The Max Planck Society (MPG) is an independent, non-profit research organisation named after the world-famous physicist Max Planck (1858–1947). With its focus on basic research in the natural sciences, life sciences, humanities and social sciences, the MPG complements research projects at universities.

The MPG is well-known for its excellence in research. Since it was established in 1948, eighteen MPG researchers have received the Nobel Prize. Stefan W. Hell, director at the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry in Göttingen, received the renowned award in 2014 (Nobel Prize in Chemistry).

Organisational Details

More than 22,000 people (scholarship holders and staff) are employed at the MPG. The MPG headquarters is located in Munich.

Facts and Figures

  • 83 research institutes
    (5 institutes and 1 branch abroad)

  • Approx. 17,000 staff (including 5,600 researchers)
    and 4,600 scholarship holders and visiting researchers from all over the world (2015)

  • Annual budget: approx. 2.1 billion euros (2015)

Research Activities

Max Planck Institutes conduct basic research in the interest of the public. The fields of research are natural sciences, life sciences, social sciences and the humanities. Some institutes also perform services for university research, providing equipment and facilities to researchers, such as telescopes, large-scale equipment, specialised libraries and documentary resources.

International Cooperation

Max Planck Institutes frequently build international networks to create the critical mass for specific research topics. The fact that MPG researchers are highly sought-after and appreciated as esteemed research partners worldwide is evidenced by the fact that there were approx. 6,000 international visiting and junior researchers at Max Planck Institutes and over 4,500 ongoing international research projects with more than 5,400 partners in over 120 countries around the world in 2015.

As a research partner, the MPG collaborates with numerous institutes and multinational research facilities outside Germany.

Research Budget

Image Research Budget

The MPG budget amounts to approx. 2.1 billion euros (2015). The MPG is primarily financed out of public funds from the Federal Government and the states (Länder). It also receives third-party project funding from public and private bodies as well as the European Union.





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