Regulations and Rules

Here you find some regulations and procedures as well as answers to FAQ.

0. The IMPRS Blue Book 

All relevant information of being an IMPRS student can be found in the "blue book".


1. Funding

All accepted IMPRS reserarchers will obtain guaranteed funding by the school or the participating groups for three years, mostly in the form of a reserach contract. IMPRS funds are reserved for the most outstanding candidates who have not done their Masters studies in one of the partners groups.

2.The interviews 

The interviews of IMPRS applicants help to solidify  the  recommendation of the Selection Committee. The interviews are conducted by  the IMPRS coordinator, at least one unbiased member of the Selection Committee, and, optionally, students' representatives, potential advisers and members of the IMPRS Board and the equal opportunities officer.

3. IMPRS supervisors

IMPRS thesis advisers are professors or senior scientists from the participating groups. If an adviser is not a professor at one of the partner universities, a professor from one of the partner universities will be assigned as the formal supervisor.

4. Selection procedure


All applications are via the online application system. Any questions regarding the selection process can be asked to the IMPRS office ( Applicants are encouraged to contact potential supervisors and present IMPRS PhD reserachers for enquiries about the projects and the practicalities of doing their research in our school.


Offline review: After the deadline (usually mid November each year) all the applications are forwarded to the members of the Selection Committee and potential advisors. The present  Selection Committee consists of Priv.-Doz. Dr. Silke Britzen (MPIfR Group, Prof. Andreas Eckart (Uni. Cologne), Prof. Thomas Tauris (Uni. Bonn) Dr. Norbert Wex (M. Kramer's Group), Dr. Friedrich Wyrowski (K. Menten's Group).

Shortlisting: The offline review is followed by a face-to-face discussion where all the members of the Selection Committee discuss and agree, after appropriate argumentation and under the chairing of the IMPRS Coordinator, on the shortlisted applicants.  All applicants are informed immediately whether or not they have been shortlisted (typically before Christmas).

Interviews: The interview consists is in most cases via Skype and will be scheduled mid January. You will be asked to give a presentation of 15 minutes about your previous or present research (to be sent in advance via email as a PDF file to This is followed by a short discussion between the panel members and the applicant about his/her research experience and interests.

Final list of eligible candidates: On the basis of the interview and the provided documentation (CVs, grades, motivation letters etc.) the Selection Committee gives a recommendation of the eligible candidates to the IMPRS Board (Prof. Dr. J. A. Zensus (MPIfR), Prof. Dr. F. Bertoldi (Uni. Bonn) and Prof. Dr. A. Eckart (Uni. Cologne), which then makes this list available to the potential supervisors. A few days after the interviews, you will be informed if or if not your are eligible for IMPRS membership. This list consists of three categories: A rated candidates are well suited for being admitted to the IMPRS, B-rated candidates are acceptable candidates, and C rated candidates will not be admitted to our IMPRS. Please be aware that the admission to our IMPRS is very international and highly competitive, so that being rated as C does not mean you are a bad candidate.

Negotiotiations between supervisors and applicants:

Unfortunately, due to a limited number of projects, not all eligible applicants  (maybe not even all A rated candidates) can be offered a project. The supervisors will start to contact first the A-rated candidates, and as a backup the B-rated applicants, who fit to their projects, about a thesis project in their group. This may include email exchange, further skype interviews, and maybe an invitation to the group. If both sides, you the applicant, and the supervisor, agree that they want to collaborate on a thesis projects, they nogotiate details about the contract, the topic and the starting date.

5. VISA and Residence permit rules 

A residence permit that is given to contract holders for people who are from outside Europe is bound to the contract, i.e. if the contract is finished so is the residence permit.

6. IMPRS laptops 

Those IMPRS doctoral researchers who are funded by IMPRS will receive a laptop from the school. Else the advisor will purchase  one.

7. Thesis Advisory Committee  

The Thesis Advisory Committee (TAC) is meant to advise on academic and other matters and is expected to meet once every semester. 

Setting up the TAC: Adviser and student have the joined responsibility on both (a) setting up the TAC and (b) the regular meetings between the researcher and the TAC members. The executive responsibility though is to be shared as follows: (a) executive responsibility of TAC formation goes to adviser, (b) executive responsibility of TAC meeting scheduling to the PhD researcher. 

The TAC consists of the PhD adviser and the 1st and/or 2nd referee of your thesis. In addition there must be at least one scientist external to your group.

8. The PhD Proposal

Within the first 6 month of the thesis contract, the PhD researcher and his or her supervisor have to write a PhD Proposal, which summarizes the scientific objectives of the thesis, and discusses the needed resources and risks. It includes a time schedule. The PhD proposal shall  ensure  that the thesis can be successfully finished within the foreseen time frame of three years. In the first TAC meeting, the TAC devides on the viability of the project and recommends a continuation of the thesis work. In succequent TAC meetings, updated versions of the PhD proposal may serve as a basis for deciding on the best strategy for a successful thesis.

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