CaCTüS Internship

The sciences of biological and artificial intelligence are rapidly growing research fields that need enthusiastic minds with a keen interest in solving challenging questions. The Max Planck Institutes for Biological Cybernetics and Intelligent Systems offer up to 10 students at the Bachelor or Master level paid three-months internships during the summer of 2022. Successful applicants will work with top-level scientists on research projects spanning machine learning, electrical engineering, theoretical neuroscience, behavioral experiments and data analysis. The CaCTüS Internship is aimed at young scientists who are held back by personal, financial, regional or societal constraints to help them develop their research careers and gain access to first-class education. The program is designed to foster inclusion, diversity, equity and access to excellent scientific facilities. We specifically encourage applications from students living in low- and middle-income countries which are currently underrepresented in the Max Planck Society research community.

Application deadline: 3rd January 2022 at 23:59pm (CET)


Our program

The CaCTüS Internship program aims to boost the careers of talented students who experience significant difficulties in their pursuit of higher education and scientific development. The program provides access to first-class scientific institutions, hands-on research experience and a scientific network in one of Germany’s leading locations for biological and artificial intelligence research.

Participants will have the chance to come to one of the Max Planck Institutes in Tübingen for a three-months internship. There they will work on research projects under the supervision of experienced scientists. In addition to gaining work experience, interns will have the chance to attend soft-skill courses, networking events and social gatherings with other scientists.

Interns receive a monthly salary of roughly 1200€ that fully covers living expenses, housing and health insurance. Interns also receive compensation for their travel costs.



The CaCTüS Internship specifically addresses motivated students who are constrained by personal, financial, regional or societal issues that negatively affect their future education.

Internships are open for students who:

  • have not started their PhD degree by the time of the internship
    • bachelor students: need to be enrolled at a university for the entire duration of the internship and have completed at least 4 semesters of their studies at the time of the internship (proof is required for visa applications of non-EU nationals)
    • master students: can apply at any stage of their studies and also after their graduation
  • have a strong academic record
  • have a background in a field relevant to the projects proposed (e.g. computer science, mathematics, physics, engineering, psychology, cognitive science, neuroscience or any other related field)
  • have a good command of the English language (more information in our FAQs)
  • can express their motivation
  • have strong reasons why their access to first-class higher education is constrained
  • are available for the entire duration of 90 days between 1st July and 30th September 2022 (note: due to visa regulations you cannot extend your stay in the country beyond 90 days)
  • are undertaking a voluntary internship (note: we cannot host interns that require course credits as part of their course requirement)

The Max Planck Society recognizes the positive value of diversity, promotes equality and challenges discrimination. We welcome applications from all suitably-qualified candidates, irrespective of gender, disability, marital or parental status, racial, ethnic or social origin, color, religion, belief, or sexual orientation. We explicitly encourage women to apply. Applicants with severe disabilities will be given preferential consideration if their suitability, qualifications and professional performance are otherwise essentially equal. Furthermore, with this program we also explicitly encourage applications from students living in low- and middle-income countries which are currently underrepresented in science.



Applications will be submitted via our application portal. You will need to fill out personal information as well as submit the following documents:

  •  CV (max. 2 pages)
  •  Motivational letter (see form below)
    • General motivation to pursue a career in science (max. 300 words)
    • Motivation for up to three specific projects sorted by preference (max. 150 words each)
    • Statement on factors that may constrain the applicant’s access to higher education in an internationally renowned institution, e.g. financial, regional or personal circumstances (max. 300 words)
  • Optional: one reference letter
  • Transcripts from all your university studies (if no official English translation is available from your university, please provide one yourself in the first instance), and degree certificates (if available)

1. Please check out our application guide before you apply:

Application guide

2. Please download and use our form for your motivational letter:

Motivational letter

3. You find our list with projects you can apply to here:

Available projects

We recommend that you also read our FAQ page.

Only complete applications submitted via our online application portal will be considered. Applications submitted via e-mail will not be assessed.

Application deadline: 3rd January 2022 at 23:59pm (CET)


Selection process

The selection process consists of three main stages:

  1. Pre-selection: all applications are screened based on their application by our Internship Office. A shortlist of suitable candidates is made available to project laboratories.
  2. Interviews: shortlisted candidates are invited to complete a virtual interview. These interviews include personal as well as technical questions.
  3. Acceptance: if you are selected following the interview, you will receive an e-mail with your official CaCTüS Internship offer letter.



  • November 2021: Applications open
  • 03 January 2022: Applications close
  • January / February 2022: Interviews for shortlisted candidates
  • 01 March 2022: Notification of acceptance
  • 01 July 2022:  Internship starts
  • 30 September 2022: Internship ends

Please note that due to the high volume of applications that we will receive, we will be unable to provide individual feedback to applicants. If you are not contacted by March 01, 2022 following your application’s submission, you can assume your application has not been retained on this occasion. Please also check your spam folder regularly.



Please be aware that the process of obtaining a visa can vary substantially in time and that it is outside our control. We will support accepted students who require a visa in the process as best as we can. However, we cannot guarantee that visas will be granted in time for the internship. In cases of delays in the visa application process, we will try to seek solutions on an individual case basis (such as deferral of the internship position by a year).



Please note that due to the evolving pandemic and possible travel restrictions next year, we reserve our right to make changes to the program including the deferral of the program by one year in the event of unexpected developments.



Since Tübingen is a small town and finding a suitable place can be difficult, the Internship Coordination Office will arrange affordable accommodation for you.



Program Coordination
Hannah Nonnenberg

Address of Coordination Office

Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics
Max-Planck-Ring 8
72076 Tübingen

phone: +49 7071 601 1639

Office hours

Monday 9-12, 14-16
Wednesday 9-12
Thursday 9-12, 14-16