International Max Planck Research School on the Social and Political Constitution of the Economy (IMPRS-SPCE)

    The International Max Planck Research School on the Social and Political Constitution of the Economy (IMPRS-SPCE) is a joint international PhD Program of the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies (MPIfG) and the Department of Management, Economics and Social Sciences of the University of Cologne.

    Research explores the relationship between the modern economy and its social and political foundations. Building on a long tradition in sociology and political science, the school aims to combine and develop the approaches of new economic sociology, comparative political economy and organization studies.

    The curriculum combines sociology, political science and organization studies, focussing especially on economic sociology and comparative political economy.

    The IMPRS-SPCE is jointly financed by the Max Planck Society and the University of Cologne.


    To be admitted students must hold an MA, Magister or Diploma in a discipline relevant to the School's program (sociology, political science, economics, organization studies or related disciplines). Degrees must be received by September of the year starting the fellowship. Candidates must have a proven record of academic excellence.

    The IMPRS aims to have a high share of international students. While students may write their thesis in German, they must be able to present their work at workshops and conferences in English. They must also be able to participate in courses during their first year that are taught in English and are based on literature that is only available in the English language. Special training in English writing is provided if required. A list of successful proposals of preceding years is published on our website.

    The IMPRS-SPCE is an English-language institution situated in the German academic context. While doctoral students can meet the curriculum requirements without any knowledge of German, they will be in a bilingual work environment in a German-speaking city. We strongly recommend that international students learn some German, since this will enhance their everyday lives, give them greater access to German culture, and enable them to participate more fully in the intellectual and social life of the institute and the university.


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    Students receive a monthly scholarship of 1468 EUR to cover their living expenses. No tuitions will be charged. Fellowships will start on October 1.

    They will be awarded for 15 months with an option for an additional 27 months. Upon acceptance into the second phase after the First Year Paper Workshop the scholarship will be extended for the additional 27 months.

    Doctoral students at the IMPRS have a fully equipped shared office, full access to the libraries and research facilities of the MPIfG and the Department of Economics and Social Sciences of the University of Cologne, and research funds to conduct their projects.

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