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.


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, TOEFL or IELTS results are not required. However, we recommend uploading English proficiency test results to your application if available, as 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.


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. 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?

Unfortunately not, but this is indeed relevant information for us. All applicants must successfully pass the admission procedure in order to be eligible to join.


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.


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

We will inform you whether you qualify for an online Admission Committee interview around the first week of December, 2023.

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 very-well justified reasons, however, can try to find alternative dates or times. However, this may considerably prolong your admission process.

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 of Admission Committee interviews around the third week of December, 2023.

What are the possible outcomes of the Admission Committee Interview?

If you pass the Admission Committee Interview, we will invite you for our in-person selection week, which is scheduled, to happen around 6-9 February, 2024.

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

Can the in-person selection week in February be replaced by Zoom 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 invite short-listed candidates to Dresden and meeting in person is a prerequisite for admission. We take every effort to enable you to visit Dresden -- financial, visa and accomodation.

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. For extremely particular circumstances, we may consider an individual solution.


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

In general, IMPRS group leaders aim to recruit 1 new PhD students per year, depending on available laboratory space and funding for PhD positions. On average, we accept 15 – 25 new PhD students per year.

Should I separately contact group leaders of interest before applying?

As we operate a centralized recruitment process, in tandem with the DIGS-BB, it is neither necessary nor helpful to contact group leaders of interest before applying. Group leaders must signal any previous contact with candidates to the DIGS-BB and IMPRS Offices, so as to avoid conflicts of interest. This may, indeed, considerably complicate your application process.

What if the group leader I am interested in is currently not listed as recruiting?

Once you have passed the Admission Committee interview, and invited to our in-person selection week, your application will be available to all group leaders, in both the DIGS-BB and the IMPRS. It is always recommended to apply if you are keen joining any one of our research groups! Even if your top choice is not recruiting, the liklihood of them being involved in your thesis work is still high, because of our Thesis Advisory Committee structure.

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