5 February 2019.



(Partially Funded)


The International Max Planck Research School for Immunobiology, Epigenetics, and Metabolism (IMPRS-IEM).


Beginning in 2019, the International Max Planck Research School for Immunobiology, Epigenetics, and Metabolism (IMPRS-IEM) will focus on excellence in scientific training for junior researchers in the life sciences.  We offer talented students excellent training opportunities in the fields of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Immunobiology, Epigenetics and Metabolism. This scientific education in a first-class environment supports their development into outstanding young researchers.


More Details

  • The IMPRS program is managed by the IMPRS office in collaboration with the two IMPRS Spokespersons and the members of the Graduate Committee. We currently have 50 students from 24 countries, and 33 faculty members (19 from MPI-IE and 12 from the University of Freiburg and 2 from the Max Planck Research Department of Systems Immunology in Würzburg). We are also very proud of our growing Alumni group, which by now comprises 59 graduates.
  • One of the distinctive aspects of our program is a rotation period.  Students spend one month each in three different laboratories before starting their PhD project.
  • This is an important step towards identifying a suitable laboratory for their PhD thesis, as it allows them to experience three distinct lab environments and provides further insight into particular research topics.
  • The rotations are also a chance for group leaders to ascertain which student will be the best fit for their groups.  Finally, this rotation phase enhances communication and networking within the Institute.
  • After the rotation period, our fellows join the lab in which they will carry out their PhD work. The PhD project constitutes the core of the scientific training. Our students benefit from the supervision of the respective group leader, the interactions within the laboratory and collaborations within and outside the MPI-IE. The progress of all IMPRS students is regularly monitored by their thesis advisory committees (TACs).
  • IMPRS students also participate in a broad curriculum that complements their laboratory training. This additional training program covers three major aspects – advanced scientific training, transferable/soft skills and networking. In particular, we offer courses that relate to:
  1. Advanced scientific methods.
  2. Critical analysis of scientific literature
  3. Scientific writing
  4. Scientific Presentation
  5. Good Scientific Practice
  6. Career Development
  7. Funding Opportunities

Opportunity Focus Areas:

  • Immunobiology
  • Epigenetics
  • Metabolism
  • Cell Biology
  • Biochemistry
  • Proteomics
  • Bioinformatics
  • Functional Genomics
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cellular Biology

Required Languages


Eligible Countries



Program Period

3 to 4 years .

Eligibility Requirements (Criteria)

We welcome applications from excellent and highly motivated students of all nationalities with a passion for science. We expect:

  • outstanding academic record (GPA >80%)
  • practical lab experience of at least 4-6 months
  • excellent English language skills (TOEFL/IELTS or equivalent certificate recommended -not required- if you are not a native speaker or did not complete your University education in an English-speaking country)

Applicants must hold an

  • MSc/Diploma in Biology/ Biomedicine/ Biochemistry/ Bioinformatics or related subject (to be obtained before start of program in September).


Language fluency

  • English is the official language of the program, and knowledge of German is not required. If you have taken an English language proficiency test (TOEFL/CET/ect.), we encourage you to upload your certificates in the application platform. You will be offered the opportunity to attend a free German language course if you choose to.

Standardized Tests

  • IMPRS-IEM does not require standardized testing such as the GRE for admissions. You may upload those certificates with your application if you choose to do so.

Individual Fellowship

  • Applicants are not required to have an individual fellowship to apply. All students offered entry into the program will be provided with an employment contract to cover living expenses. There are no tuition fees to pay. However, we encourage students to apply for such individual fellowships before and during their PhD for the purposes of CV building.


Opportunity Cost

(Partially Funded)

  • Our program provides outstanding students with excellent research-oriented interdisciplinary training in Biochemistry, Cell Biology, Developmental Biology, Epigenetics, Immunobiology and Molecular Biology.
  • We train students to become self-reliant and to acquire and utilize the knowledge necessary for their research project.
  • Students have the chance to interact with experts in various fields both to extend their scientific knowledge and to learn critical thinking as well as acquire problem-solving skills.
  • The IMPRS fellows have 3 to 4 years to obtain their degree. Most of this time they work on their individually supervised research project.

