IMPRS-IEM PhD Program @ Max Planck Institute & University of Freiburg
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IMPRS-IEM PhD Program @ Max Planck Institute & University of Freiburg

Joint International PhD program of the Max Planck Institute of Immunobiology and Epigenetics and the University of Freiburg has announced calls for IMPRS-IEM PhD Program 2019. PhD Admissions 2019 at IMPRS-IEM PhD Program. Admissions 2019 for IMPRS-IEM PhD Program. Check out all of the details on the same below:

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Welcome to the International Max Planck Research School for Immunobiology, Epigenetics, and Metabolism (IMPRS-IEM) – a joint international PhD program of the Max Planck Institute of Immunobiology and Epigenetics and the University of Freiburg. The research carried out at IMPRS-IEM focuses on diverse questions in the fields of:


If you have a passion for science and interested in being a part of cutting-edge research and working towards a PhD on exciting projects in an international environment – you are the person we are looking for.

Program Overview:

Beginning in 2019, the International Max Planck Research School for Immunobiology, Epigenetics, and Metabolism (IMPRS-IEM) will focus on excellence in scientific training for junior researchers in the life sciences. IMPRS-IEM is the successor

program to IMPRS-MCB established in 2006. The new name and program structure reflect the strengthening of the scientific research done by our faculty as a joint initiative of scientists from the University of Freiburg, the Max Planck Institute of Immunobiology and Epigenetics, and the Institute for Systems Immunology in Würzburg. We offer talented students excellent training opportunities in the fields of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Immunobiology, Epigenetics and Metabolism. This scientific education in a first-class environment supports their development into outstanding young researchers.

IMPRS Spokespersons and the members of the Graduate Committee. We currently have 50 students from 24 countries, and 33 faculty members (19 from MPI-IE and 12 from the University of Freiburg and 2 from the Max Planck Research Department of Systems Immunology in Würzburg). We are also very proud of our growing Alumni group, which by now comprises 59 graduates.

One of the distinctive aspects of our program is a rotation period. Students spend one month each in three different laboratories before starting their PhD project. This is an important step towards identifying a suitable laboratory for their PhD thesis, as it allows them to experience three distinct lab environments and provides further insight into particular research topics. The rotations are also a chance for group leaders to ascertain which student will be the best fit for their groups. Finally, this rotation phase enhances communication and networking within the Institute.

After the rotation period, our fellows join the lab in which they will carry out their PhD work. The PhD project constitutes the core of scientific training. Our students benefit from the supervision of the respective group leader, the interactions within the laboratory and collaborations within and outside the MPI-IE. The progress of all IMPRS students is regularly monitored by their thesis advisory committees (TACs).

IMPRS students also participate in a broad curriculum that complements their laboratory training. This additional training program covers three major aspects – advanced scientific training, transferable/soft skills and networking. In particular, we offer courses that relate to:

  • Advanced scientific methods e.g. bioinformatics, statistics, imaging
  • Critical analysis of scientific literature
  • Scientific writing
  • Scientific Presentation
  • Good Scientific Practice
  • Career Development
  • Funding Opportunities

We strongly encourage the participation of our students in the annual PhD retreat organized by the PhD representatives. Furthermore, we support students’ attendance at regional symposia and international scientific conferences. Students also have the possibility to learn German and to obtain advice in planning their future career.

How to Apply:

Please note that you need to have both a BSc and MSc or equivalent (usually 5 years of university studies) to be eligible to join our program. There is no application fee.


We welcome applications of outstanding and highly motivated students with a passion for science.

  • outstanding academic record (GPA >80%, first or upper second class degree, top 10% of students in a given year)
  • practical lab experience of at least 4-6 months
  • excellent English language skills (TOEFL/IELTS or equivalent certificate recommended -not required- if you are not a native speaker or did not complete your University education in an English-speaking country)

Formal requirement: Applicants must hold an MSc/Diploma in Biology/ Biomedicine/ Biochemistry/ Bioinformatics or related subject (to be obtained before the start of the program in September).

What is NOT required to apply for the IMPRS-MCB program?

