Undergraduate Internship Program

Our Internship Program offers outstanding students entering 3rd and 4th years of his/her university studies, an opportunity to work at the Max Planck Institute for Biology of Ageing (MPI AGE) and to gain international work experience. The MPI AGE is a world leading research institute dedicated to unraveling the molecular and cellular basis of ageing.


International Strategy Office

Helen Antebi


Due to the coronavirus and the circumstances surrounding it, the institute has decided to suspend the undergraduate summer internship in 2020. We will provide updates on the 2021 internship program in the fall. Please check back again then for further details.

Through the program, students receive hands-on training in the fields of molecular biology, biochemistry, genetics, and cell biology.  Interns participate in basic laboratory research (bench work) and its applications.  In addition, the students have an opportunity to attend seminars, lectures and workshops at the MPI AGE and the University of Cologne.

The Max Planck Undergraduate Internship Program is designed to encourage talented students to pursue a career in biological research with focus on aging or age related diseases.

Internship offerings

The summer undergraduate internship application portal is now closed. Please check back again September 1, 2020, for summer 2021 program.

Required documents will be as follows:

  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Personal statement, 300-400 words
  • Copy of official transcript from current school
  • One recommendation letter

The participants will apply to a research project in one of MPI AGE’s groups. These areas include:

- Molecular Genetics of Ageing
- Biological Mechanisms of Ageing
- Autophagy Regulation
- Chromatin and Ageing
- Evolutionary and Experimental Biology of Ageing
- Metabolic and Genetic Regulation of Ageing
- Post-translational Modifications and DNA Repair

At the end of the term the participants will receive a certificate of achievement and a letter of recommendation from his/ her supervisor. College credit may also apply in some cases.

Lectures and Seminars at MPI AGE and University of Cologne

Throughout the year, the MPI AGE and its partner institutes offer numerous lecture and seminars from leading scientists in the field. The interns have an opportunity to interact with graduate students, postdocs and junior group leaders from the regional cluster of institutes and universities. The graduate seminars are also open to selected interns.

Certificate of Achievement

At the conclusion of their internship, each participant will submit a brief (1-2 page) report summarizing their work at the MPI AGE.  The participant will receive a certificate of participation from the Max Planck.

Excursions and Cultural Programs

There will be organized tours to regional landmarks and cities as well as cultural outings in Cologne/Bonn.

Salary, health insurance and pension

The participant will receive a salary between €2754 and €2205 for the duration of the internship depending on their individual status within the German Social Security System. Information regarding health insurance will be given by our administration.

Housing and travel costs

The internship does not cover housing or travel costs. Each student is responsible for his/her accommodation and travel arrangements.  The institute can provide listings of available housing in the area.


Anyone coming outside of the EU countries will need to apply for a work visa from the German Consulate or Embassy.  Once you are accepted into the program and approved by ZAV (Federal Employment Agency), you can at this time, apply for a visa.  More information can be found on the website: http://www.visaboard.com/en/student-work-permit-non-eu-countries

Past participants from:
Rice University, USA
University of Bremen, Germany
University of Düsseldorf, Germany
Northeastern University, USA
Cornell University, USA
Stanford University, USA
Swarthmore College, USA
University of Kansas, USA
Grinell College, USA
Manchester University, UK

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