IMPRS Application

IMPRS Application

The IMPRS for Molecular Plant Science invites applications by students from all countries. Once you are accepted into the doctoral programme, you will be enrolled as doctoral student at the University of Potsdam.
Below you find information about requirements for the IMPRS and your application.

The next application period of the IMPRS for Molecular Plant Science will open at the end of 2024,
for positions to start in 2025.

In the meantime, please check for open positions on the MPI-MP JOBS page.

CRC 1644 Phenotypic Plasticity in Plants - Application call

Several PhD positions are on offer in the newly formed Collaborative Research Centre (CRC) 1644. The research program of the CRC 1644 involves faculty members of the IMPRS MolPlant.

Go to the CRC 1644 website for information on all available projects and for the application procedure. Application deadline is 31 January, 2024


How to Apply

The application procedure of the IMPRS for Molecular Plant Science (former name: IMPRS ‘Primary Metabolism and Plant Growth’) is online only. To apply via our application form, go to Online Application Portal.

Key Dates and Requirements are given below. For further information, go to Selection Process & Tips and  Online Application Portal. You can download a PDF with instructions, tips and a field-by-field guide for the online application at "Helpful Hints" on the left or below (Mobile view). When our application call is closed, the PDF will give you an idea of the information we ask for. 

Please read all information carefully before you apply via the online portal during application calls. Note that we can only consider applications that are complete.


Key Dates and Time-Line for Application Rounds

Application phase:
The application portal is usually open for 6 weeks, from mid-December to end of January. The exact application deadline is announced here and in the respective application call.

First shortlist (aka "long list"): The long list is created in the fist 2 weeks after the application phase ended. Referees of candidates who are on the long list are contacted in this time period.

NOTE: We only solicit references for candidates on the long list. We kindly ask referees to reply to our reference request within 10-14 days after we contacted them.

Invitations for interviews:
Decisions about whom we invite for interviews are made 5-6 weeks after the application phase ended. Invitations are usually sent out 6-7 weeks after the application phase ended. Candidates and runner-up candidates have at least 2 weeks to prepare for the interviews.

The selection interviews are usually held in April, about 10-12 weeks after the application phase ended. The exact date of the selection interviews in an application round is announced here.

The selection interviews are held online. The two main elements of the interviews - a short presentation with questions and an interview by a panel of our faculty members - are held on separate days. We hold informal information events in the week before the selection interviews. Candidates will receive further information with our invitation.

Project start: 
We are as flexible as possible with the start date of candidates who are accepted into the IMPRS. The programme does not have a fixed start date, students usually start between July and November. In general, candidates who are accepted into our IMPRS should start their project by the end of the year they were recruited.




To be accepted as doctoral student, you must hold a Master or equivalent degree in a subject relevant to our programme. In exceptional cases we may accept students with an excellent BSc (1st class honours; 4-year degree with research thesis) who may need to attend additional courses and seminars during their first year. Additional requirements will be defined on a case-by-case basis.


The language of the programme is English. Therefore, a very good knowledge of English is absolutely required, both for the selection interview and later for the doctoral programme. A working knowledge of German is very useful for living in Germany but is not required for the doctoral programme.

We encourage you to support your application with scores of internationally valid language exams like TOEFL, IELTS, or other tests. This will make the evaluation of your application easier for us. If you do not support your application with an English test we may conduct a telephone interview with you before the selection interview.

Institution code (DI code) for the TOEFL test: 4240 (Max Planck Institute of Molecular Plant Physiology)


At the end of the online application we ask you to upload the following two documents as PDF:

  1. Your CV including a personal statement about your 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 language test.
    These are documents relevant to your application: your Bachelor and Master degree certificates and transcripts, for example. If you have not yet completed your Master studies, please submit a preliminary transcript, if possible. In addition, if you have taken a language test include a copy of the test certificate.
    All submitted documents and certificates must be in English or German. If they are not in either language, 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.

All documents must be converted into PDF format before uploading them. If possible, try to optimize the size of the PDF.

Research Interest

In our application form, we ask you to name IMPRS faculty members whose research is of interest to you and whose research groups you would like to join should you be a successful candidate. You should explain your motivation for choosing a research group and tell us why specifically you are interested in the research of this group. Moreover, we ask you to write an essay that addresses the research of the group that you would like to join the most. In your essay, you can show us your ability to think independently and creatively about science.

You can find our faculty members with brief descriptions of their research on the “IMPRS faculty” page. If you click on the name of a faculty member, you are guided to their websites where you find more information about their research. 

It is not required to contact IMPRS faculty members whose groups you would like to join before you submit your application, but you may do so. If you do contact them by email, please inform yourself about their research beforehand, and indicate in your email that you plan to apply for the IMPRS. 

Please note that some of our faculty members may not be available for supervising PhD projects during specific application calls. Which faculty members are available as supervisors is indicated on the IMPRS faculty page.


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