How to apply

All applications will have to be submitted through our application platform that will open on November 22nd and close 2nd of January, 2022, midnight CET. Applications through email or post will be disregarded. For your online application please prepare:

  • a formal CV
  • your certificates & transcripts
  • Language certificates (in case English is not your native language)
  • the contacts (including email & phone) of two referees
  • your research interests and motivation
  • further supporting documents
  • which projects (host groups) you would like to apply to (please select 3 host groups in order of preference)
  • a user account (registration) on our application platform

You can ONLY apply by using the online application platform. Before being able to apply, you first need to register and verify your user account. Once this is done, you can start your application.

IMPORTANT: You do not have to submit your application in one go. However, please make sure you always save the filled in data before changing to the next page or before logging-out. All saved information will be still available to continue the application process at a later time. Be sure to submit your application before midnight CET on 02/01/2022. Registered but not submitted applications will be disregarded.

Further instructions:

  • The online application form must be completed in ENGLISH.
  • Please make sure that all your personal details including your email address and postal mail address are up to date and valid throughout the whole application process.
  • In the "References" section you will have to provide us with the contact details of two referees that support your application. This is an important part of your application! Our system will automatically inform your referees to submit a reference as soon as their data have been saved – even before submission! We strongly advise you to pick your referees carefully and inform them about their role BEFORE you apply. Please consider that your referees will only have time to submit their references until January 3rd, 2022. Please make sure there are no typos in the referee contact details! Otherwise, our system will be unable to contact them. IMPORTANT: Applications without 2 submitted references will be disregarded.
  • You will need to choose your research group preferences according to the project descriptions. The order in which you make your choice will influence which faculty members will evaluate your application. However, this choice is not final. Candidates invited to our online selection week will have the opportunity to meet all recruiting faculty members and can still change their mind.

IMPORTANT: Please make sure you review and submit the complete application before the deadline on January 2nd, 2022. Please note, referees are only informed after submission of your application. Once the application has been submitted, no further changes or additional uploads of documents are possible. You will receive a confirmation email that your application was successfully submitted.

Please keep in mind: The application period is a busy time for the coordinators. We will try to answer to you as quickly as possible, but it may take a little time.  Individual requests on the status of your application will not be answered. We will regularly inform on the progress of the application process.

Selection procedure

Due to the ongoing pandemic situation, this year, the selection process will be fully online.


Deadline for submitting your application is January 2nd, 2022. Referees can submit their response until January 3, 2022. Applications will be reviewed by the IMPRS-IDI and ZIBI offices, followed by faculty review. A first short listing will take place by the end of January. Candidates will be informed latest by 31st of January 2022 whether they have been selected to continue in the selection process.

Online Selection Week:

After an online assessment, candidates passing will be invited to the final assessment step, the Selection Week from February 21st to 25th, 2022. We regret not to be able to meet applicants in person, but will try our best to make the selection week as “personal” as possible. During the week, candidates will present their previous or ongoing research and go through different forms of panel and individual interviews. We will also organize some social activities to give candidates the opportunity to chat to PIs outside the interview setting and ask other PhD students about their live in Berlin and in their labs.


After the final decision by the board of the IMPRS-IDI and ZIBI graduate school, offers will be sent out the week starting March 7, 2022. Deadline for accepting an offer is March 31, 2022. Start dates of the projects are individual and to be discussed with the recruiting project leaders. Earliest start dates will be in May 2022.

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