FAQ

APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS

Can I apply even if I have not received my degree yet?

Yes, of course. However, you must hold a university degree before starting your thesis work.

Is there an age limit?

We do not have an age limit. For your reference, most of our first-year students are around 25 years old.

What is the working language within the IMPRS-CellDevoSys?

Our working language is English. You can pursue and complete our program without any knowledge of German. However, to fully engage with the advantages of our environment, we encourage learning German while you are here!

Can you tell me what are my chances of being accepted?

Our eligibility requirements tell you whether your application stands a chance to proceed in the evaluation process. Once you passed the Admission Committee, you will be in principle eligible for our program. After that, your chances depend mostly on finding a research group that wishes to host you as a PhD student, and that you wish to join.

Will taking additional examinations increase my chances of being accepted?

We evaluate the full educational & research background of each candidate. If you took examinations, such as the IELTS or TOEFL to demonstrate English proficiency, or the GRE to demonstrate scholarly aptitude, you are welcome to include these certificate in your application file - but the big picture is what counts, and such certificates are not required.

COMPLETING THE APPLICATION

Can I modify my application?

You can modify your application at any time up until the point of your final submission. Thereafter, changes are not possible any longer.

Can I add certificates or test results to my application later?

In order to be considered, all materials must be submitted via our online system. No materials can be accepted outside of this online system or after submission.

What should I upload to the application?

You need to upload all official certificates and academic transcripts.

What should I not upload to the application?

Do not upload CVs, course certificates, theses, publications, or any other document that is not requested.

Do I need to provide TOEFL or IELTS results?

No, but we recommend uploading TOEFL or IELTS results to your application if available. A high level of English language proficiency is required.

Do I need to provide GRE results?

Taking the GRE examination is not required. If you have taken this test, feel free to include the results in the uploads section of your application, though.

I am having problems uploading my documents. What can I do?

Make sure that the documents are according to the format specified in the application form. If you still experience problems with our online system, please contact the PhD Program Office at phd@mpi-cbg.de.

Do I need to have my certificates translated into English and authenticated?

Authentication of documents is not required. However, please provide English documents whenever possible. We are not able to evaluate documents that we are not able to read or understand.

FUNDING & FEES

Do you charge an application fee, and how much is it?

We do not charge an application fee.

How much does the program cost?

There are no tuition fees for this program. In fact, PhD Students are compensated with an attractive salary throughout the duration of training. Should you wish to officially enroll at the TU-Dresden, there is a 285 Euro/Semester charge, which includes free access to public transportation. View more about our Funding & Tuition details.

I have my own funding. Does this guarantee a place in the program?

No. All applicants must successfully pass the admission procedure in order to be eligible to join. Funding is inconsequential.

REFERENCES

How many reference letters are required for my application?

Your application must be supported by two academic reference letters (submitted online) before you are able to submit your application.

Can my reference send a recommendation via email?

No. We only accept recommendations submitted via our online application system.

My referee did not receive your invitation to submit a reference letter. What can I do?

When you register in our system, we automatically send an invitation to your referees using the email address provided by you. You may also wish to inform your referee yourself when you register, to ensure that our email is not considered junk mail or caught in a spam filter, as it is sent by an automated system.

What can I do if I provided faulty contact information for my referee?

Incorrect contact information cannot be changed once it has been entered. Use extra care in entering these email addresses. The only option then is to use the function “add referee” and give the correct information in this section.

How will I know that my referee submitted a recommendation letter?

The online application platform will allow you to view the status of the recommendation letters. You will additionally receive an email notification upon receipt of a recommendation letter.

INTERVIEWS

When will I be informed whether I will be invited for interview?

We will inform you whether you qualify for an Admission Committee interview approximately 1 month after you have submitted your application. Invitation to Admission Committee interview is contingent on short-listing by group leaders. The interview can be scheduled as soon as 6 – 8 weeks after submission. We will inform you whether and when you are invited latest 1 week before the scheduled interview.

Can the Admission Committee interviews be shifted?

For efficiency reasons, we expect you to accommodate a 30 minutes interview at the allocated time. We do consider time zones when scheduling. For justified reasons, however, we are happy to find alternative dates or times. However, this may prolong your admission process by several weeks.

How do the Admission Committee interviews work?

Invited candidates will receive an appointment time and a link to connect to our videoconferencing system. Further specific instructions regarding the contents of the Admission Committee interviews will be sent to you together with the interview invitation.

When will I be informed about the result of the Admission Committee Interview?

You will be informed about the result 1-3 days after the interview.

What are the possible outcomes of the Admission Committee Interview?

If you pass the admission committee interview, you qualify in principle for admission to our PhD program. Your application will then be accessible to group leaders in a “pool of eligible candidates”. As soon as at least one group leader expresses interest in your application, you will be invited for one-to-one interviews with group leaders.

If you do not pass the Admission Committee, we will unfortunately not be able to further consider your application for our PhD program.

When will I be informed whether I will be invited for one-to-one interviews with group leaders, and a visit to Dresden?

This depends on when a suitable PhD project for you becomes available, and when a group leader expresses interest in your application from the “pool”. In the best case, this is just a few days after you passed the Admission Committee interviews. However, it could also take up to 6 months, e.g., if your preferred group leaders first have to secure funding for a PhD position.

Can the one-to-one interviews be replaced by phone or Skype interviews?

Deciding on a PhD placement is a very important decision in your academic career, and it is important that you are in an environment where you feel 100% supported and at home in order to realize your highest academic performance. We therefore believe that it is essential for you to meet your future colleagues, supervisors, and collaborators in person and to experience our campus and the city of Dresden before taking a decision. Getting to know the research atmosphere and the spirit at our institutes, the colleagues, and the city will help make an informed decision.

Because of that, we usually invite short-listed candidates to Dresden and meeting in person is a prerequisite for admission. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic situation we will conduct one-to-one interviews remotely via our videoconferencing system for the time being. In addition, we will take any effort to enable you to visit Dresden and our research campus before making an informed decision.

Phone interviews cannot replace videoconferencing interviews or personal interaction during the interview week.

Can I be admitted without visiting Dresden?

As said above, we consider personal acquaintance with the future environment to be indispensable. Should we not be able to invite you for one-to-one interviews with group leaders due to the COVID-19 pandemic situation, we will take any effort to enable you to visit Dresden and our research campus and institute before taking an informed decision as soon as possible, and we will look into individual solutions.

ADMISSION

   

OPEN POSITIONS

Which group leaders are offering thesis projects in the IMPRS-CellDevoSys?

In general, all IMPRS group leaders aim to recruit 1 – 2 new PhD students per year, depending on available laboratory space and funding for PhD positions. On average, we accept 20 – 25 new PhD students per year. A list of currently features open positions can be found HERE. However, new positions emerge frequently, so that applications are not limited to those currently open positions.

How do I know which group leaders have currently an opening?

Please check our web page under “featured open positions” for up-to-date information on group leaders who are actively looking for PhD students at the moment. Note that this is subject to frequent change. Successful applications therefore remain in a pool for up to 6 months in order to maximize the chance of a suitable opportunity emerging meanwhile.

What if the group leader I am interested in is currently not listed under “Featured open positions”?

Once you passed the admission committee interview, your application will be available to all group leaders in a “pool of eligible candidates” for up to 6 months, or until you withdraw it. Since our group leaders frequently have new openings for PhD students, it is always recommended to apply if you are keen joining any one of our research groups!

ROLLING ADMISSION*:

Applications are welcome at any time

*Pilot phase. Please follow our Partner Program, the DIGS-BB www.digs-bb.de/join for additional opportunities.