Postal Address

IMPRS for Astronomy and Astrophysics
fuer Radioastronomie
Auf dem Huegel 69
53121 Bonn

IMPRS PhD Projects

Links and further information

Partner Institutions - University of Bonn

The Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn, founded on October 18th, 1818, is among the largest universities in Germany with around 38,500 students. Approximately 5,200 foreign students from more than 130 countries and a large number of visiting professors and lecturers from abroad give an international dimension to teaching and research. [more]

Partner Institutions - University of Cologne

The University of Cologne (German Universität zu Köln) is one of the oldest universities in Europe and, with over 44,000 students, the largest university in Germany. The University of Cologne was established in 1388 as the fourth university in the Holy Roman Empire after Charles University of Prague (1348), the University of Vienna (1365) and the Ruprecht Karl University of Heidelberg (1386). [more]

Application and Admission

Student Selection and Program Admission

The next application deadline is November 15, 2015  

(TOEFL Code Number 5356).

NOTE: application supporting documents are accepted within a few days after the official deadline during the pre-processing period. Beyond that no further material is accepted. 

PhD Positions

The IMPRS for Astronomy and Astrophysics is offers a number of funded PhD positions. The PhD course is limited to three years (and consequently the funding). In exceptional cases and with a thorough justification, funding might be extended beyond three years. Successful applicants will receive a tax-free stipend. Additional funding is available for IMPRS students to attend international schools and conferences as well as soft skill seminars or other educational events.

Note: Students might also apply for a stipend given by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). These stipends are usually awarded together with a German language course. You will find more information at


The IMPRS is open to students from all countries. Applicants must have (or are about to obtain) a degree equivalent to the German Diploma (e.g., a Master of Science degree including a Master Thesis) in Physics or other related field in Natural Sciences. The school’s working language is English. Candidates whose native language is not English must provide a certificate of proficiency (TOEFL or equivalent).

Note: Applicants without a written thesis can apply for a qualifying program at the International Graduate School in Physics and Astronomy of the University of Bonn ( or to the Bonn-Cologne Graduate School of Physics and Astronomy (

Application Procedure

The deadline for application submission is November, 15 of each year for applicants wishing to start in the following year. A complete application must include:

  • A complete and signed application form. In case of preferred projects (from the list found below), the corresponding code must be indicated in the application. The application form can be downloaded below
  • Curriculum vitae
  • A portrait photo
  • Three letters of recommendation, mailed directly by the referees to the IMPRS Secretariat to the address below
  • Copies of all academic degrees including:
    • High school diploma
    • B.Sc. degree
    • M.Sc. degree
  • An official transcript of all courses taken at the university or college level
  • A proof of English proficiency, TOEFL Code Number 5356
  • A copy of the M.Sc. thesis is needed if you are accepted to the program but not for the application itself 

Note: All documents and correspondence must be in English.

The IMPRS application, the recommendation letters (scanned and bearing a signature) and all relevant documents can be emailed as single files (Please do NOT send everything in one file) to: 

Please name the files as follows:





Please note that single files must not exceed 1 MB. Files that exceed 1 MB will not be accepted. 

Alternatively, they can be posted to:

Max-Planck-Institut fuer Radioastronomie
Auf dem Huegel 69
53121 Bonn

Selection Procedure

Every complete application is evaluated on the basis of the applicant’s academic record, recommendation letters and scientific interests. The application evaluation is assigned to a six-member Selection Committee (composed of scientists from the participating institutes) and is a multi-step procedure:

  1. Every complete application is evaluated separately by each member of the Selection Committee on the basis of specific criteria
  2. The Selection Committee discusses all the complete applications and assigns a final ranking
  3. The top-ranked applicants are invited to an oral presentation (physically or via video-conferencing) on their M.Sc. work
  4. After accounting all the previous steps and factors, the Selection Committee provides the IMPRS Board (composed of three professors) with a list of applications recommended for acceptance
  5. The IMPRS Board makes the final decisions on the basis of the Selection Committee's recommendations
  6. Both successful and unsuccessful applications are notified about the result by the IMPRS Office

Road map leading to a PhD degree

Applicants accepted by the IMPRS school, are expected to enroll at the University of Bonn or Cologne for at least two semesters. Formal requirements for acquiring a PhD degree, are:

  1. Enrollment for at least two semesters
  2. A written Ph.D. thesis (in English or German)
  3. An oral presentation (defense)
  4. An oral exam by a four-member Examination Board

Students are expected to give a seminar talk once a year and to publish a minimum of two papers during their Ph.D. period.


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