Germany’s large non-university research organisations have a very good international reputation. They are where most German Nobel laureates have worked and where many globally significant research discoveries have been made and published. They offer excellent working conditions, interdisciplinary teams with researchers from all over the world, interesting and well-equipped research projects and international networking. They are also a good starting point from which international postdocs can launch their research careers.
Germany’s four large non-university research organisations
The profiles of Germany’s main research organisations differ considerably. While application-oriented research institutes like those of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft work closely with industry, the institutes of the Max-Planck-Gesellschaft focus primarily on basic research. The research centres of the Helmholtz Association, on the other hand, cover a wide range of research fields and also operate large research infrastructures, such as the Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron DESY. In contrast, the institutes of the Leibniz Association focus on demand-oriented and interdisciplinary research.
Skills development and ongoing training
Non-university research institutes place great emphasis on developing the skills of their staff and frequently offer needs-oriented internal training programmes specifically for researchers.
If your profile and your research subject fits, you can apply to one of these organisations’ institutes for a research grant, a postdoctoral research position or – with appropriate experience – a position as a junior research group leader.