Application Round 2020/2021

This page provides information for the current application round of the Melbourne-Potsdam PhD Programme: Key dates, the online application form and the joint projects that you can apply for. Please read everything carefully before applying.

Key dates

Application deadline:
The application deadline has passed. The application portal closed after midnight CET of 31 January 2021

First shortlist (aka "long list"): The long list will be created until mid-February 2021. We will contact your referees in mid-February if you are on this list.

NOTE: We only solicit references for candidates on the long list. Referees will be contacted by February 19th. We will kindly ask them to send us their reference by the end of February (around February 25th).

Decisions about whom we invite for interviews will be made in early March. Invitations will be sent out by March 15, 2021.

The 2-day selection interviews will be held in mid-April (week starting April 12th).
Dec 2020 COVID-19 Note: We will decide by early March whether our 2021 selection interviews will be held online, via video conferencing, or as an in-person event in Potsdam. We will inform candidates about the format with our invitation. The two main elements of the interviews - a short presentation with questions and an interview by a panel of faculty members - will be the same. Candidates who cannot travel to an in-person event will be given the possibility to be interviewed via video conferencing.

Start of PhD projects:
Candidates who are accepted into the Melbourne-Potsdam PhD Programme should start their project by December 2021. The programme does not have a fixed start date, students usually start between July and November.
Dec 2020 COVID-19 Note: We will be as flexible as possible with the project start date and the place where candidates start their research project (Potsdam or Melbourne).


Online application form

Application for the Melbourne-Potsdam PhD Programme is via an online application form. Please note that the online application form allows you to apply for both MelPoPP and the IMPRS-PMPG.

At the end of the application form you will be asked to upload two PDF files:

  1. Your CV including a personal statement of motivation 
    The personal statement is similar to the cover letter you would write in a written application. We would like to hear about your research interests, your background and career goals. With your motivation statement you can tell us why specifically you would like to join our doctoral programme and convince us that you are an ideal candidate.
  2. Your academic degree documents, transcripts and English test 
    These are documents relevant to your application: your Bachelor and Master degree certificates and transcripts, and a copy of a current English test that shows us that you meet the English language requirements of the University of Melbourne.
    All submitted documents and certificates must be in English. If they are not in English, please submit a copy of the original document and a translation into English. Candidates who are accepted into the programme will have to show the original documents and, if applicable, certified translations into English when they register with the University.

Please prepare these two files before applying. All documents must be converted into PDF format before uploading them. If possible, try to optimize the size of the PDF.

Several fields in the application form require a detailed answer. It is a good idea to prepare these answers in advance as well. 

A PDF with instructions, tips and a field-by-field guide for the online application form can be downloaded at "Helpful Hints" on the right.

For the online application portal, please go to: Online Application Portal

The application procedure for the Melbourne-Potsdam PhD Programme is integrated into the application for the IMPRS-PMPG. You can find information about the application and interview procedure at: IMPRS Application


Melbourne-Potsdam joint projects

When you apply for the Melbourne-Potsdam PhD Programme, you will be asked to name two projects that you are interested in and give reasons for why you chose these projects. Please inform yourself about the projects before filling in the application form.

Below is a list of the 6 joint projects that are available in the application round 2020/2021. Please download the PDF with detailed information for all 6 projects including links to the supervisors’ websites to inform yourself about the projects before applying.

Joint Projects 2020/2021: > PDF with detailed project information

Project code Project title Supervisors
P1_BE+JH+JL+MS_1220 Understanding how plants mobilize carbon
to build trees
B. Ebert (UoM), 
J. Heazlewood (UoM), 
J. Lunn (MPI-MP), 
M. Stitt (MPI-MP)
P2_HV+UR+HMC+ZN_1220 How are phytoplankton metabolism and composition affected by seawater chemistry?

H. Verbruggen (UoM),
U. Roessner (UoM),
H. McClelland (UoM),
Z. Nikoloski (MPI-MP /UP)

P3_JG+MH+JL_1220 Role of sugar signalling in the control of
seed size

J. Golz (UoM),
M. Haydon (UoM),
J. Lunn (MPI-MP)

P4_MP+DW+ML_1220 Reclaiming the lost genetic diversity in barley M. Pourkheirandish (UoM),
D. Walther (MPI-MP),
M. Lenhard (UP)
P5_MW+ZN_1220 How do plant roots sense and adapt to soil water? An experimental and modelling study using root cap cells M. Watt (UoM),
Z. Nikoloski (MPI-MP /UP)
P6_UR+JK+JH_1220 How translational mechanisms contribute to
low temperature acclimation in plants
U. Roessner (UoM),
J. Heazlewood (UoM), 
J. Kopka (MPI-MP) 
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