Max Planck Junior Scholars
This year's Junior Scholars Program window will be July 15 to August 9, 2024. The call for applications is now open (see ‘how to apply’) and will close on March 3, 2024.
"We signed up for this course not knowing what to expect, but with the help of our mentor (...) we were able to explore subjects in science that we never thought we would touch on."
The Max Planck Junior Scholars Program offers summer internships to outstanding high-school students living in the Rhine-Main area to gain research experience at the Max Planck Institute for Brain Research (Frankfurt am Main), the Max Planck Institute of Biophysics (Frankfurt am Main) or the Max Planck Institute for Heart and Lung Research (Bad Nauheim) and to inspire them for a future career in the natural sciences.
Our program includes a summer internship in a host laboratory (minimum of two weeks), which can be followed by weekly visits to the lab (1-2 hours each) during the new school year. During this time the scholar will work together with a mentor (either a research assistant, graduate student or a postdoctoral fellow) on a scientific project that may be presented at a lab meeting or as a report.
Students who will be in 10th or 11th grade at the time of their internship are eligible to apply. Please note that we do not accept applications from students who will not be in 10th or 11th grade at the time of their internship. While our program is primarily for local students, we have a small number of spots available for students living abroad. International students over the age of 17 may travel with parental consent, while students under the age of 17 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Students who are not accompanied by a parent or guardian and who wish to stay in a hotel or rented apartment in the Frankfurt area are asked to check whether the accommodation has a minimum age requirement. Unfortunately, we are unable to provide visa assistance, housing, or transportation for our interns. International health insurance is required.
Before you consider applying, please note: Animal research plays a critical role in the advancement of neuroscience and our understanding of life itself. The complex workings of the brain and nervous system often require studies at the cellular and molecular level that cannot be fully replicated in vitro. At the Institute, we recognize the ethical considerations inherent in such research and are committed to the 3Rs - Replacement, Reduction and Refinement. These guiding principles focus our efforts on finding alternatives to animal use, minimizing their numbers where possible, and refining our methods to prioritize their well-being. Applicants for a Junior Scholar Internship position should acknowledge that they will be working in a laboratory where animal research is being conducted and support the ethical use of animals in biomedical research.
How to apply:
Please send us your complete application including your CV, a document with a list of grades for all classes you have taken since the 9th grade, and two short letters of motivation (max. 500 words), one describing your general motivation to participate in the Max Planck Junior Scholars Program and the other describing your motivation to do the internship in the lab of your first choice (you can select up to 3 labs). The application deadline is Sunday, March 3, 2024, 12 midnight CET. Apply now.
Connectomics – Moritz Helmsteadter (not participating in 2024)
The Helmstaedter Lab develops and applies high-throughput methods for measuring communication maps of neuronal circuits in order to decipher how the cerebral cortex stores sensory experience and uses it to detect objects.
Neural Systems and coding – Gilles Laurent (not participating in 2024)
The Laurent Lab is interested in the behavior, dynamics and emergent properties of networks of interacting neurons or neuron populations, and focuses principally on olfactory and visual systems.
Synaptic Plasticity – Erin Schuman
The Schuman Lab investigates how the cell biological mechanisms at the synapses, points of contact and communication between neurons, transmit information and modify circuits to store information.
Social Systems and Circuits - Alison Barker
The Barker Lab studies neural mechanisms for the processing and production of socially meaningful communication, with a particular focus on vocal communication.
Memory and Navigation Circuits - Hiroshi Ito
The Ito Lab investigates neural circuits for spatial navigation behaviors, interested in how animals can choose an optimal route to the goal location.
Instinctive Behavior Circuits - Vanessa Stempel
The Stempel Lab studies the neural mechanisms that underlie the flexible implementation of instinctive behaviours, with a focus on the synaptic and cellular correlates of behavioural flexibility in defined neural circuits.
Neurovascular Interface – Amparo Acker-Palmer (not participating in 2024)
The Acker-Palmer Lab aims to elucidating molecular pathways involved in crosstalk between vessels and nerves in order to find out the role of neurons, endothelial cells and astrocytes at the neurovascular interface.
Theoretical Biophysics – Gerhard Hummer
The Hummer Lab uses computational methods to explore the structure, dynamics, and function of biomolecules and their complexes.
Molecular Sociology - Martin Beck
The Beck lab investigates the structure, function and assembly of very large macromolecular complexes in the context of living cells using integrative, in situ structural biology techniques.
Developmental Genetics – Didier Stainier
The Stainier Lab investigates questions related to organogenesis including cell differentiation, tissue morphogenesis, organ homeostasis and function, as well as organ regeneration.