1. MPP PhD Representatives

1.1. Who are we?

We are the representatives of the International Max Planck Research School (IMPRS) PhD students. Each of us represents one department of the Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP). Below you can find important information on the groups we represent and how to contact us.

1.2. What are we doing?

We would like to contribute to maintain the excellent conditions at the MPP and further improve our PhD lives. We organize social events, keep you informed on what is going on at the institute, and keep an eye on our working conditions. We try our best to be available for you and support you if there are any problems concerning your PhD project.

Representatives Committee Spokesperson

150 Felix Hagemann
Room: 112
Tel: +49 89 32354-327

Speaker of Experimental Department,
Prof. Caldwell
150 Johannes Diehl
Room: 248
Tel: +49 89 32354-464
Groups: AWAKE, LEGEND, GERDA, GeDet, BAT, MadMax, ILC, BELLE and FutDet

Speaker of Theory Department,
Prof. Dvali & Prof. Lüst & Dr. Raffelt
150 Juan Valbuena
Room: A314 (LMU)
Tel: +49 89 2180-4601
Groups: Particle Physics and Cosmology, Theoretical astroparticle physics and string theory

Speaker of Experimental Department,
Prof. Bethke
150 Daniel Siegmann
Room: 30C (Container)
Tel: +49 89 32354-401

Speaker of Theory Department,
Prof. Henn & Prof. Zanderighi
150 Silvia Zanoli
Room: 341
Tel: +49 89 32354-407
Groups: Quantum Field Theory and Novel computational techniques in particle physics

Speaker of Experimental Department,
Prof. Teshima
150 Francesca Pucci
Room: 243
Tel: +49 89 32354-218
Groups: CRESST and MAGIC

2. Useful IT Stuff

The stuff that someone should have told us on day one at the institute :)

2.1. Login

On your first day, you got a sheet with a username and a password. These login data are used in most of the MPP IT services.

You can change your password with the following command:


It will guide you through the process.

2.2. Remote Access

We can access the command line from anywhere with SSH. Just type in any terminal:

ssh username@pclXXX.mpp.mpg.de

This example assumes you are working on the computer named pclXXX. Get the name of your real computer also from the command line via:


2.3. Git

Working with text files, you may want to use a version control system, even if it is only to have a backup. Git is one of the best of those.

You can find a useful online interactive tutorial on:

which teaches you already 95% of the git commands you will ever need.

Remote Repositories

In order to have separate backups of your project, you need to set up so-called remotes. Then you can easily keep them updated. We have several options.

Two recommended services are:

Both allow you to have private repositories, i.e. repositories that are not public and can be accessed only by you.

Free Github has only public repositories, but our institute has a paid company account there. Mr Leupold can add your github account to the institue’s, allowing you to create private repositories (if you insist on using github).

Alternatively, git accepts a local path as remote "url". So you can set up a remote on any computers here. You can even acces those from outside our network with SSH:


2.4. Literature

2.4.1. Library

You can search for books in our local library on our MPP homepage: Startpage → Studying and working → Library.

If you need a new book or if there are not enough copies of a good book, you can talk to our librarian, Jana Pietsch. There is definitely the possibility and budget to buy new books for the library.

2.4.2. Springer Books

You have access to (almost) all books from the Springer publishing company. From inside the MPP network, open the webpage

and you can download the books even as a single PDF!

2.4.3. MPP Logos

You can find the MPP logos in several formats for your publications on:

2.5. Nextcloud

You reach the MPP Nextcloud on

You can log in using your standard MPP login data. Nextcloud is especially useful for sharing (large) files and works even outside the MPP network.

  • Dropbox and Owcloud alternative; sync and share files

  • Calendar; edit online and sync with "caldav"

  • Contacts; edit online and sync with "carddav"

2.6. Personal Homepage

Every user can have a personal homepage:


The files for this site have to be saved in the home directory:


If this folder does not exist, you just have to create it. Here, you can host a (complex) static homepage. Static means that server-scripts like PHP are disabled; this pushes security.

2.7. Twiki

You can find information on the working groups at MPP on

2.8. Email

For each MPP account, there exists an email account with the address username@mpp.mpg.de.

2.8.1. Web Mail

Our institute offers a way to access your emails via a webpage:

2.8.2. Thunderbird/Mail Client

To set up an email program (client), use the following settings. Thunderbird is already installed on the MPP machines and should offer the settings automatically when you add a new email account.


MPP username

Email address



MPP password

Incoming Server

IMAP, imap.mpp.mpg.de, SSL/TLS, Normal password

Outgouing Server

SMTP, smtp.mpp.mpg.de, SSL/TLS, Normal password

2.8.3. Forwarding

The MPP uses a mail transfer agent called "sendmail". In your home folder there should be a file called .forward. This file contains the path to your real .forward file (something like /remote/forward/[username]/.forward). This file should be empty. You can add email addresses to this file; one per line.


Your emails are now fowrwarded to the email addresses. The first line \username (\"your username") guarantees that the emails are also kept in your MPP email account. Without this line, the emails would be just forwarded and not stored at the MPP.

2.9. Files

2.9.1. File System

The computers at MPP are connected via the network. Therefore, you can easily access every file from every computer. Please note, that your home folder may be on a different machine than the one you are working on.

