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I appreciate a researcher very much for (s)he has very clear concepts. (S)he also points out what could go wrong in a theory. (S)he is a research fellow running a group at a respected institute in Germany. Can (s)he supervise me for my PhD, so that I can do research and learn from him/her?

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    That is entirely up to the institute, and the university awarding any degree and him/her, of course. It has no general answer. You could start by asking him/her for suggestions. – Buffy Mar 16 at 19:18
  • @Anyon, still, it is an entirely local question with no general answer. Even if the particular institute allows it, the individual still needs to be accepted. – Buffy Mar 16 at 21:57
  • If she cannot be your formal supervisor, she can still be your de-facto supervisor. It's common to have arrangements where another professor (typically at a university) acts as the formal supervisor but takes on a smaller role in the actual supervision. – lighthouse keeper Mar 17 at 7:02
  • @Anyon "at least some of the Max Planck institutes award PhDs directly" I would love to see a reference for this. To my knowledge, only a university or university of applied sciences can award a PhD in Germany. (Note that I did all the work for my PhD at a Helmholtz Centre and work at a governmental research institute now. All our PhD students formally do their PhD at a university.) – Roland Mar 17 at 8:31
  • @Roland You're right (source. – Anyon Mar 17 at 13:06