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Application and Admission

As of 1 Jan 2020 the following applies:

The requirement for admission to HBIGS is a university degree that will allow the applicant to be accepted as PhD student at Heidelberg University according to the regulations set by the Faculty of Biosciences (-> Read more). Qualified PhD applicants are invited to submit applications to HBIGS throughout the whole year, exclusively through the HBIGS online application system (see link below).

All candidates who wish to become a member of HBIGS have to submit their application prior (!) to the start of their PhD project. Students who have already started their PhD project are not eligible to apply (The starting date of your PhD term is usually identical to the starting date of your contract).

1. Applicants who are already accepted as a prospective PhD student in the research group of an HBIGS faculty member are requested to submit an unsolicited application and to fill in and upload the Statement of acceptance as a PhD student under "Academic Records".
(click on image to download document).

2. Applicants who are NOT yet accepted as a prospective PhD student by a member of the HBIGS faculty are invited to submit their applications to advertised PhD positions and/or to submit an unsolicited application.

Applications to advertised PhD projects
Students may apply for up to three advertised PhD positions within the deadlines set for the respective projects. Please note that projects are removed from the website even before the deadline is reached if an appropriate candidate is found. We, therefore, recommend to apply as early as possible to announced projects.
-> Read advertised PhD projects

Unsolicited applications
Students who do not find an advertised research project of their interest but have a general interest in a research area or a research group may submit an unsolicited application. Applicants who submit an unsolicited application must name their preferred research group/principal investigator!

-> Read Application & Admission Requirements


Please note: Only applications submitted via the online application system will be considered. Applications sent by e-mail or mail will be discarded without further notice.

Admission Procedure

The requirement for admission to HBIGS is a university degree from an internationally accredited university that would allow the applicant to be admitted as a PhD student in the Biosciences at Heidelberg University according to the rules set by the Faculty (-> Read more).

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

2a. PhD candidates who are eligble to be unconditionally accepted as PhD student by the Faculty of Biosciences are, in general, also eligible to become a member of HBIGS without further assessment.

2b. Applicants who are NOT eligble to be unconditionally accepted as PhD student according to the rules set by the Faculty have to pass a Qualifying Exam ("Kenntnisstandprüfung"). The Qualifying Exam consists of a 25 minute panel interview conducted by three principal investigators of the HBIGS Faculty. 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 addition there will be a written GRE-like test of 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.

3. Applicants who are shortlisted, but not yet accepted by an HBIGS faculty member will be invited to Heidelberg upon the principal investigator´s request. They will be given the opportunity to meet with the principal investigators they have applied to. These candidates will take the Qualifying Exam during their stay, if requested by the Faculty of Biosciences or the principal investigator.

Currently, interviews and Qualifying Exams are scheduled for 23 May, 25 Jul, 26 Sep, 28 Nov 2024. More dates for 2025 will follow.

4. The final decision about admission to HBIGS will be taken by the HBIGS Executive Board. Admission letters will be sent shortly thereafter.