How to apply

Once you have registered you will receive a personal login. Please also check your spam folder! With this login you can check the status of your application at anytime. Please complete all fields in English. All mandatory fields are marked with *. The application form consists of several sections, please find the details below. Save your information in the section forms. Using your login you can edit your application form until you submit. Once you have submitted the form you will no longer be able to make any changes or add information, however you can check the status of your recommendation letters. Please note that upon submission you will receive a confirmation email.

You will find the participating group leaders and their respective projects of the current interview round presented under participating group leaders on the left hand side menu. It is strongly recommended that you carefully look into the research information and find projects and research labs that best fit your interests. Consider to check this list during the call as projects may be added later.

Login at the application portal and complete "My application". 

The application package consists of

1. Personal Information: If you have multiple names, please enter the name from your passport, we will use it later for your visa application. If applicable, please use hyphens. Please enter an address used by courier services and at least one telephone number.
2. Education: Enter information about your university and research thesis (both BSc and MSc or MD). If you have not graduated yet put an approximate date. Please assist us in assessing
your academic performance by entering the best and worst grades used by your university, i.e. 1 best, 5 worst or A best F worst.
Applicants holding (or expecting to hold within 6 months after interviews) a MSc (Master in Science) degree
including a research thesis are eligible to apply.
If you hold a degree that is not a MSc, please send the name of the degree in the original language and the English translation to and we will inform you whether you are eligible to apply.
If you hold only a B.Sc. degree, you are not eligible to apply.
3. Honours/ awards: Please list only international publications.
4. Research Interest: Please select the research area you are most interested in from the drop down menu. In addition, you may also select drop down research key words that particularly match your interests. If you would like to be considered for one of the international exchange programs at the MDC,
SignGene, the German - Israeli Program in Cell Signaling or MDC-NYU Exchange Program in Medical Systems Biology, please select the appropriate program field from the drop down menu.
Research experience (max 2500 characters including spaces): Please list any supervised research projects extending over at least several weeks. Please indicate whether your contribution to the project work was of a theoretical or experimental nature.

Research interest essay - Personal Statement (max 3000 characters including spaces): Use the research interest statement to express which research field you want to pursue during your PhD and why as well as specify your preferences for particular groups or projects. Your preferred labs, projects and any interest in an exchange program should be stated in the research interest essay and the motivation statement of why you intend to do a PhD.

Scientific discovery that has impressed you the most: max 2500 characters including spaces.

Undergraduate courses you found the most inspiring: max 2500 characters including spaces.

5. Video upload: In this section you may upload a video where you address in 1-2 minutes the following question: "Which of the Nobel prize awards in the field of Physiology or Medicine, Chemistry or physics did you find the most inspiring and why?". You may elaborate on any award of the above categories, either recent or older. Technical specifications about the format of the file are provided in the application form.

6. Names and addresses of 2 referees: Please enter all contact fields of two referees. We recommend choosing referees that know you personally and are willing and able to write a description of your academic performance. As soon as you have completed the contact details, your referees will automatically receive a request for a letter of recommendation. Please let them know in advance that they will receive an invitation email from the PhD office. Please make sure that references arrive on time! You cannot change your referee once you have saved the contact. If you wish to change a referee, contact us on time. It is essential that your referees complete the reference form before the application deadline. You can check the status of your references after submission with the colour code (The colour will change from orange to green after your referees have submitted their letters).
7. Supplementary information: Please tell us where you have heard about the International PhD program at the MDC first.

8. Documents: All documents must be uploaded as pdf files (max of 3MB). A short CV of max. 2 pages is mandatory for the application. A scanned version of the following documents is recommended, if applicable:

  • university degree certficates

  • translation of your university degree certificate in English or German if available

  • transcript of records: official list of coursework including grades

  • GRE score if applicable

  • Language test if applicable

  • other major certificates 

9. Submit and Preview: Don’t forget to submit your application once you have completed your sections. After submission you cannot change or add information, but you can check the status of your references. The completed application must be SUBMITTED by the application deadline. 

Please note that upon submission you will receive a confirmation email.

If there are any questions or problems, please contact us at