Doing a PhD at the Fritz Haber Institute

Studying for a PhD at the Fritz Haber Institute is pretty exciting. At the historic Dahlem campus in the green southwest of Berlin, seven Nobel Prize winners have already made groundbreaking contributions to the natural sciences. All five departments of the Institute carry out current, innovative and interdisciplinary research. As a PhD student, you will be closely involved in the development of new scientific methods and technologies – that is one of the great advantages of doing a PhD in a research focused institution like the Max Planck Society. We also keep very close contact to nearby universities; our scientists – and your future supervisors – are affiliated with all three Berlin universities. All of our PhD students also become part of an international network, as half of our scientific staff come from abroad to do research here.

PhD opportunities


New PhD students at the Fritz Haber Institute receive all-round support. The departmental secretariats help foreign PhD students to prepare for their stay in Germany; the local Welcome Office assists with the application and renewal of residence permits. We also offer German language courses free of charge. PhD students with children will receive help in securing kindergarten places. We attach great importance to the compatibility of family and career.

Life at the Institute

At the Fritz Haber Institute, research is naturally the focus of most activities. But we like to have fun, too! The PhDNet, founded by PhD students at the Institute, organizes regular social events and promotes the exchange between the departments. Each department has representatives who are happy to help newcomers find their way around and settle in.

Active participation by PhD students is very welcome! For example, you can join the Sustainability Group and get involved with environmental issues on campus. They organize thematic events and even cook sustainable lunch sometimes. By the way: since the Fritz Haber Institute undertakes a lot of research in the field of sustainable energy, the campus is designed to be bicycle-friendly and since 2020 also offers an infrastructure for recharging electric cars.

You can also join the committee of the Fritz Session, a lecture series organised by PhD students where they invite interesting scientists to present their research at the Institute. In this way you can actively participate in and shape the scientific discussion on campus. The Fritz-Haber-Institute is fully committed to support its PhD students in such endeavours.

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