International Max Planck Research School on the Life Course (LIFE)

Natural SciencesBiological sciencesSocial SciencesPsychologyEducational sciencesSociology

The International Max Planck Research School on the Life Course (LIFE) is a joint international Doctoral Program offered by the Max Planck Institute for Human Development, FU, HU, the Universities of Michigan, Virginia and Zurich. The target research of LIFE is the development of human behavior from infancy to old age. LIFE adopts an integrative and interdisciplinary approach to identifying, understanding, and possibly ameliorating the mechanisms and conditions that shape the human life course.


LIFE offers candidates unique training in the dynamics of human behavior on different time scales. These include long-term changes, such as in the evolution of culture and emergence of institutions of learning, and short-term changes, such as in individual education processes, lifespan development, and institutionally regulated life-course processes. LIFE unifies a wide range of disciplines from the behavioral, computational and social sciences as well as the neurosciences. As a collaborative research school, LIFE combines discipline-based training in the study of the life course with enhanced interdisciplinary and international perspectives.

The program has five core components:

  • collaborative supervision of research training
  • semi-annual fall and spring academies
  • seminar courses at the participating institutions
  • additional workshops
  • research stays abroad

Prof. Dr Ulman Lindenberger, Prof. Dr Clemens Tesch-Römer Dr Imke Kruse Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin Freie Universität Berlin International Doctoral Programme

development of human behaviour, human life course, evolution of culture, learning, education

Contact Information
Chair: Prof. Dr. Ulman Lindenberger
Prof. Dr. Clemens Tesch-Römer
Coordinator: Silke Schäfer
Max Planck Institut für Human Development
Lentzeallee 94
14195 Berlin
Telephone: +49 30 82406373
Deadlines: November 30th, every year
Places: 6
Scholarships: 3