International Max Planck Research School

International Max Planck Research School


The training of young academics is essential for the future of science and research. Therefore, the Max Planck Society launched a unique postgraduate training program – the International Max Planck Research Schools.

In a highly competitive process, the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Energy Conversion (MPI CEC) was able to secure funding to establish a new IMPRS. Together with Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Duisburg-Essen, Universität Bonn and the neighboring Max Planck Institute für Kohlenforschung, the IMPRS on Reactive Structure Analysis for Chemical Reactions (RECHARGE) was founded. The spokesperson of the school is MPI CEC Director Prof. Dr. Frank Neese. We are glad to welcome postgraduates for the first time in this unique training program, starting in autumn 2015.

Since 2000, the International Max Planck Research Schools (IMPRS) have become a permanent part of our efforts to promote Ph.D. students. Talented German and foreign junior scientists are offered the opportunity to earn a doctorate under excellent research conditions. A shared characteristic of the graduate programs at Max Planck Institutes is a close collaboration with universities. The research schools are established by one or several Max Planck Institutes. However, these IMPRS work in close cooperation with universities and other – sometimes foreign – research institutions. This provides an extraordinary framework for the graduate students to work in, and is a great advantage in interdisciplinary research projects, or in projects that require special equipment. 

You will find this text and further information on the Max Planck Society's website.

Mission and Aim

There are numerous challenges associated with the quest for renewable, sustainable solutions to the global energy crisis. While, in principle, the energy available from sunlight would be sufficient to even satisfy energy needs of highly developed societies, the practical implementation of capturing and using solar energy are numerous and challenging. Perhaps the most pressing problem is that solar energy is not available on demand anytime and everywhere. Hence, it is necessary to develop efficient storage mechanisms for solar energy. The MPI CEC is built upon the realization that the best way to achieve energy storage in a sustainable and environmentally friendly way, is to store the energy in chemical bonds. Thus, the goal of our IMPRS is to decouple the primary photochemical processes that lead to capturing of solar energy from its later uses in technology or mobility.

Doctoral students will mainly deal with reactivity/structure analysis in the six key energy-conserving chemical reactions. RECHARGE will focus on understanding the atomic level mechanisms of catalytic processes, at both the homogeneous and heterogeneous limits, by using state of the art methods in physical characterization and theory.

Die IMPRS Recharge broadly covers research from the following research areas:

  • Heterogeneous catalysis
  • Homogeneous catalysis
  • Biological catalysis
  • Magnetic and optical spectroscopy
  • Physical Organic Chemistry
  • Electrochemistry
  • Laser spectroscopy and Biophotonics
  • Inorganic Chemistry
  • Theoretical Chemistry
  • Computational Chemistry

Detailed informations about IMPRS RECHARGE, the application process and contact persons can be found on the IMPRS-Website