International Max Planck Research School: Primary Metabolism and Plant Growth (IMPRS-PMPG)


This online application form is for the IMPRS-PMPG

Please inform yourself about the programme and its requirements on our website before applying.

* - mandatory/required fields

Please fill in this online application form during one session and only submit when all required fields (marked by a red asterisk, *) are complete.
You will not be able to save during the process and changes will be lost if the browser window is closed before submitting.

At the end of this form you will be asked to upload two files as PDF files:
(1) your CV including a personal statement about your motivation
(2) your university degree documents including transcripts, and certificates of English language competence.

Please have both files ready and at hand.

Some fields, especially in Section 5, require more detailed answers. You should prepare these separately in advance and paste your text into the application.
Instructions for the online application with tips and field-by-field explanations can be downloaded as PDF from our website.

Please note that you cannot change your application once it has been submitted.
1. Personal Information
In this section, we would like some personal and contact information from you.

Personal data
* Family Name
* Given Name
Middle Name(s)
* Gender
* Date of Birth (dd/mm/yyyy)
City of Birth
Country of Birth
* Nationality
* Email Address for correspondence
Additional email address

Postal correspondence address

Please provide an address where you are able to receive letters from us during the application process. Please make sure the information is correct and complete.

* Address line 1 (name, institute, etc.)
* Address line 2 (house number, street)
* Address line 3 (city, postal ZIP code)
State/Province (if applicable)
* Country
Additional address information
(if applicable, e.g. C/O)
* Telephone

Permanent address (if different)
Here, we are asking for an alternative address to the correspondence address. This could be, for example, your parents' home address.

Address line 1 (name, institute, etc.)
Address line 2 (house number, street)
Address line 3 (city, postal ZIP code)
State/Province (if applicable)
Additional address information
(if applicable, e.g. C/O)

2. Academic Education
In this section, we are asking for information on your university degrees (for example Bachelor, Master, Diplom),
starting with your most recent degree or current university enrolment.
In addition, you will be able to give us information on honors or awards, if applicable.

Current or most recent university studies
* College or University
* City
State/Province (if applicable)
* Country
* Date attended from (dd/mm/yyyy) ....... .to (dd/mm/yyyy)
* Field of study / subject
* Degree

If other, please specify:
Date awarded (dd/mm/yyyy)
If you are currently enrolled in a course: When do you expect to finish your degree? (month/year).
Grade point average (GPA) out of
(e. g. First Class, with distinction, with honor)

Higher education institutions attended previously (University, College, High School)
InstitutionCity, countryAttended from-toField of study / subjectDegreeGrade (GPA and classification)
* * * * * *

Merits / Honors / Scholarships / Awards

3. Research-related Experience

In this section, we are asking for some information on your research-related experience:
Methodological background, an abstract of your Master's or Bachelor thesis project, and publications, if applicable.

Methodological background
Please describe briefly what kind of methodological background you received in lab internships or during your thesis project.
What kind of laboratory techniques, computational skills etc. did you learn? If applicable, you can include a list of the laboratory methods,
data analysis programs and/or programming languages you have used during research projects.


Thesis project
Here, we would like information on your most recent thesis project. If you are currently working on your Master's or Diplom thesis,
please give us information on this project.

Title of Thesis

Please provide a short abstract of your thesis (200 - 300 words approximately):

Thesis supervisor
Address of thesis supervisor (Institution, City, email)
May we contact your thesis supervisor for a reference?
Publications (peer reviewed journals, book chapters, talk or poster presentations at conferences)


4. Additional Expertise and Personal Interests
In this section, we would like to learn about your personal interests, your language skills and any experience you may have had in living abroad.

Language competence
Here, we would like information on your language skills, both written and spoken.

Native Language

Foreign language skills

* Written
* Spoken

* I have practiced speaking and writing in English in a scientific environment during my studies:
* Written
* Spoken
Other language

English language test

The working language of the IMPRS-PMPG is English. We appreciate if you can show your English proficiency with an academic English test.
If you have taken an English test, please include a copy in PDF2 (upload field below). If you have scheduled a test, you can send us your test result certificate after the application deadline has passed.

* Have you taken an English language test?

Please give information on the English language test. Please provide the test date if you have scheduled a test.
Test Date Score
Test Date Score
Other English language test Test Date Score
* Have you included a certificate of an English language test in your PDF of certificates?
Graduate Record Examinations
If you took the GRE, we would appreciate if you gave us information on your results.

GRE General Score
GRE Date

Personal interests and hobbies
Please give us some information about how you like to spend your free time.

Have you been studying or living abroad?
If you have been living or studying abroad, please tell us when and where.

5. Programme-specific Questions and References

In this section, we would like to learn about your research interest and which IMPRS research groups you would like to do a PhD project with. In addition, there is a small section on funding.
Last but not least we ask for the names and contact details of two academic referees. Please note that several fields in this section are required/mandatory fields.

Programme-specific questions and research essay

Part 1: Preferred IMPRS-PMPG Research Groups

Here, we would like to learn more about your research interests and which IMPRS research groups you would like to do a PhD project with.

Please visit our website at for your information and choose three IMPRS research groups that meet your interest.

* Please name the groups and explain why you apply for these three groups (approximately 80-120 words for each group).

* Preference 1 (Top priority group):

* Preference 2:

* Preference 3:

Part 2: Research Essay

* The research essay is required
Note: Use approximately 300-500 words for the research essay. The essay does not need to be very detailed, but it should show that you can read the relevant literature, and think independently and creatively about your work and science.


