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Requirements for Application and Admission

All applicants are requested to provide the following information and documents:

1. 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.
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.

2. 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.

3. Curriculum Vitae (CV)

4. Proof of English or German language ability
A proof of German or English language skills (not necessary for native-speakers):

For English, the following proofs are accepted:
• Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) with at least 90 internet-based TOEFL-test points (out of 120) or the TOEFL.ITP with at least 570 points (out of 677)
• International English Language Test System (IELTS) with a result of at least 6,5 (out of 9)
• Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English (CAE)
• Applicants who took part in an undergraduate program in which the language of instruction was English are asked to provide a suitable certificate from their Faculty.

For German, the following proofs are accepted:
• "Deutsches Sprachdiplom der Kultusministerkonferenz - Zweite Stufe" (Beschluss der Kultusministerkonferenz (KMK) vom 16.03.1972 und 05.10.1973 in jeweils geltender Fassung)
• Deutsche Sprachprüfung für den Hochschulzugang (DSH-Stufe 2) gemäß der Rahmenordnung der Hochschulrektorenkonferenz (HRK) und KMK
• Großes or Kleines Deutsches Sprachdiplom issued by the Goethe-Institute
• Zentrale Oberstufenprüfung issued by the Goethe-Institute
• "Deutsch als Fremdsprache" (TestDaF) certificate, only if passed with a mark of TDN 4 or better in all of the examinations
• Zeugnis der Prüfung zur Feststellung der Eignung ausländischer Studienbewerber für die Aufnahme eines Studiums an den Hochschulen der Bundesrepublik Deutschland ("Feststellungsprüfung")
• An equivalent certificate based on a bilateral treaty with another country

The issue date of these proofs should not be dated back more than two years.

Applicants who are exempted from providing proof of language proficiency are requested to write and upload a statement of exemption in .pdf format.

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 asked to name the principal investigator(s) they would like to apply to.

6. Contact details of two referees + two reference letters from these referees
You are to name two referees who will be asked by the application system to upload reference letters. There are no LOR forms available for download.

7. OPTIONAL: Graduate Record Examination (GRE) and Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering (GATE) Scores
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.

Additional note: All doctoral candidates who aim to register as a PhD student at the Faculty of Biosciences are required to have successfully completed Epigeum’s online course “Research Integrity“.

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