Scientific Members of the Max Planck Society are appointed by the Senate of the Max Planck Society following a rigorous selection process involving the best internal (MPS) and external experts in the respective field. Upon reaching the statutory retirement age, Scientific Members become Emeriti Scientific Members.
By appointing renowned scientists from Germany and abroad as External Scientific Members, the Max Planck Institutes optimize and strengthen their long-term scientific contacts and opportunities for cooperation. The principle requirement for appointment as an External Scientific Member is the scientific excellence of the candidate. With this condition met, anyone who maintains or has maintained close scientific cooperation with the respective Max Planck Institute can be appointed. The process of appointment and nomination is the same as for the Scientific Members of the Institutes.