A unique partnership

The IMPRS-UFAST programme benefits from the unique infrastructure in the area of ultrabright electron and x-ray sources located in the Hamburg area.  In this research school the IMPRS partner institutions have created a unique collaboration dedicated to train 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 over 38,000 students in 6 Faculties (or Schools) it is the the largest 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 a new X-ray research facility in the Hamburg area due to fully take up operations in 2017. It will generate extremely intense X-ray flashes thus opening up areas of research that were previously inaccessible. Using the X-ray flashes of the European XFEL, scientists will be able to map the atomic details of viruses, decipher the molecular composition of cells, take threedimensional images of the nanoworld, film chemical reactions and study processes such as those occurring deep inside planets. The European XFEL will generate X-ray radiation with properties similar to those of laser light. All in all, there will be several light sources with different characteristics.


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 at improving education and training for talented young scientists through creating centres of excellence for graduate education and research.

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