About the IMPRS

An old question posed by mankind is: Where do we come from? Using the latest research methods and uniquely interdisciplinary approaches, it is now possible to give more accurate answers to this question. Against this background, the International Max Planck Research School (IMPRS) for the Science of Human History was founded in 2018 as a PhD program of the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History (since 2022 Max Planck Institute of Geoanthropology) and the Friedrich Schiller University, both located in Jena.

Supported by leading experts, young scientists will find ideal conditions for interdisciplinary research that combines natural and social science methods. Modern laboratories, field research and databases enable new approaches and insights. Central research questions that generate other more specialized topics include:

  • past human migrations and genetic admixture events
  • spread and diversification of human-associated microbes and infectious diseases
  • impact of climatic and environmental change on human subsistence in different world regions
  • human modification of ecosystems
  • rise of early forms of global trade systems
  • spread and diversification of languages, cultures, and social practices
  • development of communication systems, such as languages, writing systems, gestures
  • co-evolution of genes and culture

The IMPRS is not affected by the transition process from Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History to Max Planck Institute for Geoanthropology.