PhD positions in Molecular and Cellular Life Sciences

    The PhD program of the International Max Planck Research School for Molecular and Cellular Life Sciences (IMPRS-LS) covers the areas of biochemistry, cell biology, molecular medicine, neurobiology and structural biology. The program takes an integrative and interdisciplinary approach to connect these disciplines and the participating players thereby promoting networking, communication and scientific interactions as an integral part of graduate training.
    Thesis research at IMPRS-LS is integrated into a structured curriculum offering a variety of training opportunities including lecture series, seminars, advanced courses, method and career development workshops and participation in international conferences. The interdisciplinary setting of the program exposes students to a wide range of different topics and technologies thereby promoting the ability of cross-frontier thinking. While such broadly-based perspectives characterize the framework of the program, the research of an individual doctoral student is tightly anchored within the scope and focus of the chosen research group, providing ample room for specialization and in depth training.
    Doctoral degrees are usually awarded by one of the two Munich partner universities, Ludwig Maximilians University (LMU) or Technical University Munich (TUM) both of which are amongst the highest ranking universities in Germany. International doctoral students may also choose to have their doctoral degree awarded by a university of their home country.
    More than 250 doctoral students from all over the world are currently working at the Max Planck Institutes of Biochemistry and Neurobiology and, together with numerous doctoral students from university laboratories, are creating a young and dynamic international atmosphere at the institutes.


    Please first clarify which program options you intend to apply for and check the eligibility criteria.
    Program optionsa.) Regular PhD programEntry level for doctoral students is usually a Master of Science degree or an equivalent degree. This could be either a German Diploma, MSc or other related degrees. A final decision regarding eligibility can only be made after submission of a complete application and requires the approval of university officials. In case of questions regarding eligibility it is recommended to get in touch with the IMPRS coordination office.
    b.) Fast track programPlease note that the fast track program is currently not available
    Application form The application form contains eight different tabs and allows you to enter all required information and to upload corresponding documents. You may revisit and modify your personal application form any time prior to submission. Once your application is complete, please submit it by clicking the "submit" button in the upper menu. After submission you will no longer be able to edit the entries (except name, password and email). However, you will be able to view your submitted data throughout the application process.
    Submission of applications is only possible, if all required fields (marked with a yellow triangle) are filled out. Non required fields are optional but it is recommended to fill out all those fields that apply to your specific application. The more information you provide the better we will be able to assess your application.
    Once you have submitted your application, the coordination office will check whether your application is complete (i.e. check whether you have uploaded all required documents). The status of your application is summarized in the first tab of the application form.
    Language skillsApplicants need to be fluent in written and spoken English and, unless native speakers, should document their proficiency in English. Ideally, this can be achived with a TOEFL report (institutional code of IMPRS-LS: 7426), an IELTS report or a Cambridge ESOL certificate (for minimal language requirements see here). German language skills are not required but interested international students will be offered opportunities to take German language courses.
    Documents for PhD program: Required documents are:
    • Curriculum Vitae (CV)
    • Transcript (record of study) and degree certificate of bachelor degree, Vordiplom or equivalent degree
    • Transcript (record of study) and degree certificate of master degree, Diplom or equivalent degree (if applicable). If your degree program is not yet completed, please provide temporary transcripts
    • Two letters of recommendation (more details see below)
    Recommended documents are:
    • certificate of proficiency in English (recommended if not native English speaker or education was not in English)
    • High school degree transcripts or equivalent
    • scholarships, prizes and awards (if applicable)
    • copy of passport (international applicants only)
    • portrait picture
    • A GRE subject test in either biochemistry, biology, chemistry or physics (Institutional code is: 2828 Intl Max Planck Res Sch Life Sci) A GRE subject test is recommended if you come from a non EU country but will strongly support any application; for applicants from India we also accept GATE)
    Letters of recommendation:
    Please get in touch with your referees as soon as possible and get their affirmation to write a recommendation on your behalf. Then fill out the tabs for referee contacts in the application form and follow further instructions. Once authorized by you, the coordination office will invite the referee to submit his/her letter of recommendation electronically.
    As soon as a letter of recommendation on your behalf has been submitted, we will send your referee a confirmatory email. The submission of a reference on your behalf is also indicated in the status box of your application form.
    Please keep in mind that your application can only be processed after we have received the letters of recommendation. Applications that lack these letters after the deadline for submission has expired will be considered incomplete and will therefore not be processed any further. It is your responsibility, to make sure that the referees submit the letters of recommendation to the coordination office in a timely manner.
    Translation of documents:All submitted official documents must be in English or in German or need to be translated into either one of these languages. Please submit a copy of the original document and the translation.
    For the online application non-certified translations are sufficient. However, please keep in mind that originals (or certified copies thereof) and certified translations of documents submitted in the application process will have to be presented to the coordination office for verification purposes, once candidates have been accepted to the program. Certification of copies can be issued, for example, by the dean's or registrar's office of your university, a German embassy or consulate, a branch of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), a public notary or a Goethe Institut.
    Accepted file formats:Please only submit PDF files or JPEG files. Other document types will not be processed and consequently will not be visible to the reviewers.If a document consists of more than one page it is strongly recommended to combine those pages into a single PDF file. This can be done easily by using Acrobat or other PDF generating programs that are available as freeware.Please do not submit (password) protected documents. Protected documents cannot be converted into a final PDF file and thus will not be seen by the reviewing professors. This may adversely affect your evaluation.For file names, please only use standard characters from the latin alphabet and numbers. Please avoid special characters such as inverted commas, plus sign or question marks just to mention a few. These characters may be incompatible with UNIX and hence we will be unable to open your file. It is recommended to use file names that reflect the content of the file. All uploads have a size restriction of 4 MB each, so please take care that uploads are not too big. We recommend scanning documents with no more than 300dpi. It is recommended to open uploaded files after upload in order to confirm integrity of the file.
    Final PDF documentFor each submitted application, a final PDF file will be generated. Documents submitted will be arranged in the following order (this is how the professors will see your application):
    • cover page with name of applicant, registration number, portrait picture, scientific interests, essays and additional information about the candidate
    • CV
    • letters of recommendation
    • transcripts and degree certificates
    • honors, scholarships, prizes and awards (including the respective explatation provided by applicant)
    • English language proficiency information and certificates
    • all other documents submitted


    Do you wish to become an international student next year?
    Demonstrate your English skills with IELTS.


    The net stipend for accepted IMPRS-LS fellows typically starts with 1450 Euro and will cover living expenses in the Munich area.

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