International PhD ProgrammeApplication
Can I apply even if I have not received my degree yet?
Yes. However, applicants must hold, or anticipate receiving before enrolment (October of any given year), a university degree that would formally qualify them to enter a PhD or equivalent programme in the country where the degree was obtained.
Is there an age limit?
EMBL does not have a strict age limit. However, we would like to point out that the average age of our 1st year students is 24 years.
What is the working language of EMBL?
EMBL has 3 official languages (English, German and French). However, English is most commonly used across sites in the everyday working environment.
Can I apply if I am a non-member state applicant?
Yes, we welcome applications from all nationalities. Please note though that as a general rule priority will be given to member state applicants.
I have my own funding. Does this guarantee a place in the programme?
All applications are evaluated solely on basis of qualification and scientific potential. All invited candidates must successfully pass the interview procedure in order to be eligible.
Does it affect stipend levels if I am a non-member state student?
No. There is no difference in stipend levels between member and non-member state students.
Do I have to provide GRE, IELTS or TOEFL scores?
No. We do not require any, but would like to point out that proficiency in English, both written and verbal, is a prerequisite to enter the EMBL International PhD Programme.
Where can I find more information about research at EMBL?
Click here for a list of research topics
Click here for more information about research activities at EMBL
The Application Process
Is there an application fee, and how much is it?
EMBL does not charge any application fees.
What is the application process?
There is an online application containing the following steps:
1) You need to apply for a password in order to access the application form. This needs to be done latest until the registration deadline.
2) Complete the application form.
3) Submit the completed application form, latest until the application deadline.
Is it possible to modify the application?
If the application form has NOT yet been submitted, you are able to amend it. Once submitted, applications cannot be modified anymore.
Can I upload my CV and recommendation letters?
No. Please fill in the requested information into the fields of the application form. All applications are evaluated according to this information. Please do not upload CVs, recommendation letters, course certificates, language school certificates etc, as they will not be considered and will be removed from your application. Uploaded CVs do not replace missing information within the online application form.
I have problems uploading my documents. What should I do?
Please bear in mind the number of documents you are allowed to upload (max 5) as well as the size (max 500 kb per document in either PDF or gif format).
I would like to replace one of my referees. How can I do that?
Please contact the Graduate Office which will be able to help you.
My referee has not received a request to submit the reference letter for me. What should I do?
Please double check if your referee’s data, email in particular, is correct. If yes, contact your referee to check if perhaps her/his spam filter has blocked our email. If this is not the case, please contact the Graduate Office.
Will I be informed once the referees have completed their references?
No. However, you may view your submitted application until the application deadline and check if the references have been submitted. Please note that you will not be able to see the actual reference letter.
Do I need to have my certificates translated into English and authenticated?
Not necessarily. Some languages other than the official EMBL languages (English, German, French) are accepted. Please check with the Graduate Office for your specific language.
If I am unsuccessful in one selection, am I allowed to apply again in the next one?
Yes. However, you will need to fill out the online application form again.
Why does EMBL not offer phone interviews?'
We believe that applicants should not only do interviews with group leaders but that they should 'get the feel' of the various groups and the overall EMBL atmosphere in order to be able to make an informed decision. Phone interviews, though convenient and less costly, cannot replace the shared experience gained during the interview week by both applicants and EMBL staff. Phone interviews may occasionally be held prior to an invitation to join the interview week. However, they never serve as replacement for interview week attendance.
PhD Studies at EMBL
If I am accepted for the EMBL International PhD Programme, when am I to start?
Successful applicants can commence their PhD any time after the interviews and should start in October of any given year at the latest. Starting dates are decided upon in agreement with the respective group leader.
How do I go about finding accommodation?
EMBL Heidelberg, Grenoble, Hamburg and Monterotondo have guesthouses at their disposal for the initial accommodation. For EMBL-EBI students, the University of Cambridge Accommodation Service can be used. For the other EMBL sites, administrative staff will be able to help you.
How do I go about finding a health insurance while working at EMBL?
PhD students at EMBL are allowed to join EMBL’s own health insurance scheme if they are not compulsory or voluntarily insured elsewhere. Dependent children and a spouse can be fully insured in addition, with no extra costs.
- PhD Programme Testimonials Get to know former EMBL PhD students who tell it all.