  • In addition to the experimental part all fellows have a possibility and are obliged to participate in curricular activities of the programme.
  • These are:
    1. scientific and soft skills courses
    2. institute seminars
    3. PhD retreat
    4. supervision of undergraduate students
    5. conference attendance
    6. career evenings
  • Our students receive student contracts according to the guidelines by the Max Planck Society for the duration of their PhD (3-4 years).
  • The payment is sufficient to cover the monthly living costs in Freiburg.
  • There are no tuition fees to be paid.


How to Apply

First Step: 

  • Register here.
  • Once you create your account, the application tool will send a confirmation email to the address you provided.
  • Please follow the instructions given, fill in all the necessary information and upload required documents

Second Step:

Documents you will need

  • CV
  • Photo (optional).
  • Essay of Research Experience and Motivation  (max. 2 page).
  • Essay detailing a leadership experience in your life (max. 1 page).
  • Transcripts of your academic education (Diploma, MSc and BSc or equivalent).
  • Certificates of your degrees (Diploma, MSc and BSc or equivalent).
  • English language certificate (recommended if you are not a native speaker or did not complete your University education in an English-speaking country, not mandatory).
  • Results of knowledge tests (GRE, GATE or equivalent if available – not mandatory).
  • Contact details of three referees – Please inform your referees before you enter their email addresses in the application system.
    Important information about the references:
  • Your referees should ideally have worked with you on a research project i.e. the supervisor of your final project or an internship.
  • We will contact your referees once your submitted application has undergone an initial evaluation.
  •  Please check that you have entered their full contact details and email addresses correctly. We will ask them to enter their reference online. 
  • We will consider only applications with all three references provided on time.
  • We will not accept letters directly mailed to the office!

Third Step:


  • Video interviews will occur during the final week of February 2019.
  • The in-person interviews will be held in Freiburg from April 1-3, 2019.
  • Don’t forget to press SUBMIT once your application is ready!
  • We strongly recommend you to submit as early as possible.
  • Submitting early will give us more time to carefully check your application and contact you if we have any questions.
  • After submitting, you cannot make any changes to your application anymore, but you can log in to check if your references have arrived, and if your application has been marked as complete.

Evaluation of applications

All applications received by the deadline and accompanied by three references undergo two levels of evaluation.

  • First, they are checked for completeness and fulfillment of our requirements.
  • In the next step we evaluate
    1.Your grades,
    2.Your letter of motivation and statement of research interest, CV,
    3.English language skills and references.
    4.We also look at any additional certificates you provided.
  • Based on this information we generate a shortlist of promising candidates for the video interviews. Within 3-4 weeks of the application deadline we will inform you if you are invited for a video interview.

Video Interviews

  • The Skype interviews will be conducted by two faculty members and the IMPRS Coordinator.
  • This is an important step to get to know the candidates better and to help us make a decision about the final invitation list.
  • After the completion of all Skype interviews we will issue the invitations for the Interview Days in Freiburg.

Interview Days in Freiburg

  • Depending on the number of positions available in each round (usually 6-10) we invite 20-25 of the best candidates to Freiburg.
  • During their three day stay in Freiburg, students have the opportunity to present their own work and get to know our faculty and students and to discuss the offered projects.
  • The first assessment of the candidates is done during the interview with a panel of three faculty members.
  • Students who successfully pass this selection step proceed to the individual interviews with group leaders.
  • The decision on admission to the program is made by the selection committee consisting of recruiting group leaders and the IMPRS graduate committee.
  • Offers to join IMPRS-IEM are made within a week of the in-person interviews.


Apply Now

More Details

Know more about this opportunity:

Official Website

Marj3 recommended links

To learn how to write CV, Essays, Personal statement,  and know about recommendation letters click here:

Marj3 recommended links

This Scholarship Published by:
Hend Younis / Egypt 

Reviewed by” Shaimaa Abdelmoneim/ Egypt 
MARJ3 Intern
MARJ3 Scholarships team