Language Fluency

English is the official language of the program, and knowledge of German is not required. If you have taken an English language proficiency test (TOEFL/CET/ect.), we encourage you to upload your certificates in the application platform. You will be offered the opportunity to attend a free German language course if you choose to.

Standardized Tests

IMPRS-IEM does not require standardized testing such as the GRE for admissions. You may upload those certificates with your application if you choose to do so.

Individual Fellowship

Applicants are not required to have an individual fellowship to apply. All students offered entry into the program will be provided with an employment contract to cover living expenses. There are no tuition fees to pay. However, we encourage students to apply for such individual fellowships before and during their PhD for the purposes of CV building.

Application Procedure:

Applications can be submitted via our online application tool only which is open during selection times.

You can apply to IMPRS-IEM using our online application tool which is open only during application times. To start the application procedure please register here. Once you create your account, the application tool will send a confirmation email to the address you provided. Please follow the instructions given, fill in all the necessary information and upload required documents (pdf or jpeg format). You can repeatedly log in and out and make changes to your application. Don’t forget to press SUBMIT once your application is ready! We strongly recommend you to submit as early as possible. Submitting early will give us more time to carefully check your application and contact you if we have any questions. After submitting, you cannot make any changes to your application anymore, but you can log in to check if your references have arrived and if your application has been marked as complete.

Documents you will need

  • CV
  • Photo (optional)
  • Essay of Research Experience and Motivation (max. 2 page)
  • An essay detailing a leadership experience in your life (max. 1 page)
  • Transcripts of your academic education (Diploma, MSc and BSc or equivalent)
  • Certificates of your degrees (Diploma, MSc and BSc or equivalent)
  • English language certificate (recommended if you are not a native speaker or did not complete your University education in an English-speaking country, not mandatory)
  • Results of knowledge tests (GRE, GATE or equivalent if available – not mandatory)
  • Contact details of three referees – Please inform your referees before you enter their email addresses in the application system.

Important information about the references

Your referees should ideally have worked with you on a research project i.e. the supervisor of your final project or an internship. We will contact your referees once your submitted application has undergone an initial evaluation. Please check that you have entered their full contact details and email addresses correctly. We will ask them to enter their reference online.

We will consider only applications with all three references provided on time.

We will not accept letters directly mailed to the office!

Admission Process:

Admission to IMPRS-IEM is highly competitive and carried out through a centralized selection procedure, divided into several steps: Evaluation of application, video and subsequent in-person interviews in Freiburg.

Evaluation of applications

All applications received by the deadline and accompanied by three references undergo two levels of evaluation. First, they are checked for completeness and fulfilment of our requirements. In the next step, we evaluate your grades, your letter of motivation and statement of research interest, CV, English language skills and references. We also look at any additional certificates you provided. Based on this information we generate a shortlist of promising candidates for the video interviews. Within 3-4 weeks of the application deadline, we will inform you if you are invited for a video interview.

Video Interviews

The Skype interviews will be conducted by two faculty members and the IMPRS Coordinator. This is an important step to get to know the candidates better and to help us make a decision about the final invitation list. After the completion of all Skype interviews, we will issue the invitations for the Interview Days in Freiburg.

Interview Days in Freiburg

Depending on the number of positions available in each round (usually 6-10) we invite 20-25 of the best candidates to Freiburg. During their three days stay in Freiburg, students have the opportunity to present their own work and get to know our faculty and students and to discuss the offered projects. The first assessment of the candidates is done during the interview with a panel of three faculty members. Students who successfully pass this selection step proceed to the individual interviews with group leaders. The decision on admission to the program is made by the selection committee consisting of recruiting group leaders and the IMPRS graduate committee. Offers to join IMPRS-IEM are made within a week of the in-person interviews.

All applications are due by February 05, 2019.


Editor’s Note: Max Planck Institute of Immunobiology and Epigenetics and the University of Freiburg phd admissions 2019, phd admissions 2019, IMPRS-IEM admissions phd 2019. Check Biotecnika Times Newsletter – which is a free subscription service that you can avail by signing up for it once. Also, check out the Podcast we have for free listen on SoundCloud.

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