The goal of the International Max Planck Research School on the Life Course (LIFE) is the study of systematic changes in human behavior over evolutionary and ontogenetic time. Aspects of these changes have been taught to students around the world from the point of view of one or another sub-discipline. In contrast, it is the goal of LIFE to take an integrative and interdisciplinary approach to understanding human development in a changing world, connecting evolutionary, ontogenetic, historical, and institutional perspectives.
LIFE offers students unique training in the dynamics of human behavior on different time scales. These include long-term changes, such as in the evolution of culture and emergence of institutions of learning, and short-term changes, such as in individual education processes, lifespan development, and institutionally regulated life-course processes.
The LIFE community currently consists of more than 90 faculty members and over 50 fellows at the four sites in Berlin, Ann Arbor, Charlottesville, and Zurich. To support international course work and research collaborations, 4 coordinators are responsible for the development and organization of the graduate training and the exchange between LIFE faculty and fellows. More than 120 alumni complement the LIFE community. You can find information about them under People.