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Requirements for Application and Admission
- Regular Track -

The minimal requirement for admission into the Graduate School is a university degree from an internationally accredited university that would allow the applicant to enter a PhD program in biosciences in the country where the degree was awarded. Depending on the country, this may be a Masters, Licentiate or Diploma in Natural Sciences or equivalent.
Applicants who apply to advertised projects are expected to have received their final certificates (Master, Diploma etc.) before the projected start of the PhD work. Please, refer to the individual PhD projects for dates.
All applicants are requested to provide the following information:

1. Secondary school leaving certificate
Submit with your application your Secondary school leaving certificate (equivalent to German "Abitur"). No translation of the document into German or English is required at this stage of the application process.

2. Academic records
Submit your official transcripts of academic records from every postsecondary institution attended for at least one year as a full-time student. Academic records should give information on the type and content of courses taken (Diploma supplement) and the grades you received. Your rank in class should be noted whenever possible. If the institution does not issue records in German, English, or French, original language records must be submitted with translations. At this stage of the application process you can submit uncertified documents.

3. Curriculum Vitae (CV)

4. Proof of English language ability
If your native language is not English, proof of an adequate command of spoken and written English is required for admission.
Proof can be provided either by
a) a TOEFL certificate ( (Score requirements: Paper based: 570+, Computer based: 230+, Internet based: 90+),
b) an IELTS certificate ( (Score requirements: band 6.5+) ,
c) a Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English (CAE ).
d) Applicants who took part in an undergraduate program in which the language of instruction was English or German are asked to provide a suitable certificate from their Faculty or supervisors.
e) Applicants who received an MSc degree from a university of an EU member state or an EU affiliated member state are exempted from providing an English language certificate. Their proficiency in English will be evaluated during the interview process. For technical reasons these applicants are requested to write and upload a statement that they will provide proof of their language proficiency during the interview.
f) Applicants who are enrolled in the MSc programs Molecular Biosciences or Molecular Biotechnology at Heidelberg University do not have to provide proof of language proficiency. For technical reasons these applicants are requested to write and upload a statement that they are exempted from providing proof of language proficiency.

5. Statement of Purpose
Write a statement (+/- 500 words) describing why you wish to become a member of HBIGS, your preparation for this field of study and your future career plans. Describe the area of biology you find most interesting, your previous research experience, and other aspects of your background and interests which may aid the admissions committee in evaluating your aptitude and motivation for the programme. Applicants who submit an unsolicited application are strongly encouraged to describe in detail their preferred research area, research group or research project!

6. Contact details of two referees + two reference letters from these referees
You have two options. Either you upload the letters of recommendation (LOR) or your referees send them as .pdf file only (!) to . In the latter case you have to write a statement that your LOR will be sent directly to us, and upload this as .pdf-file (one .pfd document for every recommendation letter). Please note, however, that your application can only be considered as completed when we have received both LOR.

7. Graduate Record Examination (GRE) and Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering (GATE) Scores (optional)
The scores of the GRE Subject Test (Biochemistry and/or Biology and/or Molecular and Cellular Biology) or GATE (for applicants from India only) are not required for applying but a good score will strengthen your application. Scores must be from an examination taken within the last three years.

8. Applicants who are already accepted as prospective PhD student in the research group of an HBIGS faculty member are requested to fill in and upload the Statement of acceptance as PhD student (click on image to download document). Please upload the document in the field "Academic records".

Admission Procedure for Regular Track applicants

1. After eligibility and qualification has been checked (this might include a pre-interview) the application files will be sent to the respective group leaders for further evaluation.

2. Short-listed candidates will be invited for interview to Heidelberg. The interview process includes personal interviews with group leaders, a 30 minute panel interview conducted by three HBIGS faculty members. During the panel interviews, the candidates will give a 5-7 minute oral presentation of their past, current, or future research project ("chalk talk"). The oral presentation is followed by a question and answer session.
In order to obtain an impartial criterion in addition to the panel interviews there will be a written GRE-like test of about 2 hours. The test covers a broad range of topics in Molecular & Cellular Biology, Biochemistry and General Biology from standard text books like Alberts et al., Stryer et al. etc. Applicants with an educational background not directly related to the biosciences are offered the opportunity to also choose questions from a different subject, such as physics, chemistry or computer science.
In addition, applicants who are not yet accepted by an HBIGS faculty member will be given the opportunity to meet with the principal investigators they applied to.

3. The final decision about admission will be taken by the HBIGS Executive Board. Admission letters will go out shortly after the interview process.

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