The deadline for applications in 2024 has passed. No further applications can be accepted.

Application Schedule 2024

Application period                         5 February - 7 April 2024

Selection for Interviews                30 April 2024

Interviews (in Münster)                 7-10 July 2024       

Decision                                            12 July 2024

Commencement of positions      1 October 2024 (or earlier if desired)

  • Forms

  • Application guidelines

    Important notes

    Please apply to this graduate program only, if you find research projects that are of interest to you.

    Applications can only be submitted via our online system. The system is available during the above mentioned application period only. The deadline for applications is 7 April 2024.

    References should be uploaded by 9 April 2024. Additions/corrections (see below) can be submitted until late September.

    Please refrain from contacting our Faculty Members and PhD students by e-mail or phone! During the last application periods some of them have received an extremely high number of messages and calls which is a real burden. Please send an e-mail to cim-imprs  instead. If you have questions or encounter problems with the application procedure please don't hesitate to contact the coordinator, Prof. Martin Wild, by e-mail to cim-imprs. Due to the high number of e-mails we usually receive we can only answer those questions that are not addressed in the information given below!


    Applicants must hold a Master's degree, or equivalent (e.g. German Diploma), in life or natural sciences (e.g. biology, biochemistry, biotechnology, physics, chemistry, pharmacy or related fields), in mathematics or computer sciences. Applicants with a state examination in pharmacy can be admitted to work on pharmaceutical/chemical projects. Medical students cannot be admitted. The date of award of the Master's (or diploma, state examination) degree must not be more than 4 years ago (i.e. 4 years before the above-mentioned application deadline).

    Applications are also welcome, if the required degree has not yet been awarded by the time of application. However, it has to be awarded before positions commence in October.

    APS certificate (only required if you have studied in India, Vietnam and the People's Republic of China):

    If you have studied in one of these countries, you have to send us an APS certificate which you get from the German embassy of the country where you have studied. You can send it as part of the written application or via e-mail by August 1st latest. If your application is successful, you will have to present the original once you are in Münster.

    Please note: Without the APS certificate successful applicants who have studied in the three countries cannot start their PhD!

    Although we need the APS certificate by August 1st, we recommend to get the certificate as soon as possible because a) it currently takes a long time to get the certificates from the embassies and b) you will need it anyway for many applications in Germany. More information on APS certificates can be found here:

    People's Republic of China



    English proficiency:
    Applicants who are not native English speakers should demonstrate an adequate competence of the English language by one of the following options: 1) acceptable results in an internationally recognized test (e.g. TOEFL, IELTS) OR 2) proven higher education in English OR 3) reasonably long stay in an English speaking country OR 4) simply demonstrating your English language abilities during presentations and interviews. Please note: Although an English proficiency test (TOEFL, IELTS) is not required it is very important that you CAN communicate well enough in spoken and written English. Knowledge of the German language is not required.

    Students from Münster are also welcome to apply. Please note: Students who are already working in a group of a CiM-IMPRS member (see list of members on this page under "Research and Groups") are eligible for a position only, if they will join a different CiM-IMPRS group for their PhD. If you have questions concerning this rule please contact us by e-mail cim-imprs.

    The University of Münster and the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Biomedicine are equal opportunity employers and are committed to increasing the proportion of female academics. Consequently, we actively encourage applications by women. Female candidates with equivalent qualifications and academic achievements will be preferentially considered within the framework of the legal possibilities. We are also committed to employing more staff with disabilities. Candidates with recognised severe disabilities who have equivalent qualifications are given preference in hiring decisions.

    Application Procedure


    1. Write your application in English language (application form, short curriculum vitae (CV), transcripts and certificates). In your online application you name 1-3 potential CiM-IMPRS groups in which you would like to work.
    2.  Identify and inform 2 academic teachers/supervisors who can send reference letters (also see 4).
    3.  Submit your application (online). You will receive a confirmation e-mail.
    4. Wait until you receive an information e-mail several days later.
    5.  Ask the 2 referees to submit reference letters in the way described in the information e-mail (also read the details below).
    6.  We may ask you to have a Skype/ Zoom interview with us between 1 and 5 May 2024.
    7.  Interviews: obligatory, 3.5 days, in Münster.

