Frequently Asked Questions

FAQ - MPIDR Summer Incubator

I made a mistake in the documents uploaded. Can I send corrected documents as email attachments to you? Also, can I submit application materials after the deadline? 

Unfortunately, we can only consider applications submitted via the link provided in the call for applications. Also, we will be able to consider only application materials received by the deadline for applications.

Because of my nationality, I need a visa to enter Germany. Will I receive a letter of admission and invitation to apply for a visa in the consulate/embassy in my country of residence?

Yes. We will provide accepted students with an official letter of admission/invitation to apply for a visa. Our international office will provide support regarding visas, if a visa is needed.

Can you tell me more about the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research (MPIDR)? What is it like to work there? How about the city of Rostock?

Yes, all you need to know about the MPIDR you can read here. All you need to know about life in the city of you can find out here

Will I have a personal office during the program?

All Incubator students will have a personal desk and computer in our Library. These desks are located close to other team members to enhance communication and teamwork. In addition, there are dedicated meeting rooms to provide space and more privacy for team meetings.

How is a typical day of work like during the summer incubator program?

Students are expected to be in residence at the institute and dedicate on average three quarters of their working time to the project’s teamwork, tutorials, workshops, seminars happening at the MPIDR and similar. The work is mainly driven by students’ teamwork and collaboration. Try to describe your skills, background and interests well in the submission cover letter. We aim at selecting applicants that could form a strong team and have complementary skills and profiles.

I know about the topics described in the call for applications, but the methods and research background I have are different. Should I apply?

Yes, and please consider the wide diversity of previous years’ students skills, profiles and backgrounds. Check here.

Do we get to choose our topic and group, or are they assigned by mentors?

While each team’s research area is defined in advance, there will be some freedom for deciding on the specific research questions, data and methods to be used in the program.Teams are selected based on the complementarity of skills, profiles and interests. We cannot guarantee assignment to a specific group. However, if you do have a preference, please express it in your cover letter/application and we will consider it to the extent that it is possible.

I am an IMPRS-PHDS core or affiliate student, can I apply?

There are no restrictions for IMPRS-PHDS students. However, in the likely event that there are more qualified applicants than spots available, preference would be given to students who would otherwise not have an opportunity to visit the institute.

I will not be enrolled in any degree program at the time of the incubator program, can I apply?

Unfortunately not. In order to take part, you need to be enrolled in a degree program (undergraduate, master’s or doctoral level). However, if you are in between programs (e.g., you just finished a master’s and are about to start your doctoral program, but have nor started yet), you may apply.  If you have finished your doctoral studies, you are not eligible for the incubator program. However, if you are a senior scientist who is working on a research project that fits the Institute’s portfolio and are interested in visiting the Institute, you  can consider our Guest Program.

What will be the final outcome of the program?

A scientific paper co-authored and written by all participating students and mentors.  The program is young as it started in 2022, but you can already see  examples of working papers from previous summers here. Credit in the outcome publication is divided based on individual contributions, often using the CRediT taxonomy.

Can I work on my MSc or PhD thesis during the work hours of the program?

Students are expected to devote approximately three quarters of their working time to the collaborative research project during the summer. They may have other responsibilities. However, given the intensive and collaborative nature of the program,  priority during the summer should be given to the project of the incubator program.

Are there any social activities planned?

Yes, some social gatherings with mentors are planned over the course of the summer. In addition, students organize many other social gatherings on their own. More broadly, we have a highly collegial culture and a strong sense of community at the institute: we typically have lunches together at the institute and get together for informal activities like playing table tennis, etc.

Will I receive any stipend, remuneration and accommodation during the program?

Yes, and the amount will depend on your qualifications and a variety of other factors (including your income situation during the program). If you are enrolled in a PhD program, you will be offered reimbursement for travel costs to/from Rostock, and a stipend. If you are not enrolled in a PhD program, you will be offered reimbursement for travel costs to/from Rostock, lodging in Rostock, and a per diem. Students admitted into the program will be in contact with our administration to determine the exact level of remuneration, in line with German regulations.

Will I be entitled to any days of vacation and holidays during the program?

Technically, you are not entitled to vacation days as a visitor with a stipend/per diem. But organizers grant up to 5 working days of leave, which can be used anytime (but possibly outside some key milestone dates such as team presentations) over the course of 3 months. Students usually coordinate their vacation days not to collide with their teamwork and peak of the research project.

May I work from home during the program?

The Incubator is an in-person summer program, and students will be expected to be in residence at the MPIDR in Rostock. One of the goals is to favor interaction and learning from each other. Nonetheless, occasional remote work up to a half-day inside Germany for good reasons (such as administrative tasks in other cities inside Germany, tests or examinations, etc.) will be discussed on an individual and case-by-case basis (you need to inform your team’s mentors beforehand to discuss and receive their permission). 

The Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research (MPIDR) in Rostock is one of the leading demographic research centers in the world. It's part of the Max Planck Society, the internationally renowned German research society.