Call for Applications

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The Call for Applications for doctoral positions starting on September 1, 2024, is now open!

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 Call for Applications can be downloaded by clicking here for the English version and here for the German version.

The application portal will close on January 15, 2024, 23:59 CET. Only complete applications submitted via the application portal will be accepted. Applications can be submitted in English or German.



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:

Please note that the IMPRS Office cannot comment on individual projects.


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 universities involved in the IMPRS-KIR (Freie Universität (FU), Humboldt-Universität (HU), Technische Universität (TU)).

Two employment contracts will be issued by the MPIWG, one employment contract each by FU, HU and TU. Each of the five employment contracts is a German public sector contract, which will allow you to cover all the costs of living in Berlin. 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.

The funding period for each IMPRS student 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.

Positions offered by the MPIWG:

  • 2/3 E 13 TVöD
  • 3.5 years
  • flexible working hours; the opportunity to work from home as arranged with your superior; the opportunity to work part-time
  • annual year-end bonus; subsidy for public transportation within Berlin or Germany (“Jobticket”); paid leave on Christmas Eve (December 24) and New Year’s Eve (December 31) in addition to regular annual leave

Positions offered by the IMPRS partner universities (FU, HU, TU):

  • 2/3 E 13 TVL
  • 3 years*
  • flexible working hours; the opportunity to work from home as arranged with your superior; the opportunity to work part-time
  • annual year-end bonus; occupational pension (VBL); subsidy for public transportation within Berlin or Germany (“Jobticket”); paid leave on Christmas Eve (December 24) and New Year’s Eve (December 31) in addition to regular annual leave

*Please note: Following their three-year contract, IMPRS students employed at an IMPRS partner university will receive an employment contract with the MPIWG for 6 months (2/3 E 13 TVöD).


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 or your MA supervisor. Please submit the transcript of grades your university can issue at the time of your application. If applicable, we ask you to submit an additional document (in the same PDF) where you list the courses and grades you’ve already completed and that are not mentioned in the transcript.

In order to be admitted to the IMPRS-KIR, you must have obtained your Master’s degree no later than June 30, 2024.


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 students will take up work at the IMPRS in fall 2024 for a duration of up to 4 years.

There will be no fourth application round.



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 April 8, 2024, via Zoom.

The program starts on September 1, 2024. The IMPRS Office will offer advice and support in preparing your stay in Berlin, including visa issues, insurance, and accommodation.