Law and Psychology to explain human decisions under uncertainty more effectively and to better design institutional responses. The Uncertainty-School is jointly hosted by the Max Planck Institutes of Economics in Jena, for Human Development in Berlin, for Research on Collective Goods in Bonn, and the Department of Social Psychology and the School of Economics and Business Administration of the Friedrich- Schiller-University Jena. International Partners are the Program in Cognitive Science and the Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis at Indiana University, Bloomington, the Interdepartmental Centre for Research Training in Economics and Management (CIFREM) at the University of Trento, and the Center for Rationality at the Hebrew University, Jerusalem. Associated Partner is the University of Bonn, „Rechts- und Staatswissenschaftliche Fakultät, Fachbereich Rechtswissenschaften”.
The Curriculum of the IMPRS-Uncertainty has three pillars: a four-week summer school, an annual Thesis and Topics Workshop, and local training. Additionally scholars are encouraged to spend a term at a cooperating international institution.
Both, the Max Planck Society and the Friedrich Schiller University are committed to improve the opportunities for women in the sciences and particularly encourage them to apply.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

  •  Who can apply?

Candidates may apply if they have (or will have) a master’s degree, 1. Staatsexamen or equivalent in the following, with a fully satisfactory final score:
Economics and Business Administration.
Psychology, especially social and cognitive Psycology or related disciplines
A BA degree alone does not fulfill the requirements. Applicants’ interests must fit in the general topic of the IMPRS program (see “Application Procedure” and Research).

  • When can I apply?

The application for IMPRS-Uncertainty Fellowships usually has two deadlines. One on April 1st for fellows starting in July and the other on November 1st for fellows starting in February in the following year. As a general rule, we start accepting applications one month before deadline.

  • What should I do before I apply?

Before submitting any documents familiarize yourself with the application procedure (How to Apply). Further, take a look at the IMPRS’ Faculty site for more information on the Professors’ work and projects. In your letter of interest, you should describe your research and career interests. On the online application form, identify one or two IMPRS locations where you would like to conduct your research.

  • What should I include in my application?

Your application should be in English. Please use the online application forms. Your complete application for admission to the IMPRS-Uncertainty has to contain:

Your filled out application form including your contact information, educational background,
the naming of two recommenders and your choice concerning which faculty members you want to meet if invited for an interview
Curriculum Vitae (including academic training and professional experience)
A letter of interest (max. 1000 words) stating your research interest, your interest in interdisciplinary approach, a possible research topic and how this topic is related to the research school
Official transcripts/records of studies of all colleges/universities you have attended (scan or photocopy)
Two letters of recommendation and two ratings of your academic skills and abilities by mentors who know you well.

  • What is the language of the program?

Courses are held in English. A thorough knowledge of English is therefore inevitable. However, applicants don’t need any certificate to prove their knowledge of the English language, since the application interviews are also held in English. Knowledge of the German language is not mandatory but recommendable.

  • What should the topic of my doctoral project be to fit in the program?

Your topic shuld fit the Research fields of the school. Furthermore, as you will need a thesis advisor, you should have a look at the IMPRS faculty site to find scientist(s) with similar interests to potentially work with.

  • How much financial support will I receive?

Students admitted to the IMPRS will receive a monthly scholarship of 1,000 EUR for maximally three years to cover their living expenses. The stipend is tax-free. Additional payments for accompanying spouses or children might be possible under certain prerequisites.

  • From which university will I receive my doctoral degree?

Degrees may be received from the partnering universities of the respective location. International students may also choose to have their degree awarded by a university of their home country. In any case, organizational and procedural issues will be the doctoral students’ responsibility. Neither the Max Planck Institute of Economics, Human Development, Research on Collective Goods nor the IMPRS are degree-granting institutions.

  • What degree can I pursue in the IMPRS Uncertainty program?

You can pursue a PhD in one of the disciplines, i.e. either in economics, law or psychology. There are no interdisciplinary degrees.

  • What about health insurance?

Every student must have health insurance. This is also a prerequisite for enrollment at a German university. The Max Planck Society does not pay any subsidies towards health insurance payments. You may also consider staying insured in your home country if the health insurance company covers you during studies in Germany. Of course we will support you to find an adequate health insurance.

  • Who can be my referee?

We request references from at least two scholars familiar with your academic work (one letter should be from your M. A. thesis research advisor) who can judge your potential as a PhD student. If your first language is not English, your referees should comment on your ability to read, write, and speak English. It is your responsibility to contact your referees and make sure they submit the relevant information before the application deadline. For more information see “How to Apply”.

  • Do I have to apply online?

Yes, at least you will have to complete the online application form. We strongly encourage online applications. However, if you have problems to scan your documents, you may also send those by regular mail. Also your referees may send their letters or recommendations by regular mail. Please make sure that all documents arrive on time.

  • Tuition fees

Most German universities do not charge tuition. However, they may require payment of a small enrollment fee entitling students to certain services. Presently, the fees for the Universities in Berlin, Bonn an Jena range between 100 – 200 EUR per semester (6 months). Enrollment entitles students to a public transportation ticket good on all local trains and buses (Semesterticket) and also to many student discounts for cultural events and travel.

  • Can I do my master’s in this program? Are there postdoc positions in this program?

No, this program is only for students with a master’s degree or equivalent who want to pursue a doctoral degree in the specified fields. For post-doctoral positions please refer to Job Openings of the participating institutions.

  • I would like to apply for a summer internship only.

This is not possible at the IMPRS.

  • Where do I apply?

You have to apply online at the Max Planck Institute Jena, but if you want to go to another institute (Bonn or Berlin) you can state your priorities in the application form. If you have no preference regarding the place of your study choose “no priority” in the location menue. This will maximize your chances of getting into the program as your application will be reviewed by all participating institutions.

  • Can I apply for the Research School even if I am only going to finish my degree this year?

Yes, you can. Everyone finishing their degree until the December / January at the latest is eligible to apply. For further questions please contact us.

Do you still have questions?
You still have questions? Do not hesitate to send an e-mail to:

How to Apply
: Online at:

Scholarship Application Deadline: April 1st, 2012

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