    Application procedure in detail


    All submitted transcripts and certificates must be in English or German. Certified copies of documents are not mandatory at the time of submission. However, all relevant documents have to get certified upon acceptance to the program.

    Your application will consist of 1 pdf file only. The file will include the application form, the curriculum vitae (CV), transcripts, record of study and certificates. Please do not send zip-files. Further down you find information on how to create and combine pdf files.

    AI may NOT be used to generate this application.

    We are unable to consider applications that are incomplete or do not fulfil the formal criteria described above.

    Details for your written application:

    1. Read the information given on our program on the CiM-IMPRS website. Identify between 1 and 3 CiM-IMPRS groups in which you would like to do your PhD. To this end please consult the description of projects and the group links. You will have to name the heads of these 1-3 groups in your online application. If you get invited to the interview symposium, you will have interviews with theses group leaders.
      Do not apply to this program if there is no group you are really interested in!

      ONLY these groups CAN be chosen this year

      Ralf Adams
      Karin Busch
      Carsten Grashoff
      Friedemann Kiefer
      Jürgen Klingauf
      Stefan Luschnig
      Mauricio Rocha-Martins
      Maria Florencia Sánchez
      Mario Schelhaas
      Roland Wedlich-Söldner
      Sara Wickström
      Anna Ziegler

      Groups that do not accept students via this program in 2024 are marked with "No positions via CiM-IMPRS in 2024".
    2. Download the CiM-IMPRS application form and complete it offline. Convert it into a pdf-file (information on conversion into pdf see below).
    3. Write a short, one-page curriculum vitae, convert it into a pdf-file. Some information on your CV will be identical to that in the application form. Don't worry.
    4. Collect your official transcripts or records of study which should document your academic work in detail (list of courses attended; grades and credit points, if applicable) and your certificates. Important: Please start with your Master certificate, followed by Master transcripts/records of study followed by the Bachelor certificate and the bachelor transcripts/records of study.
      Certificates should include the relevant university examinations (e.g. Master's and Bachelor's degree). You can submit provisional certificates and include final certificates later, when they become available, as an addition to your application (see 11). If available, please also include your final certificate of secondary school education which gives the right of admission to higher eduction (e.g. Abitur, Matura, or equivalent). The certificate should show individual grades. Include an explanation of the grading system (not required for Abitur from Germany). If schools in your country don't issue such certificates, don't worry. It will have no consequences on your application. If you have a certificate for an English language test (e.g.TOEFL, IELTS), please add it here. If you don't have one, don't worry. It is not mandatory!
    5. The application form, the CV and all these transcripts/records of study/certificates have to be submitted as a single pdf-file. You may scan the documents, convert each of them into a pdf-file and, finally, combine them into one file. Please avoid pages, where all wording is vertical (we inspect applications on the monitor!).
    6. Identify two academic teachers/supervisors who can send reference letters for your application. You will be asked to submit their e-mail addresses electronically with your application. If you cannot identify 2 referees: Applications with 1 or no referee are absolutely OK but give us less guidance in evaluating applications. We may contact the referees directly, if we need more information.
    7. Submit your application online. Link: ONLINE SUBMISSION OF APPLICATIONS (open from 5 February to 7 April 2024)
      You will be asked to transfer basic data from your application form into the webpage (copy-paste), to name your referees (incl. e-mail addresses) and to name 1-3 CiM-IMPRS groups of interest.
    8. Upload your application file and submit the application. You can interrupt entering your data by clicking on “Pause” at the bottom of the application webpage.
    9. You will receive an a) automatic confirmation of your application within 6 hours and b) an information E-mail several days later with all details for the remaining process.
    10. As soon as you have received the information E-mail, please forward it to your referees. The information e-mail will tell them how to submit their references. We will inform you about the receipt of the references maximally 2 days later. Make sure that we receive their references by 9 April 2024! Our faculty members will start evaluating the applications on the next day. Hence, we cannot guarantee that references submitted later than 9 April 2024 are seen by the evaluators.
    11. If you have additions (e.g. a final Master certificate) or important corrections (e.g. a new address) you can submit them by the end of September in the way described in the information E-mail.

