Most of the doctoral students who are researching at the Institute are supervised by the directors of the Institute in disciplines relevant to its criminal legal and criminological research (law, sociology, psychology). Cooperation with the law faculty of the University of Freiburg in the training of young researchers has been strengthened since 2007 by the International Max Planck Research School for Comparative Criminal Law (IMPRS-CC) and since 2008 by the International Max Planck Research School on Retaliation, Mediation and Punishment (REMEP).
As a rule, doctoral students at the MPI earn a Dr. jur. (Doctor of Laws). This is true not only of the students in the Department of Criminal Law but of those in the Department of Criminology as well. This is because criminology is part of the law faculty at almost all German universities – including the University of Freiburg. Students with research concentrations in other areas may earn their doctorates from other faculties, such as humanities or behavioral sciences.
Admission at the University of Freiburg is not mandatory. Doctoral students who are admitted at another German university can also be supervised, provided that one of the student’s advisors has a Prüfungsrecht (right to examine) at that university. Doctoral students admitted at foreign universities can also be supervised – if the Institute cooperates with that university for the purposes of supporting young researchers.
As a rule, projects carried out by young researchers in the Department of Criminal Law fit within the department’s new research program. Hence, the focuses are on the territorial and functional limits of criminal law, primarily in the areas of cybercrime, white-collar crime, organized crime, and terrorism. The topics are examined on the basis of national legal systems, European criminal law, and international criminal law – most with a comparative legal approach. In the Department of Criminology, young researchers focus on the following areas: “Criminal Sanctions,” “Organized Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security,” and “Empirical Research on Criminal Procedure.” In the future, responsibility for the training of young researchers will be transferred more and more to the two Research Schools led by the Institute.