Frequently Asked Questions
Must my MSc degree be completed at the time I submit my application?
You don't need your MSc degree certificate at the time of application, we only require your latest transcript. However, by the time you start your PhD studies at our institutes, you must have completed all studies and exams, and be able to provide official, written evidence of this. If the final certificate has not been issued at this point, a letter from the program office or director of studies will suffice.
I have only a Bachelor degree, no Masters, can I apply?
An exceptionally talented student with extensive, relevant research experience, but who holds only a 4-year Bachelors (Honors) degree, may in principle be admitted to our PhD Programs. In such cases, additional study requirements – to be fulfilled during the first year of the PhD Program participation - may be assigned. These could involve attending lecture courses, plus writing up a research thesis for examination on the work accomplished in the first year, and would need to be completed alongside the regular PhD program. Because of these demanding requirements, we offer this chance only in very rare cases where the applicant already has a very strong research background.
What is a GRE General Test score?
The Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) General Test measures verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, critical thinking and analytical writing skills. Here you can find further information about performing the GRE General Test in your country.
Do I need to submit a General GRE/GATE Test score?
If you obtained your degree(s) OUTSIDE the European Higher Education Area we welcome if your application includes scores from the GRE General Test. The critical point is not your nationality, but rather the country where you gained or will gain your Masters degree or Diploma. We require GRE or GATE scores if this is NOT in the European Higher Education Area.
Why do you welcome GRE/GATE scores?
Within the European Higher Education Area, the European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS) lets us compare different degrees easily. For candidates with degrees from other countries, the additional information from the GRE or GATE scores helps us to process and compare the applications.
Is there an age limit for applicants?
No, there is no age limit.
How much financial support will I receive?
All PhD positions are fully funded (E13 65%), usually through support contracts from the Max Planck Society or equivalent contracts from the University of Tübingen (if you are in the IMPRS and your advisor is based at the University). PhD students can expect to have a disposable income of around 1700€ per month. Funding is usually awarded for three years in the first instance. Funding will be extended into a fourth year if warranted by the circumstances of the PhD project.
What type of contract will I get?
Students based at the Max Planck Institute for Biology Tübingen and the Friedrich Miescher Laboratory are supported through a “Fördervetrag”. Students based at the University of Tübingen get a contract based on the Collective Wage Agreement for the Civil Service (TVöD in German).
Do I need health insurance?
Every student must have a health insurance. This is also a prerequisite for enrolment at a German university.
Are there tuition fees?
There are no tuition fees. However, you have to register at the University of Tübingen. The cost for registration is approximately 150 €/semester.
What are the estimated living costs in Tübingen?
The estimated costs of living in Tübingen are approx. 1000€ per month for a single person (living expenses, travel and rent).
Which institution will award my doctoral degree?
The Eberhard Karls University in Tübingen will award the doctoral degree.
Do I need to be able to speak German?
No, the PhD Program language is English. You can take German language courses, if you would like to.