copyright Axel Griesch


Check out the departmental research projects, see links below!

Attention: In 2022, no doctoral projects are available through the IMPRS for Organismal Biology.

Please make sure to take a look here, for alternative options:

Max Planck Institute for Biological Intelligence

Max Planck Institute of Animal Behavior

Applications 2022:

The IMPRS for Organismal Biology is in its final phase. Therefore, during this year 2022 we will not host a selection symposium and no new doctoral projects will be advertised through IMPRS at the moment. However, after this period, the new Institute for Biological Intelligence plans its IMPRS program for 2023. New recruitment announcements will be made in due time for the next year for exciting new doctoral projects. 

If you are interested to see more details, before applying, you may read how things were done in our previous applications, as a guideline Application Instructions!

Below you will find more information on the requirements, how to apply, registration for the application process, required documents and the selection procedure!


We welcomed applications from all countries. The minimum requirements for applicants were a Master's or an equivalent degree level, and in very exceptional cases, graduates with a 4-year study program (BSc with honours) with a final written scientific thesis work in Biology or a related subject would be considered. It is not necessary to hold the degree at the time of application. However, you must have been awarded your degree(s) prior to the start of the program. The quality of the degrees (i.e. eligibility) will be checked by University of Konstanz on a case-by-case basis. Those that do not fulfil the minimum requirements, will have to complete further course work, during their doctoral studies.

Candidates need to be fluent in written and spoken English and - unless native speakers - have to document their proficiency in English (e.g. TOEFL). German is not required, but students from abroad will be offered opportunities to take German courses.

How to Apply?

You can only apply via our three-tier electronical application portal. Please do not send any other type of application by regular mail or email as they will be rejected. The application must be completed in English only. On top of the online application form, we need several certificates to be included. Certificates that are not in English or German need to be translated. You need to upload all the required documents as one single pdf-file. Please give yourself enough time to submit your application and do not wait until the last moment as technical difficulties or other problems might occur. The Max Planck Society and the University of Konstanz are equal opportunity employers.

Registration for the application portal

  • First, you have to register on the application website to start the process of your application, the portal website is only available during the application period.
  • Once your registration was successful, you will receive an email with your personal registration code and two links. One link leads you to our online application form, the other is for your referees, to lead them to their online recommendation forms.
  • Provide your referees with your personal registration code and the link to the online recommendation form. Make sure they realize that we can only consider your application, once they fill-out the recommendation forms and upload their recommendation letter(s) prior to our application deadline (January 15). A confirmation email shall automaticly be issued after each of your referees  has submitted their recommendation letters.
  • Assemble all required documents, scan them and convert them into one single PDF-file and name it LastName.FirstName.pdf.
  • Carefully, fill-out the online application form, upload your PDF and press the start-button. You will receive an email confirming your upload.
  • Once a complete application is received, including the recommendations, you shall receive an email by Mid-February, informing you on whether you have been shortlisted or not. Occasionally, there may be a scheduled telephone interview before invitation are sent. Please inform the coordinator if you require a visa to enter Germany (or Switzerland as the closes airport is Zürich).
  • Successful candidates will be invited for the Selection Symposium, 24th to 27thof March 2020. 

Required Documents

  • We need certain documents that prove your specifications in your online application form. Documents that are not in English or German need to be completed with a translation.
  • Your academic background is verified by certificates of relevant university examinations (e.g. BSc and MSc degrees), and a detailed record of study / transcript (a list of attended courses and – if applicable – corresponding grades). Please include an explanation of the grading system (Diploma supplement) from your university, since we get applications from all over the world but are not familiar with all the different university grading systems. German University grading system does not need to be explained.
  • The official teaching language of the IMPRS for Organismal Biology is English. Therefore you need to prove that your English proficiency is sufficient for immediate commence with your research work. The best and most reliable way is an acceptable result in an internationally recognized test (e.g. TOEFL). Nevertheless, a verifiable higher education in English, or a reasonably long stay in an English speaking country may also be sufficient. Either way, you need to prove your English skills by a third party.
  • If you want to add further information relevant for the project and/or show your personal preferences, you are very welcome to upload an individual CV (max. 3 pages, no photograph please).
  • Add further certificates that prove the given information in the application. However, please only provide documents which are of significance to support your application. Do not overload your application with certificates and documents of minor importance.

Selection Procedure

The applications are reviewed by all IMPRS for Organismal Biology faculty members. Based on their academic qualification, motivation, suitability for the program/project, and letters of recommendation. Shortlisted candidates are invited to the Selection Symposium.
During the Selection Symposium, the candidates are expected to present their most relevant research project and will have the opportunity to meet with IMPRS faculty and students. There will be time enough to discuss previous training and research experience, to evaluate future plans, and to learn more about the IMPRS program and ongoing research in the working groups. After the Selection Symposium, the IMPRS Board makes the selection of the best suitable candidates, based on the suggestions/evaluations of all IMPRS members.

Travel and accommodation expenses are covered by the IMPRS.

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