IMPRS Application

IMPRS Application

Join our international PhD program in the Plant Sciences in Cologne, Germany.

The IMPRS Application Call for 2024 is now closed. You can apply once per year for funded positions in our IMPRS.


As a highly 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). The Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding Research (MPIPZ) and the University of Cologne 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.

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

Further questions concerning the application process and requirements are addressed in our FAQs.

What we offer

The MPIPZ and the University of Cologne 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, with possible extension, and PhD students will benefit from a structured supportive program with shared supervision and training in a wide range of transferable and applicable skills. All applicants can indicate their preference for a number of advertised projects.

Timeline (2024 Application Call)

The final deadline for application was January 6, 2024 (23:59 CET). We asked two referees to support each application and that the referees' deadline to submit a reference letter is January 15, 2024. Shortlisted applicants will be invited to an online Selection Symposium that takes place from March 19 to March 25, 2024. Applicants invited to the Selection Symposium will need to give and discuss a presentation and will get to know the IMPRS through meetings with the PhD Office, current PhD students, the recruiting IMPRS Faculty and their groups. Successful applicants will be offered a position in April 2024 and they will be given the option to visit Cologne before starting the PhD. All projects should start until fall 2024.

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