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 PhD projects are filled). Third-party funded projects are open until the position is filled.

1. Check if ...

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

Browse this website to learn more about us as well as the curriculum of our 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) until January 8th, 2024 (23:59 CET).

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 completed online application form below
  • Letter of motivation and research interests (in English).
  • Curriculum Vitae (CV) / Resume.
  • (Preliminary) 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, references, certificates of workshops etc.) can be included in your CV-PDF.

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.

Reference letters will be requested via email if you are short-listed by a project advisor or a steering committee member.

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 three weeks after the application deadline.
  • In this case, your referees will receive an email from the IMPRS office requesting for a letter of recommendation.
  • Promising applicants will be interviewed via phone or video conference.
  • Top candidates will then receive an invitation to take part in the selection symposium that takes place in Jena. All travel expenses related to the event will be covered by the IMPRS.
  • 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 selection symposium. 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 selection symposium

During the event,

  • an icebreaker activity & a guided tour through the MPI-BGC with our 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) and discussion
    • in English
  • you will be interviewed by the project advisors and a member of the IMPRS steering committee,
    • about 45 min.
    • a question on the understanding of the Earth system
    • room for your questions
  • you will have a chance to talk perspective colleagues and see the facilities you might work with 
  • feel free to explore the city of Jena.

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

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

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

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