Application for the IMPRS-PMPG

Application for the IMPRS-PMPG

The IMPRS-PMPG doctoral programme is open for students from all countries. Once you are accepted into the programme, you will be enrolled as doctoral student at the University of Potsdam.
Below you find information about requirements for the doctoral programme and your application.

The application period for IMPRS-PMPG positions starting in 2022 has ended.
Future application calls will be announced here.


How to Apply

The IMPRS-PMPG application procedure 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 2021/2022

Application deadline:
The application portal closed after midnight CET of 23 January 2022.

First shortlist (aka "long list"): The long list will be created until early February 2022. 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 8th. We will kindly ask them to send us their reference by the third week of February (around February 18th).

Invitations for interviews:
Decisions about whom we invite for interviews will be made in early March. Invitations will be sent out by 9 March, 2022.

Interview workshop:
The 2-day selection interviews will be held in early April (week starting April 4th).

Dec 2021 COVID-19 Note: Due to the pandemic, the selection interviews in April 2022 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 the same as during our in-person Interview 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 the IMPRS-PMPG should start their project by December 2022. The programme does not have a fixed start date, students usually start between July and November.
Dec 2021 COVID-19 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-PMPG.




To be accepted as a 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) 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 interview workshop in Potsdam.

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. 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 three 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. Please note that some or our faculty members may not be available for supervising PhD projects during specific application calls.


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