IMPRS Applicant FAQs

How can I apply?

A: You can exclusively apply through our online application system at and only if the IMPRS call is open.

Can I apply to the IMPRS although I hold a PhD already?

A: In Germany, you cannot obtain a PhD in the same field twice.

Is there an age limit for IMPRS applicants?

A: No. As a reference, the average IMPRS student is 26 years old when starting the PhD.

Can I apply to the IMPRS without an MSc (or equivalent) degree?

A: Yes. But you must hold the MSc (or equivalent) degree in a related subject before starting the PhD.

I do not yet have a final transcript of records. Is there anything I can submit instead?

A: Yes. Please submit a provisional transcript of records.

Do I need a translation if my academic records are not in English or German?

A: Yes. We can only accept such non-English/non-German documents if you provide a translation. Please submit the translations together with the original documents.

The Online Application Platform asks me to summarise a 'key publication'. Where can I find these publications?

A: We have highlighted one 'key publication' in each project description. You can alternatively find a list of all 'key publications' here.

Do I need to contact a potential supervisor before I submit my application and/or during the IMPRS selection process?

A: No. You may want to contact them if you, for instance, have specific questions about the project or project proposal. Please note, however, that our supervisors may not always be able to address all questions.

How will my application be reviewed?

A: All applications will be reviewed by the IMPRS coordinator in a first step and shortlisted by the recruiting IMPRS faculty members in a second step. Up to 25 shortlisted applicants will be invited to a Selection Symposium that takes place in Cologne, Germany on March 21-24, 2022. Depending on the COVID-10 infection dynamics, we may need to move the Selection Symposium partially or fully online. Successful applicants will be offered a position soon after the Selection Symposium, i.e. in April 2022.

Will participation in the IMPRS Selection Symposium be funded?

A: Yes. We do finance the vast majority of costs such as accommodation and your travel back and forth to Cologne.

What is the IMPRS's working language?

A: English. While fluency in spoken and written English is thus necessary to succeed in our program, knowledge of German is not necessary. We do, however, encourage learning German and offer German classes to our IMPRS students.

Will my IMPRS PhD position be fully funded?

A: Yes. All IMPRS positions are competitively funded for a minimum of three years. Funding details vary between IMPRS groups and should be discussed during the selection.

Will I have to pay a tuition fee?

A: No. However, all IMPRS students must enroll at the University of Cologne (UoC) where they pay a social fee of around 600 € per year. This grants them access to free local public transport, UoC courses, UoC mentoring and other UoC activities.

When will I start my IMPRS PhD project?

A: Successful applicants will be offered an IMPRS PhD position soon after the IMPRS Selection Symposium and can theoretically start from then. We do, however, aim for a synchronous start of new IMPRS students around October 1st.

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