Frequently Asked Questions (F.A.Q.)

Please read this page carefully before contacting the IMPRS-BB Coordination Office.

What are the application requirements?

You can apply if you meet the following requirements:

  • Master’s degree (or equivalent) in any field (Bachelor's degree in exceptional cases, please see below)
  • Fluency in written and spoken English
  • Strong motivation to pursue a PhD degree

Note: The right to confer degrees remains with the IMPRS partner universities and you must meet all the admission and degree requirements of the university where you choose to study.

Can I apply with a Bachelor's degree?

Most universities in Germany, including our partner university, the University of Bonn, require a Master's degree to register as a doctoral student. We accept applications with a Bachelor's degree only in exceptional cases. If you have relevant research experience of at least one year after you received your degree, you can apply to our program. If you receive an offer for a PhD position through IMPRS for Brain & Behavior, The University of Bonn will then evaluate your degree and might accept your registration with the condition that you enroll at individual Master's level courses.

Can I apply with my specific degree?

You can apply if you hold a Master’s degree (or equivalent) in any field. Having a relevant degree (e.g. neuroscience, biology, mathematics, physics, engineering, computer science, bioinformatics, psychology, medicine) will be to your advantage, but you can still match selection criteria if you have relevant research experience and a strong motivation coming from a different background.

I have not yet finished my degree, can I still apply?

You do not need to have completed your degree program at the time of application. However, you must have completed your studies and have received your qualifying degree at the time when you start your PhD project at IMPRS-BB. You should submit the certification of your latest degree and a copy of your latest transcript.

How can I apply?

Please refer to this page for information on how to apply.

I entered information in the application which I would like to change, how can I do that?

You can make changes to your application as long as you do not submit it. Please only submit your application once you are sure that there are no changes you would like to make.

Can I edit my application after I have submitted it?

No, once formally submitted, you cannot modify your application any longer. However, you can edit, save and revisit your application before you press the “submit application” button as many times as you wish before the deadline.

I missed the deadline, what can I do?

The IMPRS-BB program recruits students only once a year between September 1 and December 1. If you have missed the deadline, you can email individual supervisors with whom you are interested in working. Some supervisors recruit PhD students outside of IMPRS recruitment and you can apply to join the program the next round once you start working in an IMPRS group.

Should I contact IMPRS faculty members before applying?

While it is not mandatory to contact the members of our faculty before submitting your application, it might be helpful to establish communication with a potential supervisor. Please do not send generic emails to all of them, but contact those whose fields you would like to discuss in more detail with specific questions. You can then refer to these previous discussions in the appropriate spot in your application. Some supervisors might prefer to respond to applicants once they are shortlisted for the Selection Symposium.

Do I need to take the TOEFL?

If you are not a native English speaker, you are recommended to upload proof of English proficiency. Applicants who have been taught the majority of their courses in English do not need to submit results from a standardized test such as TOEFL or IELTS. However, it is recommended that they attach an official statement (signed by an official of the college or university, e.g. the dean’s or registrar’s office) which indicates that English was the medium of instruction. We also accept outdated test results. Successful candidates can be admitted to the program based on the demonstration of language skills in the interviews.

Do I need GRE results?

Results of GRE tests and English language proficiency tests are not required but are strongly encouraged. Your application will not be impacted in any way if GRE or English test results are not provided.

Do I need to translate my documents into English?

If your academic records are not in English, then you have to submit translations in addition to copies of your original documents. At the stage of the online application, you can provide unofficial translations. You will need official translations if you are accepted to the program.

How can I be sure that the referees I have listed will be contacted?

Your referees will be contacted automatically by us as soon as you submit the referee contact details in the application form. You will receive an email once a referee has submitted a recommendation letter on your behalf.
You will also be able to track the status of your letters of recommendation on the online application portal. You need to contact all referees well ahead of the deadline! It is your responsibility to remind your referees to submit the letters before the December 1 deadline. There will be no exceptions made for late submissions.

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 their spam filter has blocked our email. If this is not the case, please contact the IMPRS-BB Coordination Office.

I already have letters of recommendation. Would it be possible for me to forward the letters directly to the Coordination Office?

No, we do not accept letters of recommendation submitted by applicants.