IMPRS Research Groups PhD Fellowship 2018, Germany

Publish Date: Nov 07, 2017

Deadline: Jan 17, 2018

PhD Students

20-25 PhD students are annually accepted into IMPRS Research Groups. If you are interested in starting your PhD in 2018, make sure to register before 7 Jan 2018.

Eligibility Requirements

We seek applications from talented and creative young scientists who are curious by nature and hunger for new solutions under our research mission. Successful candidates possess a burning ambition to shape the future of science and the ability to thrive in a highly competitive, interdisciplinary environment.

We expect truly excellent prior academic performance and research experience. Successful candidates exhibit potential to conduct challenging, top-notch research towards a PhD degree. Distinctive proficiency in textbook scientific knowledge is essential. Enthusiasm and collegiality are also vital.


Admission is based solely on prior scientific qualifications and future potential. This ensures the recruitment of only the highest qualified candidates in a fair and transparent manner.

Applicants must hold, or anticipate receiving, a Master’s Degree in Life Sciences, Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Physics, Applied Mathematics, or Engineering before taking up PhD thesis work. Applicants holding an excellent BSc degree are also welcome to apply, given that independent research and a written thesis is part of the curriculum.

As English is the working language of the program, applicants should demonstrate a high level of spoken and written English proficiency. We recommend including TOEFL or IELTS results with your application if available.

Previously affiliated applicants

Candidates previously affiliated with an IMPRS group for more than 3 months are considered “internal candidates”. In general, internal candidates are eligible for admission. They may join a research group for PhD thesis work if the previous affiliation with this group did not exceed 12 months. Internal candidates must demonstrate outstanding performance and the highest potential in order to be invited for interviews. To avoid any favoritism or bias, group leaders associated with an internal candidate will not be involved in judging the candidate’s qualification for admission.

Application Details

Please review our eligibility requirements prior to application. To officially apply for our program, you must complete the online application form within the publicized deadlines. Applications, or parts thereof, submitted by any other means are not considered. Most of the document should be self-explanatory, but please review our FAQ if you have questions.

Step-by-Step Application Process

  1. Request an account
    Request an account for our online application system. Please use an email address that will remain valid throughout the application process. You will receive access to the online application form immediately.
  2. Complete registration
    Registration requires some personal background information from the applicant, as well as contact details of two referees. Please make sure to provide correct contact information, as this cannot be modified after registration. In general, referees should be familiar with your academic and/or laboratory research performance to provide a useful assessment. We advise you to include the principal investigators who supervised your thesis work. Your referees will receive an email invitation to submit their recommendation online. You will receive an email confirmation as soon as these recommendations are received. Please contact your referees directly for clarification should you not receive these confirmation receipts in a timely fashion. If necessary, you may add up to two additional referees before the registration deadline.
  3. Complete your application
    Please complete all parts of the application form and upload relevant University certificates and official transcripts documenting your entire post-secondary education. For ongoing studies, please provide the latest transcript documenting all results obtained to date.  Furnishing of TOEFL/IELTS and GRE examination results is strongly encouraged but not mandatory. We recommend generating a PDF file of your application for your reference.
  4. Submission
    Our application system requires your completed online application form, along with two recommendations, before final submission is possible. All of these materials must be received prior to the published application deadline. You will receive an email confirming the successful submission of your application.

Admission Process

Admission is based solely on prior scientific qualifications and future potential. We wish to recruit only the highest qualified candidates in a fair and transparent manner.

Applicant Evaluation

Completed eligible applications will proceed to evaluation. The first evaluation takes into account the applicants’ national education system, and is carried out by internal experts of the respective educational system. Additionally, we may conduct phone or Skype interviews during the evaluation process. Qualified applications are recommended to faculty members for further assessment. They jointly short-list the candidates to be invited for the interview week in Dresden.

The interview week in Dresden

The final selection for our program takes place over the course of one week onsite at MPI-CBG. The Monday of the interview week is reserved for arrival, a brief welcome, and research group presentations. On Tuesday, the Admission Committees interview each candidate for 30 minutes. These interviews cover general knowledge questions according to the applicant’s scientific discipline and evaluate the candidates’ qualification for entering our program. Candidates who pass the Admission Committees are in principle eligible for admission, and will proceed to the next round.  Interviews continue with the group leaders on Wednesday and Thursday, combined with lab visits. Final interviews and lingering questions are addressed on Friday morning. Selection results will be communicated that afternoon. Full details of the interview week will be sent to invited candidates only.

Participation in the interview week is essential if you wish to be considered for admission to the IMPRS-CellDevoSys.

Admission offers

Admission offers to join the IMPRS-CellDevoSys are made by the end of the interview week. Admission is granted by the Dean based on feedback from the Admission Committee and group leader interviews. In general, offers are associated with a particular research group.

Start of PhD thesis work

Primary supervisors usually identify individual starting dates with the newly accepted PhD students. For the spring selection, the latest possible starting date is 1st October of the year of admission.

Financial support

The IMPRS-CellDevoSys offers full financial support during thesis preparation, up to 4 years. Financial support is granted via an employment contract according to 65% TvöD E13(German tariff for employees in civil service). Health insurance, pension contribution, and other social benefits are included in the contract. The net take-home pay for PhD students (after taxes and deductions) is a minimum of 1,450 Euro per month.

Tuition fees

There are neither tuition fees for participating in the PhD Program nor for being registered as a PhD student at the Technische Universität Dresden (TUD). Official enrollment at the TUD as a student is optional; the biannual enrollment fee at the TUD is about 260 Euro and includes the so-called Semesterticket, which entitles you to use the public transport system in Dresden and surrounding areas.

Cost of Living

It is fairly easy to hold a high standard of living in Dresden, since the costs of rent, food, and other staples remain low. Several articles have recently noted that Dresden is one of the cheapest cities for students in Germany.

For more information please click "Further Official Information" below.

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