Which of the three IMPRS-PMPG groups named in Part 1 is your top priority group?
Please write a short essay which proposes a possible project in this lab. In this proposal answer the following questions:
(1) What do you consider the most important questions to be answered in the research field of your top priority group?
(2) How would you approach these questions (e.g. experimentally, bioinformatically)?

* Research essay:

Other scholarship applications

In this part, we would like to learn whether you are applying for financial support from other sources (e.g. a scholarship from the DAAD or your home country) to do a PhD with one of the faculty members involved in the IMPRS-PMPG.

I shall apply / have applied for financial support from other sources to do a PhD at the MPI-MP or the University of Potsdam.

If you answered “yes” to the question above, we would appreciate information about which institution the support would come from. Has your application been accepted, and, if yes, when?


Please provide us with the names and contact details (email and postal address) of two academic referees
whom we can contact for a reference regarding your application to IMPRS-PMPG.
Please make sure all information is correct and complete.

* Reference 1* Reference 2
* Name and academic title of referee
* Email address
* Institution and postal address
* Telephone

Advisory Notes and Data Protection Statement

Please understand that plagiarism or falsifying or withholding information constitutes grounds for immediate withdrawal of your application
from the application process. 

The information provided in this application will be shared with other persons involved in the recruitment procedure for the IMPRS-PMPG.
Recuitment for other PhD positions:
If you agree we may share the information given in your IMPRS application with group leaders in the departments of IMPRS-PMPG faculty members who
are doing research in your field of interest and who may be offering doctoral projects. Note that this would happen only after the IMPRS application round has ended
(approximately 3 months after the application deadline).

* Please select:
Please note: if you find one of our group leaders advertising a specific position that is of interest to you, you should apply in parallel to
your application for the IMPRS-PMPG.

Inactive hide details for Read Data Protection Statement (click on arrow to read the statement)
Data Protection Statement

The Max-Planck-Gesellschaft zur Förderung der Wissenschaften e.V. (MPG) takes the protection of your personal data very seriously. Here we provide you with information concerning the main aspects of data processing in the context of our application and recruitment procedures.

1. Contact details of the data controller
The controller as defined by the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and other provisions under data protection law is:
Max-Planck-Gesellschaft zur Förderung der Wissenschaften e.V. (MPG)
Hofgartenstraße 8, 80539 Munich, Germany; Phone: +49 89 2108 -0

2. Contact details of the Data Protection Officer
The Data Protection Officer of the controller is Heidi Schuster, Hofgartenstraße 8, D-80539 Munich, Germany, telephone: +49 (89) 2108-1554, email address:

3. Purpose and legal basis of data processing
The personal data entered by you in our application system is saved and processed solely for the application and recruitment processes of the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Plant Physiology and its doctoral programme (IMPRS Primary Metabolism and Plant Growth IMPRS-PMPG).
Fields marked with an * are mandatory fields that are required for the application process. If you do not provide these details, you cannot take part in the application process. The legal basis for processing is Article 6, para. 1, lit b GDPR (contractual basis) and § 26 Federal Data Protection Act 2018 (data processing as the basis for establishing an employment contract).
Fields not marked with an * are fields which you can complete voluntarily. By completing the voluntary fields, you give us your permission to store and process this data exclusively for the purpose of the application and recruitment process. The legal basis for processing in these instances is Article 6, para. 1, lit. a GDPR (consent of the data subject).

4. Data recipients and categories of data recipients
Processing of your personal details is carried out by way of order processing on a LotusNotes application database. The Max-Planck-Gesellschaft as the responsible body only has access to your data insofar as this is necessary for the application and recruitment process in line with the internal allocation of responsibilities. Personnel management staff and the doctoral programme coordinator have access to the data. They transfer the data to the selection committee assembled for the respective application procedure. The selection committee may also include external experts with whom the data is then shared. The data is not shared with any other third parties.

5. Duration of storage
Your data will be stored until the end of the recruitment process or, in the case of a speculative application, until the end of the exploratory process or the appointment process, as the case may be. We only save your data for longer if you have given us your consent to do so.

6. Your rights
You can change or delete data in the application form as long as you have not yet submitted your application.

You are fundamentally entitled to the rights of access (Article 15 GDPR), rectification (Article 16 GDPR), erasure (Article 17, para. 1 GDPR), restriction of processing (Article 18 GDPR), data portability (Article 20 GDPR) and withdrawal of consent (Article 7, para. 3 GDPR).

In order to assert your rights, please contact
Max Planck Institute of Molecular Plant Physiology
Attn. Dr. Ina Talke
Am Muehlenberg 1
14476 Potsdam
email address:

If you believe that processing of your personal data is in breach of data protection law or your claims under data protection law are being violated in any other way, please contact the Max-Planck-Gesellschaft Data Protection Officer at The supervisory authority responsible for the Max-Planck-Gesellschaft is BayLDA (Bavarian Data Protection Authority), Postfach 606, 91511 Ansbach, Germany.


For our statistics we would like to know how you learned about our doctoral programme. Please check all fields that apply.

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Please upload your documents as a single PDF file each in the respective window:

* CV and personal statement:
* Transcripts and degree documents, language test certificate:

Please note that you cannot change your application once it has been submitted!

Successful registration will be confirmed by email.

IMPRS Primary Metabolism and Plant Growth

This registration system has been created by S. Trabert, T. Hindermann, S. Greber und W. Grieger, GWDG, Göttingen, and is based on Lotus Software.