Advanced Research Outside of Universities

The excellent working conditions enjoyed by scholars at hundreds of German research institutes are found at very few other institutions around the globe.

Max Planck Society

Since the society was founded in 1948 the Max Planck Institutes (MPI) alone can boast 17 Nobel Prize laureates. The 77 Max Planck Institutes perform basic research in the natural sciences, the life sciences, the humanities and social sciences. Together with partner universities, the Max Planck Society has set up International Max Planck Research Schools

(IMPRS). Half of the doctoral students at the 55 graduate schools come from abroad.

Fraunhofer Society

Some 17,000 people currently work at the 80 research facilities that belong to the Fraunhofer Society. The trademark of the 60 Fraunhofer Institutes located throughout Germany is their close collaboration with industry, especially small and medium-sized enterprises. Applied research is carried out particularly in the engineering sciences. The Fraunhofer Society has centres in Europe, the USA, Asia and the Middle East.

Leibniz Association

The 86 institutes belonging to the Scientific Community Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz – or Leibniz Association, for short – pursue very different kinds of research. They are strong not only in the life sciences and the natural sciences, but also in the humanities, social sciences and economics. The Bernhard Nocht Institute for Tropical Medicine in Hamburg is just as much a member of the association as the Institute for the German Language in Mannheim. Leibniz Institutes employ 16,000 people, including 7,000 researchers.

Helmholtz Association

The Helmholtz Association has 16 high-tech research centres, including large institutions with extremely costly facilities that are internationally renowned, such as the Centre for Heavy Ion Research (GSI), the German Electron Synchrotron in Hamburg (DESY) and the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research. The Helmholtz Association is Germany’s largest scientific organization with an annual budget of 2.8 billion euros and 28,000 employees.