MPSP Equal Opportunity Program

MPSP Equal Opportunity Program

Science is biased. Top-tier scientists are still mostly male and white – despite the fact that studies show that diverse teams are more productive and creative and have a better working atmosphere. Photonics is unfortunately no exception here. For example, according to the American Physical Society, only slightly above 20% of doctoral degrees in physics and engineering fields are given to women [1]. And according to the American Institute of Physics, only 18% of all full physics professors are female [2].

But that doesn't mean we can't change it!

The Max Planck School of Photonics aims to recruit excellent students from all genders, nationalities, ethnic and social backgrounds, sexual orientations, and physical abilities. As part of our “Equal Opportunity Program”, we especially encourage applications from individuals who belong to underrepresented groups in science.


"Excellence" means not only scientific expertise for us, but also social networking skills. That's why we are testing these skills in our application process as well.

We pay attention to your potential – regardless of your background. We are aware that the opportunities to develop your talents are more rare in some regions of the world. We consider this in the selection process.

If you are physically limited by a disability, this should not stand in the way of your career. In Germany, we are not only legally obligated to support you (financially) if you need special assistance – it is also personally very important for us.

25% of our scholarships are reserved for excellent women. Here you are only competing with other female applicants, not with male ones. [All applicants compete for the remaining 75% with equal chances].


Of course, all applicants are welcome to contact us and ask questions about their application process. 

As the topic of gender diversity is particularly close to our hearts, female & diverse applicants are welcome to additionally contact Dr. Julia Hengster, our central coordinator. She is a female physicist herself and will be happy to answer any questions you may have about your career development:

Julia Hengster

Julia Hengster

Central Coordinator
Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Optics and Precision Engineering IOF

If you have a physical disability and wonder how your equal opportunities can be established in the application process and everyday Ph.D. life, please contact our Equal Opportunity Officer Dr. Anna Späthe:

Anna Späthe

Anna Späthe

Finance Coordinator
Friedrich Schiller University Jena
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