Phosphate is supplied to agriculture by mining and fertilizer production, followed by different steps of phosphate utilization, including primary production, feed and food consumption, and conversion of biomass, with accumulation in soils, but little recycling and severe environmental losses. Phosphate is a limited essential nutrient, however, with very uneven distribution worldwide. Closing the cycle and reducing primary phosphate consumption are fundamental future challenges. Maize has a relatively high phosphate requirement. China and Germany together cover the whole range of maize production systems. The new Sino-German international research training group “Adaptation of Chinese and German maize-based food-feed-energy systems to limited phosphate resources” (AMAIZE-P) was initiated in 2018 as a joint venture of the China Agricultural University (Beijing, China) and the University of Hohenheim (Stuttgart, Germany). The interdisciplinary and complementary research is driven by the hypothesis that under phosphate limited conditions, high productivity and high phosphate use efficiency can be achieved simultaneously by adapting phosphate cycling and availability (sources) to the multipurpose phosphate demands (sinks) in maize-based food-feed-energy systems. The educational program for doctoral researchers in China and Germany includes joint block seminars, thematic field trips, case studies, methodological courses, doctoral researchers’ conferences, intercultural training sessions and personal training.