Max Planck Society

Entrance of the Max Planck Society Headquarter in Munich

The Max Planck Institute for Brain Research is one of 80 research institutes and facilities of the Max Planck Society (German acronym: MPG) for the Advancement of Science, which was founded in 1948 to succeed the Kaiser Wilhelm Society. The MPG is an independent, non-profit research organization at the service of the public, with more than 760 supporting, honorary, ex officio and active scientific members. The latter are the directors of the Max Planck Institutes and research facilities comprising approximately 14,300 employees, including scientists, student assistants, fellows of the International Max Planck Research Schools, doctoral and postdoctoral students, research fellows and visiting scientists (as of January 1, 2010). Although the MPG is funded to a large extent by the federal and state governments, it is not a governmental institution but a registered association (German acronym: e.V.) with its legal seat located in Berlin. The office of the President and the Administrative Headquarters of the Max Planck Society are located in Munich. The primary goal of the MPG is to promote research at its own institutes.

The individual institutes perform their scientific research freely and independently. Research topics cover the fields of natural and life sciences (Section of Biology and Medicine, Section of Chemistry, Physics and Technology), social sciences and humanities (Section of Humanities). In particular, the institutes of the Max Planck Society explore new and innovative research areas that are not -or not yet- covered at German universities. Therefore, the MPG recruits outstanding scientists from all over the world who redefine the research areas at existing institutes or even promote the creation of new institutes as the needs arise. Scientists within the MPG benefit from the excellent working conditions at the individual institutes and enjoy great freedom in the design of their research.

The outcome of the research work from the Max Planck Institutes is published each year in more than 12,000 peer-reviewed scientific articles, books, conference reports and other publications. As a result of this excellent record, the Max Planck Society is the second most-cited institution worldwide (Source: Essential Science Indicators, 03/2011).