Undergraduate Research Opportunities

Undergraduate Research Opportunities


The Matter to Life Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (MtL- URO) offers an excellent opportunity for students in their Bachelors phase to perform a funded 10-week research internship under the tutelage of one of our faculty Fellows. 

The URO application portal for a study start in 2024 is closed. The next application period begins in fall of 2024 for admission in 2025.

The interniship will take place in the group of one of our faculty Fellows, which you can chose from. During this time, you will be working on a specific research question related to the focus of the respective lab in close collaboration with and under the supervision of the local researchers. Gain practical experience into cutting- edge scientific methods, learn from esteemed and exceptional researchers, and enhance your knowledge and network in this interdisciplinary field. The internship will also serve as a gateway to gain insights and perspectives to the Matter to Life field and the community of researchers and students. The program is designed to establish a strong foundation, providing a solid platform to launch your academic career. In order to facilitate your research and to enhance your experience, the URO program offers financial support for your travel, accommodation and living.

Click here to learn more about the experience of former URO participants.

Who can apply?

All motivated undergraduate students during their Bachelor studies in an MtL related field are eligible to apply. Please note that applicants should be enrolled in their undergraduate studies both prior to and throughout the whole duration of the URO program.

There is one application round each year which starts in September and ends on December 1st. The internship then takes place in the following year anytime between the months of June to November.

"My experience as a Matter to Life URO candidate was truly one of the most enriching, memorable, and overall fun experiences of my life."

Khanh Tran, MtL URO 2022 participant



The internship can be performed within the months of June – November. You can 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 are covered.

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

Yes, English serves as the official language of the school, ensuring that all courses, workshops, and events are conducted exclusively in English.

Feel free to email our coordination team at

Application process

Applying to the Max Planck School Matter to Life URO program is done through an online application portal which will be accessible from September 1 on our website. If you are accessing the portal for the first time, you need to first create an account. After this, you will be taken to the general Max Planck Schools portal, where you will need to choose the Matter to Life URO program.

We welcome applications from exceptional undergraduate students with a keen interest in conducting research in the field of Matter to Life. Your academic focus should fall within disciplines such as physics, chemistry, biology, informatics, materials science, engineering, or related sub-fields like bioengineering. In your personal statement, do emphasize any prior research experience you may have had. Please note: Applicants should be enrolled in their undergraduate studies both prior to and throughout the whole duration of the URO program.

  • CV (maximum two pages)
  • Current transcript of records
  • Personal statement (maximum two pages; Times New Roman, font size 12, line spacing 1.5) which should briefly introduce yourself and show your motivation for the internship
  • Your top three Matter to Life laboratories to perform the internship, ranked in order (to be entered in the application portal)
  • The time frame in which you could perform the internship (to be entered in the application portal)

  • The deadline is 1 December.

    No, all internships will be conducted in English.

    No, an official proof is not required.

    No, prior research experience is not required. We provide training in the methods necessary for your project.

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

    You should receive your results in March of the subsequent year.


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

    Participating in the URO program doesn't directly influence your acceptance into the MSc to PhD Direct Track program. However, it does provide you with the chance to become familiar with the community and ascertain if this field aligns with your research and career aspirations. During the selection interviews for the Master's phase, you'll have the opportunity to articulate more precisely why this program is your preferred choice for your academic journey.
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