2.9.2. File Permissions

Your files are per default readable by all MPP members. You can modify the permissions so that only you have rights to access your data:

chmod go-rw file1 file2 ...
chmod -R go-rw folder1 folder2 ...

2.10. Guides

2.11. Licenses/Software/Services

TUM students can install

LMU and TUM students can use the LRZ services:

3. Beaurocracy

3.1. IMPRS

Starting at the MPP, you are part of the IMPRS (International Max Planck Research School), which is a graduate school. With your application to be a PhD student, you automatically applied for the IMPRS. You need to have an official supervisor who belongs to a university so that you can submit your PhD thesis. Mainly there are two universities possible.

3.2. TUM

The TUM also demands PhD students to join its own graduate school (TUM-GS). You do not have to be part of the TUM-GS before you start here, but you should not wait too long to register there. The registration as a student (matriculation) is not mandatory but can be done after registration to the TUM-GS.

3.2.1. TUM-GS Registration

To make things more complicated, there is also the graduate school of the Physics Department of the TUM (aka "doctoral candidacy list"/"Promotionsliste"). Each of the other departments have their own graduate school as well and the TUM-GS supervises them all.

Luckily, you don’t have to register with both of them separately.

First, you need a Supervision Agreement. The "Supervisor" is the one who signs your diploma (Doktorvarter); and the "mentor" has to be someone else with a finished PhD. The signature for the "Faculty Graduate Center Physics" makes its coordinator (Philipp v. Loewenfeld); but he can give his signature after the registration so you don’t have to bother him.

Then you go to the website of the TUM-GS, register there and start an application for a PhD position. There, you can put in some data and can print out the application form. They also give you a list of necessary documents.

Then you just bring everything to the dean’s office (Dekanat) of the Physics Department in Garching: Ms. Karin Maria Lichtnecker.

With a successful registration, you are part of both the TUM-GS and the graduate school of the Physics Department.

3.2.2. Matriculation/Enrollment

This site gives you info about the matriculation and a how-to. As a PhD candidate you can enroll at any time; but only for 6 semesters in total; also the first semester of your enrollment is counted whole, even if you enroll late.

3.2.3. Teaching

As a graduate from the TUM, you need to get 2000 teaching points. We are considered "external" PhD students and only have to get a fraction of the guys sitting in Garching.

See this website for more info: https://www.ph.tum.de/academics/phd/duties/

3.2.4. Other duties

There is one more duty. As a TU PhD student you have to participate in the TUM GS kick-off seminar. It is a three-day event which should teach you how to successfully complete your PhD. When there is still a free place available, be quick: Normally, every seminar is booked out within hours.

At this seminar, they will tell you that you also have to participate in other soft skill seminars. Luckily for us, our IMPRS colloquium counts as soft skill seminar…​

3.3. LMU

3.3.1. Matriculation/Enrollment (as an international student)

In case you come from outside Germany, you will apply for "Individual doctorate" as an "international student". There are two deadlines every year before the summer/winter semesters start, 15th Jan. and 15th Jul respectively. You need to finish all the steps below until (3) by then. The procedure shown here is in 2017. Please clarify if it is up-to-date by contacting corresponding offices.

(1) Find an official supervisor and receive supervision agreement letter

You need to find an official supervisor who is a professor in LMU and can take the role of dissertation.

After you have an agreement on the dissertation with one of them, you will receive the supervision agreement letter. You need to have two copies, one for the Dien’s office and the other for your backup.

(2) Submit documents to Dean’s office and receive admission letter

You need to visit Dean’s office and submit the documents to the secretary.

You need to submit

  • application form (They will give you)

  • CV (No gap in the timeline until you will be enrolled)

  • certificate and transcripts (All the university level education)

  • supervision agreement letter


  • You may be asked to bring "original form" of certificates. It is not original, as long as the stamp or sign on the document is just in printed form. Thus you had better preparing original certificates (of Bachelor/Master completion ) with you.

  • The process might take several weeks.

(3) Submit documents to International Office

You need to visit International office and submit the documents.

Guidelines for applying for doctoral studies(international applicants): https://www.uni-muenchen.de/studium/studium_int/studium_lmu/promotion_aufbaustud/index.html

You need to submit

  • application form (They will give you)

  • CV

  • certificate and transcripts

  • admission letter

  • supervision agreement letter


  • You may not need to submit supervision agreement letter.

  • Proof of the German language skills listed in the guidelines is not needed.

(4) Enrollment

4. Miscellaneous

4.1. Useful Stuff

4.1.1. Max Planck Digital Library

The Max Planck digital library supports scientists from all Max Planck institutes with a broad portfolio of services in the fields of information provision, publication support and research data management:

4.1.2. How to Deal with no Subscription Deal

Several measures to still get access to scientific publications for which there is no subscription deal any longer:

4.1.3. FAQ on Travelling

Some frequently asked questions regarding travelling within the framework of the Max Planck society are answered on

4.1.4. MPS Doctoral Guidelines

Guidelines for doctoral students in the Max Planck Society can be found on

5. Mental Health

Here you will find information on where to get help if you have health issus.

5.1. External Support Service in Crisis (Fürstenberg Institut)

Offered from external company (free and anonymous for MPP employees)

Support and advice in cases of discrimination, sexual abuse, etc. (free for MPP employees, external lawyers)

5.3. Psychotherapeutic and psychosocial advisory service (Studentenwerk)

Problems related to studies and personal conflicts (free for enrolled students)