PhD Programme in International Max Planck Research School, Germany

Designation/Position- PhD programme

International Max Planck Research School on Neuroscience of Communication, Germany invites application for PhD programme from eligible and interested candidates 

About- The IMPRS NeuroCom is a PhD programme and offers its students an outstanding interdisciplinary three year training with the aim of providing multidisciplinary training in both cognitive science and neuroscientific methodologies. For this purpose, faculty members with diverse backgrounds,‭ ‬for example,‭ ‬neurobiologists,‭ ‬neuropsychologists,‭ cognitive scientists,‭ ‬medical researchers, computer scientists,‭ ‬physicists to name but a few, are involved in both the teaching and supervision of the doctoral students as they complete their PhDs. Students who complete the doctoral programme will have the ability to communicate across these diverse disciplines,‭ ‬and‭ ‬will be‭ ‬able‭ ‬to start a successful career in neuroscience research and beyond.

Research/Job Area- BSc + MSc

Location- International Max Planck Research School on Neuroscience of Communication, Germany


Applicants should hold a very good Master’s degree (or qualified equivalent). The degree should include a minimum of four years of academic training (BSc + MSc) and should be awarded by an internationally recognized university-level institution.

Applicants with a BSc/BA degree are not eligible to apply even if their undergraduate program comprises four years of academic training and a written thesis.

The study programme should include an extensive original research project and a written thesis in disciplines such as neuroscience, psychology, medicine, neurobiology, cognitive neuroscience, physics, computer science, engineering, linguistics, mathematics, or related fields. Research experience is essential for successful candidates.

All documents that are not in English or German have to be translated by an officially approved translation office.

If the Master is not completed yet

Students may apply before receiving their Master’s degree (or equivalent degree). In this case, they need to indicate the expected date of their degree, and they must submit their most current academic transcripts. The degree must have been awarded by the time the student starts the IMPRS NeuroCom programme.

Language Requirements

Candidates are expected to be proficient in written and spoken English. For PhD applicants a minimum score required for a TOEFL paper-based test is 550. The minimum score for the TOEFL computer-based test is 213, for internet-based test 79–80. For IELTS the overall band score should be 6.5.

Because the teaching and supervision language at the IMPRS NeuroCom is English, German language skills are not mandatory. However, the IMPRS NeuroCom offers the opportunity to take German language courses.

For applicants to be successful, research experience is essential. IMPRS faculty members evaluate the applications. Interview selection is based on academic qualifications, personal references, recommendation, research experience and interests, and suitability to the programme.

Job/Position Description- The IMPRS NeuroCom aims to recruit and educate excellent young scientists from all over the world who wish to extend their knowledge and research experience in a structured and demanding graduate programme, in order to pursue a successful career in cognitive neuroscience. The school is intended for students holding a very good Master’s (or qualified equivalent) degree in the interdisciplinary field of cognitive neuroscience that includes a minimum of four years of academic training awarded by an internationally recognized university-level institution.

Fundamental knowledge covering all four modules is imparted in the form of lectures, courses, and seminars run at the MPIs and the University of Leipzig. In addition, research and work is organized around various series of colloquia, annual summer schools, which take place in Leipzig or London, and final-year exchange programmes. The teaching and supervision language at the IMPRS NeuroCom is English.‭

Key Features

  • 3-year doctoral programme
  • structured curriculum
  • excellent research conditions
  • close collaboration with supervisors
  • financial support
  • English as working language
  • international and interdisciplinary learning and working environment
  • no tuition fees

How to Apply- The call for applications usually opens in September and closes in December. Afterwards applications will be assessed and invitations for interviews will be send out in February. The interviews will take place in March. The starting date of the programme is flexible, but usually new IMPRS PhD students start in October.

In general, only applications submitted electronically through our online application system can be considered for evaluation. We recommend that you collect and prepare all necessary information before starting the application process. Once you have started the process, you will have to continue until the end, as it is not possible to save your data in between. Use this pdf-file to check which documents have to be submitted during the application process.

Please read all points thoroughly.

During the registration you will also be asked to name three preferred supervisors / researchers you would like to  work with. To receive an overview of possible supervisors and available PhD projects, please visit  Faculty and Research. Here you can have a look at all IMPRS NeuroCom faculty members and learn more about their research topics and available PhD projects.

At the end of the online form you are asked to upload a single .pdf-file containing the following documents:

  1. Cover letter explaining the motivation and reasons for pursuing a PhD at IMPRS NeuroCom, and describing your personal research interests and academic goals (about 1-1.5 pages). Please also name your preferred supervisors here. If available, please also mention the preferred topic you would like to research. 
  2. Curriculum Vitae (CV) including activities and experiences relevant to the studies.
  3. Names of two academic referees supporting your application.
  4. Title and abstract of your Master’s thesis (or equivalent thesis; not longer than one A4 page). If you have not yet started your Master’s thesis, please either include an abstract of your Bachelor’s thesis or a brief summary of your plan for your Master’s thesis.
  5. Copy of Master’s degree (or equivalent degree).
  6. Official academic transcripts of coursework and other relevant academic certificates.
  7. Certificate of proficiency in English (non-native speakers only). Coursework in English is also accepted, either at your home university or from a university abroad.
  8. List of publications (if applicable).

Please make sure you arrange your attachments in the suggested order. Please be aware that only complete applications will be considered. Since the working language of both the graduate school and the Institute is English, only applications in English are accepted.

Last Date for ApplyLast December

Click here to see details- 

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Click here to apply- 


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