    Skype/ Zoom interviews: 

    • If we cannot make a decision solely on the basis of the written application, we may ask you to have a brief Skype/ Zoom interview with the coordinator or one of our faculty members. Please be prepared that we may ask you for such a Skype/ Zoom interview between 1 and 5 May 2024.


    • Application form
    • Reference request form
    • ONLINE SUBMISSION OF APPLICATIONS (open from 5 February to 7 April 2024)

    Checklist for your application

    1. Completed CiM-IMPRS Application Form

    2. Curriculum vitae (1 page)

    3. Master and Bachelor certificates, transcripts/records of study. Don't forget: Start your file with your Master certificate/documents.

    4. Certificates of secondary school education (only if available), English language test (only if available).

    5. Names and e-mail addresses of two academic teachers who can send reference letters

    6. Names of 1-3 CiM-IMPRS groups in which you would like to do your PhD. Make sure that you do not choose groups that do not take students this year (see above).

    7. Make sure that you have time for a Skype interview with us in case we ask you for it.

    Selection procedure and conditions of positions

    1. The CiM-IMPRS faculty will select applicants for mandatory interviews (3.5 days in Münster). You will be informed about the decision no later than the date given above in the application schedule (selection for interviews).
    2. Interview Symposium: The symposium consists of interviews (including a short presentation of your Master/Diploma thesis), meetings with potential supervisors and visits of groups/labs. On the last day of the symposium you will be asked to give a final updated list of up to three preferred groups/supervisors sorted by your priority.
    3. A final decision on acceptance to the program will be made a few days after the interviews. You will be informed about our decision by e-mail by July 12th, 2024.
    4. Successful applicants start their PhD projects on October 1st. If you wish, you can also start earlier. However, if you need a visa or APS certificate, please note that this may take several months.
    5. Students will receive work contracts with an annual gross pay of 25.390 – 31.770 €. The exact amount depends on the type of work contracts offered by the individual work groups. There are no tuition fees, but PhD students have to register with the university with a contribution of ca. 50 € / month for which they receive a ticket for free public transport in Münster and the state of North Rhine Westfalia and the opportunity to apply for cheap student dormitories.
  • How to create and combine pdf files

    Here are some suggestions on how to create and combine pdf files.

    A) PC users:
    You can download a free version of PDF Creator, e.g. at

    There, a manual can be found under “Support“–“User Guide“ describing how to create a pdf and how to combine documents

    Other free programs may also be available.

    B) Mac users:
    i) On most Apple computers you should be able to create a pdf using the print command, choose “pdf”, and save the file.

    Many Apple computers also have the option to combine pdf files: 

    ii) using Preview

    Type “How to combine PDF documents using Preview” into a search machine and you will find several pages showing how to do that.

    iii) using Automator (scripting program installed on many Mac computers, works with all MacOS versions starting with MacOS 10.4). This is how to use it to combine pdf files:

    Select the documents that you want to combine in the Finder.
    Open Automator from Applications or Programs.
    Choose Create workflow.
    Add these 3 steps to your Untitled Workflow:

    1. Finder: Get Selected Finder Items (Get Selected Files and Folders)
    2. PDF: Combine PDF pages (choose Appending pages)
    3. Finder: Open Finder Items (Open Selected Files and Folders)

    This will combine everything, then open up a Preview document with all the PDF pages laid out in one document which you can finally save. You can also save the workflow if you do this on a regular basis.