Application How-To

Please read this document carefully before applying to our Graduate School.

Instructional Document - IMPRS Application

Please read this document carefully before applying to our Graduate School. [more]

IMPRS Application

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IMPRS Application


Timeline of the 2020 Application Call

The final deadline for application will be February 2, 2020 and the selection process will take about four weeks. Selected applicants will receive invitations to our Selection Symposium early in March, 2020. The Selection Symposium runs from April 20-23, 2020 at the Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding Research in Cologne, Germany. Successful applicants will typically start their PhD projects in autumn 2020.


As an international program, we encourage students from all countries to apply. Successful applicants will be enrolled at a German University which is typically the University of Cologne (UoC) or the Heinrich-Heine University (HHU) located in Düsseldorf near Cologne. The Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding Research (MPIPZ) and the Universities of Cologne and Düsseldorf are equal opportunity employers.

To be considered for selection, you must hold a Master’s degree or comparable and have completed 4 to 5 years of university studies in subjects relevant to the individual projects. While it is not necessary to hold the degree at the time of application, it must be awarded before PhD projects start. The quality of the degrees (i.e. eligibility) will be checked by the University of Cologne or Düsseldorf on a case-by-case basis.

Solid knowledge of the English language is necessary to succeed in our program. We thus encourage you to support your application with the result(s) of internationally accepted language exams such as TOEFL or IELTS, which are however not mandatory.

What we offer

The MPIPZ and the Universities in Cologne and Düsseldorf form an outstanding cluster for basic research in the plant sciences. Supported through the Excellence Strategy of the German federal and state governments (see CEPLAS  homepage), we offer a truly interdisciplinary training of young researchers who will work in a supportive international environment designed to harness creativity.

PhD positions are fully funded for 3 years and PhD students will benefit from a structured supportive programme with shared supervision and training in a wide range of transferable and applicable skills. 

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