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PhD Fellowships for Basic Biomedical Research in Europe

Deadline:

June 01, 2015

Disciplines:

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The Boehringer Ingelheim Fonds awards PhD fellowships to outstanding junior scientists (max. age: 27 years) who wish to pursue an ambitious PhD project of approximately 3 years in basic biomedical research in an internationally leading laboratory.

Purpose
To promote basic research in biomedicine by providing the best young, up-and-coming scientists with comprehensive support during their PhD phase.

More than a monthly stipend
The fellowship comprises a competitive monthly stipend that is initially granted for 2 years and that can be extended for up to another 12 months. Participation in international scientific conferences is also supported. In addition, fellowship holders are offered personal support, seminars to discuss their projects, communication training and alumni meetings, and thus can become part of a worldwide network. Read more under personal support and conditions.

Timing and selection
Deadlines of application: 1 February, 1 June, 1 October of each year. Pre-selection takes place about 4 weeks after the respective deadline, and the final selection approximately 5 months after the respective deadline. 

Who Can Apply for a PhD Fellowship?

The Boehringer Ingelheim Fonds (BIF) awards PhD fellowships to European citizens working in Europe or overseas, and to non-European citizens pursuing their PhD project in Europe. Applicants should not be older than 27 years at the respective deadline (1 February, 1 June, 1 October).

The PhD project must be experimental, in the field of basic biomedical research and aimed at elucidating basic biological phenomena of human life and acquiring new scientific knowledge. For a survey on the range of topics, please refer to the results of finished projects in FUTURA, the international journal of the foundation. Natural scientists should have been awarded their diploma, BSc, MSc or equivalent degree; physicians, veterinary surgeons and pharmacists should have passed their state examinations.

At the deadline, the applicant should not have been working on his/her project for more than 6 months. The beginning of the PhD project is considered by BIF to be:

  • the date of the final examination (e.g. BSc, MSc, Diploma, DEA, Licenciatura, Laurea) on the official certificate if the applicant continues to work in the same research group; or
  • the month of arrival at the laboratory in which the PhD project is pursued if the applicant changes his/her research group.

In other cases, i.e. when participating in MSc/PhD programmes or graduate schools without an official final examination prior to the PhD project, please contact us. The foundation gives preference to applicants who are about to begin their PhD work when they apply for the fellowship; preliminary results are not expected.

We do not support

  • applied research, such as biotechnological and pharmaceutical development and studies on the course of diseases or the treatment of symptoms;
  • botanical and prokaryotic investigations unless they are of general biological importance;
  • education, we can support only research. Fellowships therefore cannot be used during the course and rotation phase of PhD programmes, but only for the duration of the PhD project.

Furthermore, the PhD fellowships cannot be used to supplement inadequate funding from other institutions or earned incomes, to bridge temporary financial difficulties or to complete investigations already sponsored by other institutions.

Application for a PhD Fellowship

The application for a PhD fellowship of the Boehringer Ingelheim Fonds consists of two parts:

  1. the online application sent by internet and
  2. two paper copies of the application including one CD to be sent by surface mail.

Both must be submitted by one of the respective deadlines of each year (date as per postmark for the paper version): 1 February, 1 June, 1 October

The entire application - including the project proposal - must be written in English and by the applicants themselves. However, we recommend consultation with the scientific supervisor. The form of the presentation should be adequate but simple; please do not staple, tack or bind documents.

The two paper copies should contain all the data and documents listed under (1) – (9). The CD should be clearly labelled with applicant's first name, family name and email address and contain documents (1) - (7), preferably in one PDF file.

Applicants can facilitate the selection process by adhering to the following sequence:

1. to 5. two-sided printouts, if possible;

  1. title and abstract of PhD project (should not exceed one page);
  2. detailed presentation of PhD project (please also refer to "How to write a research proposal"): formulation of the problem, current status of research, applicant's own groundwork, objectives, experimental strategy including methods of investigation, work schedule showing the anticipated duration of the entire project and the individual steps;
  3. reasons for wishing to work with a particular group;
  4. summary of diploma or equivalent thesis which should not exceed one page;
  5. list of applicant’s publications (if applicable);
  6. certificates of all academic qualifications (including grades) and certificates of professional education prior to university (if applicable); in chronological order, the newest on top; photocopies suffice;
  7. photocopies of university entrance qualification or high school-leaving exam certificate, (e.g. Abitur, A-levels, Baccalaureat);
  8. letter of recommendation from the supervisor of the PhD thesis;
  9. letter of recommendation from the supervisor of the diploma or equivalent thesis (only if changing research group for the PhD project); letters of recommendation (on official letterhead and signed) have to be written in English and may be sent together with the application or by the supervisors themselves via surface mail, or as a PDF attachment

    (Boehringer Ingelheim Fonds, Schusterstr. 46-48, 55116 Mainz, Germany; secretariat@bifonds.de)

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