Application > How To

How to apply for an IMPRS-gBGC PhD position

If you are already funded as a doctoral researcher at the FSU Jena or the MPI for Biogeochemistry, you can be admitted to the IMPRS-gBGC as an associated member. Contact the program coordinator for more information on this.

We call for applications twice per year. Our selection is highly competitive (usually about 25% of the projects are filled).

1) Check if ...

... the IMPRS-gBGC is the right choice for you

Browse this website to learn more about us, the research possibilities and the curriculum of the PhD program. If what you see meets your interest, continue with the paragraph below.

Otherwise, you might want to have a look at other International Max Planck Research Schools or in general at international PhD programs in Germany.

... you fulfill the requirements

Applications for the program are open to well-motivated and highly-qualified candidates from all countries. A prerequisite is a diploma or master of science degree in geophysical sciences, environmental sciences, biological sciences, physics, chemistry, computer sciences or related fields, including a corresponding thesis. Proficiency in English is required since English is the official language of the program.

Requirements for the individual PhD projects can be derived from the project descriptions.

2) Apply online

Fill in the application form on this website and submit all your regular application documents as PDF (within the online application process) before the application deadline.

After you have completed the online registration form, you will receive the link to a website on which you can upload your application documents. Your application package is considered complete once we receive the following documents:

  • The online application form below
  • Letter of motivation and research interests (in English).
  • Curriculum Vitae (CV) / Resume.
  • Documents relating to your Master's degree (or national equivalent that requires a corresponding thesis): title and abstract of your thesis, copy of your MSc certificate, copy of MSc transcript (list of courses/lectures you took, including marks).
  • If applicable: documents relating to your Bachelor's degree (redundant with 'Diplom'): copy of BSc certificate, copy of BSc transcript (list of courses/lectures you took).
  • Proof of English skills, if possible.
  • Any additional documents which you consider important for your application (e.g. publications, job references, certificates of workshops etc.) can be included in your CV-PDF.
  • Two reference letters (from e.g. former advisers) sent to us directly via email from the official work account of your chosen referees (must reach us one week after the application deadline).

Application documents that are neither in English nor German must be translated into one of these two languages. During the application, unofficial translations serve well. Upon admission and to register as a doctoral researcher at the Friedrich Schiller University Jena, officially certified translations are required.

3) Wait for a notification

  • The project PIs, the IMPRS steering committee and the IMPRS coordinator select the promising candidates
  • You will be notified about the outcome of this pre-selection about a month after the application deadline
  • Promising applicants will be interviewed via phone or video conference
  • Top candidates will then receive an invitation to take part in the recruitment event that takes place in Jena
  • If you need a visa to travel to Germany, please be prepared to apply for one once you receive our invitation to participate in the recruitment event. Make sure you have a valid passport. On this website you find the German embassy or consulate is closest to your place of residence.

4) Attend the recruitment symposium

During the event,

  • an ice breaker activity & a guided tour through the MPI-BGC with the PhD researchers are offered,
  • the IMPRS-gBGC will be introduced,
  • you will be asked to give a short talk on your previous research experience and your research interests,
    • 3-min-talk (with slides) + discussion
    • in English
  • you will be interviewed by project advisor(s) and members of the IMPRS steering committee,
    • questions on the understanding of the earth system (i.e. greenhouse effect)
    • about 30 min.
    • room for your questions
  • your writing skills will be assessed,
  • you will have a chance to talk to the people and see the facilities you might work with and get to know Jena.

You will be informed about the final decision 2 weeks after the event.

Successful candidates will be offered a highly communicative scientific environment, a comprehensive mentoring program as well as a PhD funding for three years*.

*) unless they already have started their PhD project and specifically apply for associated membership

Please refer to our FAQs for further information. If you have any question not yet answered by this website, please contact the program coordinator.

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