You were offered a position at the MPIA? Great! We believe this is a great place to study and work and also to have fun. While the MPIA and most students are very successful with their research, it lies in the nature of basic research that sometimes things don't go as expected. In order to keep the number of projects where things are not going as planned to a minimum, we have prepared a checklist for you. You might want to discuss this with your potential supervisor before accepting the position you were offered. We have also come up with a list of things we would like supervisors to check before offering a project to a student.
Stipends and contracts
Many people nowadays are offered stipends for their Ph.D. and not "real" working contracts. This has the advantage of allowing you more flexibility in working hours but on the other hand stipends lack most if not all social securities and insurances. You should be aware of the differences between these two forms of remuneration before signing either of them in order to not be surprised about what you have got. The Max-Planck-wide Ph.D. students network PhDnet has collected the most important points and summarized the differences in an easy-to-read PDF that you can download from the PhDnet website.
Note that this of course not only applies to MPIA but to all institutes (of course the legal details are different from country to country). If you have any questions about this, feel free to ask the student representatives.
If you're new at MPIA, this page might contain some information useful for you.