University of Heidelberg
Home > Frequently asked questions>

Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

Q: Who is eligible to apply to the HBIGS PhD program?

A: Please refer to our admission requirements.

Q: What are the deadlines for applying to the Graduate School?

A: In general, you can submit your application at any time throughout the year. Please note, however, that there are individual deadlines for announced projects and that projects are removed from the website even before the deadline is reached once an appropriate applicant is found. We, therefore, recommend to apply as early as possible to announced projects.

Q: How can I apply for a PhD position?

A: The Online Application System will guide you through the completion of your application. After registering with your email address, you will be able to fill in and update your application as often as you want during the application period.
Fill in and submit your profile first.
To add or edit details, use the pencil icon in the top right hand corner of each tab. Save changes by clicking on the "save changes" icon.
Fill in all mandatory fields (marked with an *).
Press button "Submit profile".
After your profile has been submitted, you can start your application by clicking on ''My Applications'' on the top of the page.
You can submit up to 3 applications.
It is not possible to change your application once it has been submitted.

Q: The system does not allow me to submit my application. What can I do?

A: If you are not able to submit your application, then it might be incomplete. Please make sure you have uploaded all the necessary documents.
If one of your applications had already been rejected, you are not able to submit another application.

Q: Can I send my application via regular mail?

A: No. Please do NOT send any documents via mail, neither regular nor electronic, as we will not consider any application or document received this way.

Q: Do I need to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)?

A proof of German or English language skills must be provided by none-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

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

Q: Do my referees have to submit letters of recommendation (LOR)?

A: Yes. You are to name two referees who will be asked by the application system to upload reference letters. Referees must submit their letter of recommendation two weeks after your profile submission. There are no LOR forms available for download.

Q: I cannot upload documents to the Online Application System. What might be the problem?

A: Supported file formats are JPG and/or PDF, up to a file size of 15 MB.

Q: When will I hear about a decision on my application?

A: Shortlisted applicants who applied for an advertised project will be notified and invited for interviews in Heidelberg usually within three to four weeks after a deadline has been closed. Shortlisted applicants who submitted an unsolicited application will be invited as soon as they are selected by an HBIGS principal investigator. This period of time my vary depending on various parameters, e.g. the number of non-advertised open positions etc. The final decision will be made swiftly after the interviews.

Q: If I am invited to Heidelberg, do I have to cover the cost of transport and accommodation?

A: Costs for travel and accomodation have to be covered by the applicant or the PI the applicant has applied to.

Q: I am invited for interviews in Heidelberg but am unable to come. Can the date of the interviews be rescheduled?

A: If you are unable to attend because of factors outside of your control (i. e. a delay in the granting of a visa), please let us know as soon as possible so that we can try to find a solution.

Q: I need to apply for a visa to enter Germany. Will I have enough time to do so? What type of visa should I apply for?

A: If selected to conduct interviews in Heidelberg, you will have enough time to apply for a visa to enter Germany, should this be necessary. Because you are not accepted as a PhD student yet, you must apply for a tourist visa.

Q: What expenses do I have to cover?

A: Accepted PhD students have to take into account that there are expenses involved with starting their PhD in Heidelberg, such as fees for visa and immigration, the cost of a one-way flight to Germany, and the deposit for an apartment.

Q: Are PhD positions paid?

A: PhD positions are usually remunerated according to TV-L E13 (50 - 65%) but alternative salary schemes may apply, depending on the source of funding.

Q: How will I hear about a decision on my application?

A: Selected candidates will receive notification via email as soon as the decision is made.

to top of page