We are recruiting doctoral researchers

Please check in the “How to apply” section for more information on the application process.
Relevant dates for the recruitment process are provided on the right hand side of our webpage.

Welcome to the International Max Planck Research School for Immunobiology, Epigenetics, and Metabolism (IMPRS-IEM) – a joint international PhD program of the Max Planck Institute of Immunobiology and Epigenetics and the University of Freiburg. The research carried out at IMPRS-IEM focuses on diverse questions in the fields of:


We offer talented doctoral researchers excellent training opportunities in the fields of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Biophysics, Epigenetics and Metabolism. Scientific education in a first-class environment supports their development into outstanding young scientists.

Our doctoral researchers receive employment contracts according to the guidelines by the Max Planck Society for the duration of their PhD research. The payment is sufficient to cover the monthly living costs in Freiburg. There are no tuition fees.

The IMPRS program is managed by the IMPRS office in collaboration with the two IMPRS Spokespersons and the members of the Graduate Committee. We currently have 55 students from 25 countries. We are also very proud of our growing alumni group, which comprises more than 117 graduates.

What we offer

One of the distinctive aspects of our program is a rotation period. Doctoral researchers spend one month each in three different laboratories before starting their PhD project. This is an important step towards identifying a suitable laboratory for their PhD thesis, as it allows them to experience three distinct lab environments and provides further insight into particular research topics. The rotations are also a chance for group leaders to ascertain which doctoral researcher will be the best fit for their groups. Finally, this rotation phase enhances communication and networking within the Institute.

After the rotation period, doctoral researchers join the lab in which they will carry out their PhD work. The PhD project constitutes the core of the scientific training. IMPRS doctoral researches benefit from the supervision of the respective group leader, interactions within the laboratory and collaborations within and outside the MPI-IE. The progress of all IMPRS doctoral researchers is regularly monitored by their thesis advisory committees (TACs).

A broad curriculum complements the laboratory training. This additional training program covers three major aspects - advanced scientific training, transferable career-critical skills and networking. In particular, we offer courses that relate to:

  • Advanced scientific methods e.g. bioinformatics, statistics, imaging
  • Critical analysis of scientific literature
  • Scientific Writing
  • Scientific Presentation
  • Good Scientific Practice
  • Career Development

We strongly encourage participation in the annual PhD retreat organized by the PhD representatives. Furthermore, we support doctoral researchers' attendance at regional symposia and international scientific conferences and provide advice for future career planning.

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