Hints for the application

You can apply to IMPRS-IEM using our online application tool which is open only during application times. To start the application procedure please register on the Application Portal. Once you create your account, the application tool will send a confirmation email to the address you provided with additional information. Please follow the instructions given, fill in all the necessary information and upload required documents (pdf or jpeg format). You can repeatedly log in and out and make changes to your application. Don't forget to press SUBMIT once your application is ready! We strongly recommend you to submit as early as possible. Submitting early will give us more time to carefully check your application and contact you if we have any questions. After submitting, you cannot make any changes to your application anymore, but you can log in to check if your references have arrived, and if your application has been marked as complete.

Instructions for filling in the application form

To make an initial registration, enter the mandatory information and click the "submit" box. You will receive an email with personal login information which you can use to fill in your application form and check the status of your application. Your entries are saved between work sessions, allowing you to complete the form in stages.

When you have the final version of your application form, select the "Submit & Finished" button in the final section.  Once you have submitted the form you will no longer be able to make any changes. 

  • Names
    If you have multiple names, please enter the name under which you want to be registered first. If applicable, please use hyphens. 
  • Address, Telephone
    Please enter an address which can be used by courier services. 
  • PhD Advisor
    Please select up to three faculty members with whom you might wish to work. The recruiting faculty are listed in the application. This is a preliminary choice which can be changed at the interview stage. Note: not all faculty members offer projects in every selection round.
  • Academic Information
    It is mandatory to complete the section "University degree" by listing course components and grades from your most recent degree. Since grading systems vary around the world, please help us understand yours by entering the best and worst possible grades used by your university, e.g. 100% best, 0% worst or A best, F worst. Information about earlier degrees can be listed using the button "Add another University degree".
  • Research experience
    List any supervised research projects which have lasted at least 4 weeks. Describe briefly the aims of the project, the methods used and any results. Clearly highlight your personal contribution to the project. An abstract alone does not allow us to fully assess your current capabilities.
  • Publications
    Please list only international, peer-reviewed publications which are generally accessible. 
  • Essay (500 words)
    Tell us here about your scientific interests and goals: What areas of research most interest you and how will training with IMPRS-IEM help you meet your professional goals. Also, should there be a significant gap in your academic career, please describe the circumstances and how you maintained your interest in research.
  • Two-page motivational letter 
    Please use your own words. The motivational letter should highlight your major experimental experiences and how they have prepared you for a PhD with IMPRS-IEM. Please explain why you are interested in specific labs and what you hope to gain from during your doctoral studies that will contribute to your future professional goals. 
  • References
    Please enter the names and affiliations of 3 referees. For more information see below.


We require scanned versions of the following:

  • For each university degree obtained, the official, final certificate plus a translation if the original is not in English or German.
  • For each degree obtained or in progress, an official transcript of records listing coursework and grades, plus a translation if the original is not in English, German, or German
  • CV

Each file to upload should be a single PDF not exceeding 20MB. You can only use the upload function once so be sure all required documents are included.

Language tests and standardized tests (GRE or GATE) are NOT required, but you may submit them in the appropriate field.


The initial email containing the login and password to edit your application will also contain a specific link for each of your referees. Please forward one link to each referee. By opening the link, your referee will be able to complete your evaluation form and upload it to the system. Your referees should ideally have worked with you on a research project i.e. the supervisor of your final project or an internship. 

Note: Referees should be professionally established at the level of independent investigator, principal scientist, group leader, lecturer or above. They should know you well, both academically and personally. Please do not ask classmates or postdocs to provide a reference.

We will consider only applications with all three references provided on time.

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