Application Requirements: Which documents do I have to provide?

a) Documents

Required documents:
  1. Curriculum Vitae (PDF file, max. 2-3 pages)
  2. Two letters of recommendation (more details see below)
  3. Transcript (record of study) and degree certificate for all completed degrees. If provided by the university, please also upload the supplementary information
  4. Temporary/provisional transcripts for degree programs, you are currently enrolled in
Recommend additional documents:
  • Certificate of proficiency in English (unless you are native English speaker)
  • Information about relevant scholarships, prizes and awards (in case you do have some)
  • Document qualifying for university studies (typically high school degree, Abitur, Matura or equivalent)
  • A GRE general and GRE subject test report in either biochemistry, biology, chemistry or physics (Institution code: 2828, Institution name: INTL M PLANCK RES SCH LF SCI ). We particularly recommend a GRE subject test if you studied outside the EU. For applicants from India we also accept GATE as alternative.
  • Copy of passport (specifically recommended if you are an international candidate not residing in the EU)
  • It is also possible to upload a portrait picture, that will be displayed in your application file in case you wish to do so
Accepted file formats:

The following file types are accepted: pdf, jpg and png. Uploads have a size restriction of 4 MB each. We recommend that you scan documents with 300dpi. If a document consists of more than one page, please combine these pages into a single PDF document. If you do not have a pdf converter (such as Adobe Acrobat Professional) installed on your computer, please use any online PDF converter (for example the free

Translation of documents:

All required documents (except "document qualifying for university studies") must be either in English or in German or have to be translated into one of these languages by a certified translator or university officials. If documents are translated, please submit a scan of the original document and the translation.
For all recommended documents and the required "document qualifying for university studies" non-certified translations are sufficient.

b) Application form:

The online application form allows you to enter all required information and to upload corresponding documents. You may save, revisit and modify your application at any time prior to final submission. Please keep in mind that your application only is complete, if application AND both letters of reference have been submitted before the deadline of application.
After submission, you will no longer be able to edit your application. However, you still will be able to change account settings (name, password and email). Your submitted data will be available to view throughout the application process.

c) Letters of recommendation

Applicants need to name and invite two referees through the online application platform. We recommend that you personally contact your referees before triggering the email invitations. Please keep in mind that applications, lacking letters of reference after the deadline for submission are incomplete and cannot be processed any further. It is in your interest, to ensure that the referees submit the letters of recommendation before the deadline.

d) Language skills requirements

Successful candidates need to be fluent in written and spoken English and, unless native speakers, should document their proficiency in English. Ideally, this can be achieved with a TOEFL report (institutional code of IMPRS-LS: 7426), an IELTS report or a Cambridge ESOL certificate (equivalent language tests are also. If an English proficiency test can’t be provided, applicants should describe their English skills in the application form and explain why they think their English skills are sufficient to successfully complete doctoral studies at IMPRS-LS. In that case it is helpful, if your academic training was in English or if you spend extended periods of time in an English speaking country.

Minimal scores:
We expect language proficiency test scores that are at or above the listed minimal scores in all subsections

Minimal score overall: 80
Reading: 20, Listening: 20, Speaking: 20, Writing: 20

Minimal band score overall: 6.5
Reading: 6.5, Listening: 6.5, Speaking: 6.5, Writing: 6.5

CEFR levels (Cambridge ESOL) (details see here)
Minimal score overall: upper B2 (175-179) or higher (C1 or C2)

German language skills are not required but interested international doctoral students are invited to take German language courses funded by IMPRS-LS.