Undergraduate Research Opportunities

Undergraduate Research Opportunities


Our URO application portal is now open for admission in 2023!

Click here to apply

The application deadline is 31 December, 2022


Obtain your first experiences with the Max Planck School Matter to Life by joining the Undergraduate Research Opportunities (URO). You can choose from our various Fellow labs to do a 10-week internship. You will be working on a specific research topic of the respective lab in close collaboration and supervision of the local researchers. Receive hands-on experience on some of the latest scientifical methods, work with renowned outstanding scientists and exchange as well as expand your knowledge and network in an interdisciplinary field. In addition, you will obtain first insights to what it is like as part of the Matter to Life community and what the program can offer you to build the foundation for your future career. In order to facilitate your research and to enhance your experience, the URO program offers financial support for your travel, accommodation and living.

Register here to join our info sessions about the MtL URO program:

28 November at 7 pm

12 December at 12 pm

Who can apply?

Eligible to apply are all motivated undergraduate students during their Bachelor studies in an MtL related field. There is one application round each year. This year it started in November and will end on December 31st. The internship will take place in the following year 2023 during the months of June and November.

What former URO-participants say about the program

“How physics, biology and chemistry come together and are strictly entangled and mingled when it comes to the formation of life and the development, growth and death of living beings has always fascinated me. When I discovered the URO program, thus, I immediately knew that it was the right opportunity to nurture and explore this passion, thanks to its interdisciplinary nature and to its focus on life matters. During my internship I was involved in two different projects - one concerning the creation and enhancement of porous polymer-based microcapsules to trap bacteria, and the other one related to the development of a microfluidic device able to register small changes in pressure. In both cases I have been able to experience how the life of a researcher unfolds and could strongly develop my problem-solving abilities. Thanks to the multidisciplinarity of the research group as well as the availability of its members, additionally, I have been able to get some overview of other research in the fields of biology and chemistry and to learn useful techniques and skills broadly used in these areas. Moreover, the international environment and the experience of living in a foreign country have deeply contributed to my personal development, forcing me to face my insecurities and to overcome cultural and linguistic differences.”

Irene Pellini
MtL-URO participant in 2022. Bachelor student in Physics from Italy. Read the interview about her experiences!

"I consider my research stay truly valuable, both in terms of my career and personal development. This internship not only provided me with first-hand experience in the research world but also enabled me to understand a bit more about my career trajectory. Exposure to Synthetic Biology during my research stay made me strongly consider this field as a potential candidate for my Master’s. Additionally, the MtL-URO experience provided an invaluable chance for me to network and build important professional connections. During my research stay, I learnt a lot of new lab techniques and methods, but, more importantly, I experienced what it is like to be part of a research lab. This does not involve merely performing experiments and following protocols; it also comprises keeping lab areas clean, engaging in team work and having weekly meetings & seminars to report progress and present research papers.

Another thing worth noting is the positive workplace culture in the lab. It felt like a community I was proud to be a part of. Everybody had a common goal: doing exciting & revolutionary science, but also networking and creating friendships. My professional relationship with my supervisor also grew stronger during the course of the internship. I felt that I was really being valued for my contributions to the lab’s research efforts."

Llazar Shkurti
MtL-URO participant in 2022

“My experience as a Matter to Life URO candidate was incredible in all senses. In the first place, as I had never been to Europe before, most of the things were new for me. However, adapting to that was not too difficult and was something that I enjoyed it a lot. Germany is a beautiful country with a lot of places to visit and kind people to meet. This program allowed me to work in an exceptional research group at a very prestigious university, where I met incredible people from different disciplines and cultures, making the experience more enriching. I have learned a lot of new techniques and concepts that have improved my knowledge of my field, allowing me to be more prepared for future projects. In conclusion, I would encourage everyone who wants to improve their skills and have an unforgettable experience in an exceptional country, to apply to the Matter to Life Program. Doing research in Germany was unique for me, I discovered new ways of doing science and enhance my critical thinking.“ 

Adrián Gutiérrez Cruz
MtL URO participant in 2021. Bachelor student in nanotechnology and chemistry from Mexico. Read the interview about his experiences!




The internship can be performed within the months of June – November. You will determine the exact dates of your 10-week internship within this time frame. Please indicate your availability on the application portal.

The internship lasts 10 weeks.

Yes! Travel to/from your home country, accommodation, and a living allowance is provided.

The internships are held in the laboratories of Matter to Life Faculty members within Germany. Our Faculty are located in Aachen, Dortmund, Dresden, Erlangen, Göttingen, Heidelberg, Jena, Magdeburg, Mainz, Marburg, Munich, Potsdam, and Saarbrücken. Please see the Faculty member’s own website to find out where their organization is located.

Yes, the official language of the school is English and so all courses, workshops and other events are in English.

Feel free to email our coordination team at

Application process

Any excellent undergraduate student interested in performing research in the field of Matter to Life. Your major should be within one of the following fields: physics, chemistry, biology, informatics, materials science, or engineering (or a related sub-field, e.g. bioengineering). Your personal statement should highlight your previous research experience, if any.

The deadline is December 31, 2022.

No! All internships will be conducted in English.

No, an official proof is not required.

No research experience is required. We train you in the methods needed for your project.

We choose the best 10 candidates applying for the URO program each year.

You should receive your results by end of February 2023.


Yes, but students who have not yet participated in the program will be given priority.

No, but it gives you the opportunity to get to know the community and realize if this is what you want to be working or doing research on. During the selection interviews for the Master phase, you can state more clearly why this is the program you want to start your career with.

Yes, we are looking forward to your application!
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