International Max Planck Research School for Ultrafast Imaging & Structural Dynamics (IMPRS-UFAST)

IMPRS-UFAST is a structured PhD Programme which offers students exciting opportunities in the areas of ultra-intense electron and x-ray sources for directly observing atomic motions during primary events, and ultrafast imaging over the relevant length and time scales to come to new levels of understanding of the interplay between structure and dynamics.

Our students work and research alongside an international and interdisciplinary team of experts with access to first-class research facilities and whilst obtaining a PhD degree. Our mission is to enable young scientists to achieve their full potential through supervised thesis research complemented by a multifaceted programme of lectures, advanced courses, and skills training.

A unique partnership
The International Max Planck Research School for Ultrafast Imaging and Structural Dynamics is a joint venture of the following institutions:

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 newly founded Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter, the Max Planck Research Department for Structural Dynamics at the University of Hamburg, and the Max Planck Institute for Medical Research.

The University of 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. UFAST students normally register with the relevant department within the Faculty for PhD studies.

The Deutsches Elektronen Synchrotron (DESY) is a research institution of the Helmholtz Association and one of Germany's premier locations for photon reasearch. 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 DESY campus hosts an array of research departments and groups from renowned research institutions (including the Max Planck Society, The Helmholtz Association, the European XFEL GmbH and groups which closely collaborate with their host in numerous projects.

The European XFEL GmbH is a research facility currently under construction in the Hamburg area. 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 University of Hamburg, the Max Planck Society, 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.