Call for Applications


If you would like to apply for a doctoral position at the IMPRS "Knowledge and Its Resources: Historical Reciprocities," please read carefully the Call for Applications and the FAQs below.

The second cohort of doctoral students, starting in September 2023, is currently being recruited. The application portal closed on January 15, 2023. The past Call for Applications can be downloaded by clicking here for the English version or here for the German version.

All shortlisted candidates will be invited to interview with the Principal Teaching Faculty. The interviews will take place on March 27, 2023, via Zoom. All applicants will be informed about the results once the selection process is finished (by mid-April 2023).

The Call for Applications for the third cohort, starting in September 2024, will be published in October 2023.



Please see the FAQs for detailed information about the recruitment process and the doctoral positions.

If you have further questions about the PhD program, please contact the IMPRS Office:


What Is an IMPRS?

International Max Planck Research Schools are structured PhD programs offered by one or several Max Planck Institutes in cooperation with universities.

They have become a well-established and successful model for the qualification of doctoral students from around the world and are recognized both nationally and internationally. Besides their close collaboration with universities and their internationality, all IMPRSs are characterized by excellent research conditions. For more information and an overview of all IMPRSs, please visit the website of the Max Planck Society.


What Are the Unique Features of an IMPRS?

For advanced and self-motivated postgraduates who have already completed or are about to complete a Master‘s program, the IMPRS offers an expedited route to a PhD degree. The timeline of 3.5 years from matriculation to dissertation submission gives IMPRS students the advantage of a faster track into positions that require a PhD qualification.


What Do the Positions Involve?

The successful applicants will receive funding via an employment contract with the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science or with one of the three Berlin universitites involved in the IMPRS-KIR (FU, HU, TU).

This is a German public sector contract (monthly net salary of between €1,790 and €1,910), which will allow you to cover all the costs of living in Berlin. The initial funding period is 3.5 years, with the possibility of extending by a further six months once the dissertation has been submitted. This additional (“wrap-up”) period is intended to enable you to prepare your dissertation defense, prepare for job interviews, write a first article, etc. In addition to your monthly salary, you will have an annual research budget for travel expenses. Students with children will have access to the family services at the MPIWG (such as support for childcare) and to special career coaching.


Who Are the "Principal Teaching Faculty"?

The Principal Teaching Faculty (PTF) is the governing body of the IMPRS-KIR, overseeing its research program and curriculum and selecting its student body.

The PTF consists of ten professors from the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science (MPIWG), Freie Universität Berlin (FU), Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin (HU), and Technische Universität Berlin (TU), and is supported by postdoctoral and senior researchers based at the MPIWG. The members of the PTF come from seven different departments.

Learn more about the members of the Principal Teaching Faculty by clicking here.


How Will the Projects Be Supervised?

Each student will have an individual Dissertation Advisory Committee.

It consists of a supervisor, who is a member of the Principal Teaching Faculty (PTF), a co-supervisor, who may or may not be member of the PTF, and a mentor. You will be assigned to your primary supervisor; the co-supervisor will be chosen in agreement with you. In exceptional cases and for thematic reasons, the PTF can decide to appoint external primary supervisors. Supplementary external advisers may be appointed whenever it is deemed appropriate.


What Kind of Degree Will Be Awarded?

Students of the IMPRS-KIR will obtain their PhD degree from one of the collaborating university departments.

They will have to fulfill the requirements as laid out in the doctoral and examination regulations of that department. The IMPRS Office will assist each student appointed in complying with the requirements. The PhD diploma will be complemented by an IMPRS certificate of the Max Planck Society.


I Don't Have My Master's Degree Yet. Can I Apply?

In this case, you need to submit proof of the finishing date of your Master’s degree, certified by your university. In order to be admitted to the IMPRS-KIR, you must have obtained your Master’s degree no later than June 30, 2023.


What Do We Mean by Proof of Fluency in English?

You should have an official English language certificate, preferably at level C1, but at least at level B2 (Cambridge English, IELTS, TOEFL, CELPIP, TOEIC, or similar). If English is your native language or if you went to a university where the language of instruction was English, you do not need to submit an English certificate.

We accept English certificates of the abovementioned levels also in case their official validity period has expired.


Will There Be Another Application Round?

The IMPRS-KIR will fund a total of 15 doctoral positions. After the first two cohorts having started in September 2022 und September 2023, a third cohort of 5 student will start in fall 2024 for a duration of up to 4 years. The application procedure will open one year in advance and will be publicly announced.



How Does the Selection Procedure Work?

Our Principal Teaching Faculty and staff will carefully review the submitted documents. All shortlisted candidates will be invited to interview with the PTF. The interviews will take place on March 27, 2023, via Zoom.

The program starts on September 1, 2023. The IMPRS Office will offer advice and support in preparing your stay in Berlin, including visa issues, insurance, and accommodation.