Hints for the online application

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. 

Instructions for filling in the application form

  • 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. This is a preliminary choice which can be changed at the interview stage. Note: not all faculty members offer projects in every selection round.
  • Research Area
    Please choose max. three options most relevant to your interests. Through knowing the research area(s) you hope to work in, we can better assess your application.
  • 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 2 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
    Please describe your research interest and career goals in your own words. Significant text similarities to essays available on the internet will disqualify you from the selection.
  • References
    Please enter the names and affiliations of two 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, German or French.
  • 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 French.
  • GRE General Test or GATE score report, if you have not studied within the European Higher Education Area.
  • Other major certificates if relevant. A CV is not required - the application form replaces this.

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.


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 our system.

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.