The Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research (MPI-P) ranks among the top research centers in the field of polymer science worldwide. The institute was founded in 1983 on the campus of the Johannes Gutenberg University and commenced work in June 1984.
The focus on so-called soft materials and macro-molecular materials has resulted in the worldwide unique position of the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research and its research focus. The Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research offers ideal conditions for conducting outstanding research. The institute combines all the necessary specialized expertise - from the creative design of new materials, from their synthesis in the lab to their physical characterization as well as the theoretical understanding of polymer characteristics.
The Institute is divided into six working areas of basic scientific research into the field of polymers.
- Structure and Dynamics
- Proteins at Interfaces
- Functional Materials and Devices
- Approaches to Synthesis
- Development of Methods
- Supramolecular Architectures
There is strong interaction between the different departments working on interdisciplinary research projects. In addition the institute has several service groups at its disposal, e.g. analysis of polymers, spectroscopy, electronic data processing, x-ray structure analysis, atomic force microscopy and mechanical spectroscopy. Each service group is headed by one of the institute’s directors, but these services can be used by all the scientists at the institute.
Promotion and training of international junior scientists
The training of junior scientists is of primary importance for the future of science and innovation. The International Max Planck Research Schools form an internationally attractive and well-structured graduate program to promote the training of junior scientists in cooperation with German universities. The International Max Planck Research School for Polymer Materials Science (IMPRS-PMS) is an exchange and training program run jointly by the MPI-P and the Faculty of Chemistry at the University of Mainz. Within the framework of the federal “Excellence Initiative” the IMPRS-PMS and the university’s graduate programs POLYMAT and MATCOR joined ranks to found the Graduate School MAINZ – MAterials science IN mainZ. The newly established Max Planck Graduate Center run together with the Johannes Gutenberg University offers an internationally attractive graduate training program with its own regulations governing PhDs, a new focus on curricula as well as innovative and interdisciplinary fields of research.
The MPI for Polymer Research has not only made a name for itself within the framework of training international junior scientists. For more than 20 years it has been actively training young school leavers as apprentices in three fields of work. School leavers can choose to undergo an apprenticeship from the following areas: as a industrial mechanic with a focus on precision mechanics, as a chemical laboratory assistant in cooperation with the University of Mainz, or as an office administrator, all trained by experts with the backing of modern infrastructure. Within the framework of a cooperation project between the institute and BASF the MPI-P will soon offer trainee physics laboratory assistants the chance to experience working conditions in a research institute. In addition the institute is involved in projects of the School Laboratory “Natlab” run by the University of Mainz. In addition, scientists from the institute teach seminars and give lectures, actively supporting the teaching activities of the University of Mainz. PhD students – as part of their own ongoing training - act as tutors to students from the chemistry, physics and biology departments.
At the annual Mainz Science Fair (Mainzer Wissenschaftsmarkt) the institute offers hands-on science. The Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research is a partner of the Mainz Science Alliance (Mainzer Wissenschaftsallianz), which was an initiative founded to enhance and promote the scientific potential of the city of Mainz. Within the Alliance all the involved partners represent the scientific High Performance Center of Mainz with a total of almost 4,500 scientists.