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 application period for positions in the IMPRS for Molecular Plant Science starting in 2023 has ended.
Future application calls will be announced here.


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 for the Application Round 2022/2023

Application deadline:
The application portal closed after midnight CET of 31 January 2023.

First shortlist (aka "long list"): The long list will be created until mid-February 2023. We will contact your referees in the first half of February if you are on this list.

NOTE: We only solicit references for candidates on the long list. Referees will be contacted by February 13th. We will kindly ask them to send us their reference by the fourth week of February (around February 23rd).

Invitations for interviews:
Decisions about whom we invite for interviews will be made in the first half of March. Invitations will be sent out by 16 March, 2023.

The selection interviews will be held in the second half of April (April 18th + 19th).

The selection interviews in April 2023 will be held online. The two main elements of the interviews - a short presentation with questions and an interview by a panel of our faculty members - will be held on separate days. We will hold informal information events in the week before the selection interviews. Candidates will receive further information with our invitation.

Project start: 
Candidates who are accepted into our IMPRS should start their project by December 2023. The programme does not have a fixed start date, students usually start between July and November.
Note: We understand that the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic may affect your plans for completing your MSc degree and/or your travel to Germany if you join us from abroad. We will be as flexible as possible with the start date of candidates who are accepted into the IMPRS.




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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