Important Information for Applicants

Important Information for Applicants

The Max Planck Institute offers a limited number of short-term scholarships (maximum of 3 months) for legal scholars whose primary place of residence is outside of Germany. The scholarships are financed by the Max Planck Society and are awarded each year in connection with two windows of application.

Scholarships are available for:

  • Foreign doctoral candidates,
  • Foreign post-doctoral candidates and other advanced-stage researchers,
  • Foreign professors or other senior researchers of equivalent academic achievement.

As regards large-scale research projects, particularly dissertations, scholarships will generally be granted only when the project is at an advanced as opposed to a preliminary stage.

Previous scholarship recipients are not excluded from applying for a subsequent grant, even as regards the same research project (e.g. a doctoral thesis). In such cases applicants should describe in their research proposal the progress made on their project since the first scholarship grant.

In order to give the greatest number of researchers the chance to work at the Institute, grants are not as a general rule extended to applicants who have already received two scholarship awards.

Please also note that if you have already submitted a grant application in the first round for 2020, your application cannot be considered for the second round for the same year. In this case, you are welcome to re-apply beginning in 2021.

Applicants need not be proficient in German. However, if you envision that your intended research will include an inquiry into German law, your research proposal should indicate how you will – as necessary – obtain the desired information from foreign-language sources.

To ensure smooth and effective communication with Institute staff members and other guests, applicants should at a minimum have a strong command of either German or English.

Please take careful note of our application process guidelines. Applications which are incomplete or deviate from the guidelines will not be considered.

Research Topics at the Instiute

The research project in question must correspond to the academic interests of the Institute, as only then can it be ensured that scholarship recipients will be able to engage in meaningful academic exchange with other researchers and find relevant literature in our library.

Applicants applying for the current round of scholarship awards are advised that topics presently being researched at the Institute include, in particular, the following:

  • Private international law and international civil procedure
  • Theory and history of private international law
  • Conflict of laws as a regulatory mechanism
  • Private international law in Africa
  • Comparative Succession Law (Europe and other continents)
  • Uniform Private Law
  • Decolonial comparative law
  • Private law and gender studies
  • Comparative Legal Methodology
  • European Contract Law, especially Sale of Goods Law
  • Comparative Succession Law (Europe and other continents)
  • Partnership Law
  • Close corporations
  • Company Valuation Law
  • Family and Succession Law in Islamic countries
  • Procedural Law in Islamic countries
  • Comparative and International Private Law in Islamic countries
  • Chinese civil law codification and Chinese civil procedure law
  • Japanese Company Law, Capital Markets Law and procedural law
  • Korean Family Law

Applications are also possible for projects that are thematically related to any of the other focal points of institute research.

Please note that the research areas Intellectual Property, Procedural Law, Social Law and Public International Law are investigated primarily at other Max Planck Institutes. If your research topic entails references to one of these research areas, please provide a separate explanatory statement of why you think that our Institute is the appropriate institution for your research.

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