Two countries, one incredible education

The International Ph.D. Program in Quantum Materials (joint-PhD) is an exciting academic program connecting the Stewart Blusson Quantum Matter Institute (Blusson QMI) at the University of British Columbia and the University of Stuttgart, with participation from the Max Planck Institute for Solid State Research in Stuttgart, Germany. The program offers unparalleled opportunities to study in the fields of quantum materials and quantum materials-based devices, and its highly collaborative nature exposes graduate student scientists to a wide variety of experimental and theoretical techniques and materials systems beyond their immediate research projects and will empower students to contribute to a rapidly evolving research frontier.

“The joint Ph.D. program gives me the chance to get to know a second academic environment, meet interesting people, and participate in the collaboration between our two institutes.”

– Rafael Haenel

Ph.D. student supervised by Marcel Franz at UBC, and Dirk Manske at the Max Planck Institute (MPI) in Stuttgart.

Who should apply

We are looking for outstanding and highly motivated scientists with a strong background in physics or chemistry. Strong publications on quantum materials and enthusiasm for collaborative research are expected.

Enrolled students must divide their time between the three participating institutions, and will be supported by faculty at each site. Degrees and certifications will be conferred by each institution. Learn more about the collaboration between our centres.

How to apply

To participate in the joint-PhD program, students must first be admitted to a Ph.D. program in physics, chemistry, engineering, computer science, or a related discipline at either the University of Stuttgart or UBC.

Application deadline

Applications for this program will be accepted until December 2024. If you have questions about the program or its partners, email Andrea Damascelli at or Dirk Manske at

How to apply to the program through The University of British Columbia (UBC)

Students who are admitted or who wish to be admitted to UBC should apply to the PhD program in Physics through the UBC Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies, and indicate that they would like to be considered for the International PhD Program in Quantum Materials.

We recommend that you review and contact potential supervisors from the list of Principal Investigators at Blusson QMI prior to applying for the program. Applicants can also visit the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies website for more information on Research Supervisors at the University of British Columbia.

How to apply to the program through the Max Planck Institute for Solid State Research

Please submit your application to Your application should include the following documents:


  • a cover letter describing your motivation for applying to the Max Planck–UBC–UTokyo Center for Quantum Materials and the joint PhD program between University of British Columbia and University of Stuttgart (brief letter, max. 1 page, indicating your preferred choice of the leading University)
  • a CV with complete description of your academic career,
  • your degree certificate and transcripts of courses taken and grades obtained
  • contact details of two referees.

Please make sure to combine each of the above listed documents in a single PDF file. If you would like to submit further documents, please add them to the same PDF.


Requests for reference letters will be sent automatically to the two referees listed in your application. Please check with them that they are willing to provide references before you include them in your application.

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Selection and admission

All applications will be assessed by a panel of members of both universities and the MP–UBC–UTokyo Center for Quantum Materials.


A selection committee composed of several Principal Investigators participating in the program will prepare a shortlist of candidates who then will be invited for our annual selection symposium to be held in Vancouver and Stuttgart. The symposium will include short talks by the candidates as well as introductory talks by PIs about their universities, institutes and research groups.


The candidates further will be interviewed by several PIs, and can visit one or more research groups before or after the symposium depending on their and their potential supervisors’ interests. This format will no only give the prospective students an opportunity to present themselves, but also to learn about the diverse research activities offered by the Max Planck–UBC–UTokyo Center for Quantum Materials. Successful candidates will receive an offer to join the program.