A unique educational partnership

The IMPRS UFAST program benefits from the unique infrastructure in the area of ultrabright electron and X-ray sources located on the extensive, fast-growing Hamburg Science Campus. In this sought-after research school, the IMPRS partner institutions have created a unique collaboration dedicated to training talented young scientists from around the world in a rapidly developing and exciting research area.

The Max Planck Society for the Advancement of Science (MPG) is Germany's leading research institution. Based in Munich, it features over 80 research institutes mainly across Germany. Within the IMPRS UFAST, the Max Planck Society is represented by the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) and several independent research groups based in Hamburg.


The Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron (DESY) is a research institution of the Helmholtz Association and one of Germany's premier locations for photon science.

Photon science at DESY distinguishes itself by a unique array of light sources, including FLASH, presently the only Free-Electron Laser (FEL) to generate high-power ultra-short pulses of laser light in the soft X-ray range.

The Universität Hamburg is a research-intensive university in Hamburg, Germany. With more than 38,000 students in six faculties (or schools) it is the largest higher education provider in northern Germany and Germany's third biggest university. Within the University, the Faculty of Mathematics, Informatics and Natural Sciences is the key cooperation partner for the IMPRS UFAST.


The European XFEL is the world’s largest X-ray laser. It generates 27,000 ultrashort X-ray flashes per second, with a brilliance that is a billion times higher than that of the best conventional X-ray sources. Using the ultrashort, ultrabright light pulses at the European XFEL, scientists can map the atomic details of viruses, decipher the molecular composition of cells, take 3D-images of the nanoworld, film chemical reactions and study processes such as those occurring deep inside planets.


The Max Planck Society, the Universität Hamburg, and DESY cooperate under the umbrella of the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science (CFEL), which is designed to advance science with next generation light sources.

About the IMPRS initiative

International Max Planck Research Schools (IMPRS) are the brainchild of the Max Planck Society for the Advancement of Science and the German Rectors’ Conference (HRK). The initiative, which was launched in 1999, aims to improve the education and training of talented young scientists through dedicated centres of excellence for graduate education and research.

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