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IMPRS PhD Positions in Cognitive Neuroscience, 2019

IMPRS PhD Positions in Cognitive Neuroscience, 2021

The International Max Planck Research School on Neuroscience of Communication: Function, Structure, and Plasticity offer several positions for excellent students holding a master’s degree (or equivalent) to perform research resulting in a PhD in the field of Cognitive Neuroscience.

The IMPRS NeuroCom aims to recruit and educate excellent young scientists from all over the world who wish to extend their knowledge and research experience in a structured and demanding graduate program, in order to pursue a successful career in cognitive neuroscience.

  • Award
  • Application Process
  • Clarity of Information


Admirable opportunity for Both German and international students.

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IMPRS NeuroCom is based at the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Leipzig, and the University of Leipzig, and also involves the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Leipzig, and the Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience at University College London, UK.

Candidates are expected to be proficient in written and spoken English. For PhD applicants, a minimum score required for a TOEFL paper-based test is 550. The minimum score for the TOEFL computer-based test is 213, for internet-based test 79–80. For IELTS the overall band score should be 6.5.

Brief Description

  • Application Deadline: November 22, 2020
  • Course Level: Position is offered for pursuing PhD program at the IMPRS NeuroCom.
  • Study Subject:  Position is available to pursue a successful career in cognitive neuroscience.
  • Scholarship Award: PhD students of the IMPRS NeuroCom receive funding based on the guidelines of the Max Planck Society (about €1.786 gross, i.e. before taxes and health insurance etc.). There are no tuition fees. For national students enrolment at the University of Leipzig is optional, for international students it is obligatory. The enrolment fee is approximately €202 per semester. Living costs vary depending on personal spending habits. Doctoral students are required to have German health insurance coverage.
  • Number of Scholarships: Not Known
  • Nationality: Both German and international students
  • Scholarship can be taken in Germany


  • Eligible Countries: Both German and international students can apply for these PhD positions.
  • Entrance Requirements:
    • Applicants should hold a very good Master’s degree (or qualified equivalent). The degree should include a minimum of four years of academic training (BSc + MSc) and should be awarded by an internationally recognized university-level institution.
    • Applicants with a BSc/BA degree are not eligible to apply even if their undergraduate program comprises four years of academic training and a written thesis.
    • The study program should include an extensive original research project and a written thesis in disciplines such as neuroscience, psychology, medicine, neurobiology, cognitive neuroscience, physics, computer science, engineering, linguistics, mathematics, or related fields. Research experience is essential for successful candidates.
    • All documents that are not in English or German have to be translated by an officially approved translation office.
    • If the Master is not completed yet: Students may apply before receiving their Master’s degree (or equivalent degree). In this case, they need to indicate the expected date of their degree, and they must submit their most current academic transcripts. The degree must have been awarded by the time the student starts the IMPRS NeuroCom program.
  • English Language Requirements: Candidates are expected to be proficient in written and spoken English. For PhD applicants, a minimum score required for a TOEFL paper-based test is 550. The minimum score for the TOEFL computer-based test is 213, for internet-based test 79–80. For IELTS the overall band score should be 6.5. Because the teaching and supervision language at the IMPRS NeuroCom is English, German language skills are not mandatory. However, the IMPRS NeuroCom offers the opportunity to take German language courses.

Germany Scholarships

Application Procedure:

How to Apply: In general, only applications submitted electronically through our online application system can be considered for evaluation. We recommend that you collect and prepare all necessary information before starting the application process. Once you have started the process, you will have to continue until the end, as it is not possible to save your data in between. Use this pdf-file to check which documents have to be submitted during the application process.

Please read all points thoroughly.

During the registration you will also be asked to name three preferred supervisors/researchers you would like to work with. To receive an overview of possible supervisors and available PhD projects, please visit  Faculty and Research. Here you can have a look at all IMPRS NeuroCom faculty members and learn more about their research topics and available PhD projects.

At the end of the online form you are asked to upload a single .pdf-file containing the following documents:

  1. Cover letter explaining the motivation and reasons for pursuing a PhD at IMPRS NeuroCom, and describing your personal research interests and academic goals (about 1-1.5 pages). Please also name your preferred supervisors here. If available, please also mention the preferred topic you would like to research.
  2. Curriculum Vitae (CV) including activities and experiences relevant to the studies.
  3. Names of two academic referees supporting your application.
  4. Title and abstract of your Master’s thesis (or equivalent thesis; not longer than one A4 page). If you have not yet started your Master’s thesis, please either include an abstract of your Bachelor’s thesis or a brief summary of your plan for your Master’s thesis.
  5. Copy of Master’s degree (or equivalent degree).
  6. Official academic transcripts of coursework and other relevant academic certificates.
  7. Certificate of proficiency in English (non-native speakers only). Coursework in English is also accepted, either at your home university or from a university abroad.
  8. List of publications (if applicable).

Please make sure you arrange your attachments in the suggested order. Please be aware that only complete applications will be considered. Since the working language of both the graduate school and the Institute is English, only applications in English are accepted.

Letters of recommendation

We require two recommendation letters. Please list the names and contact details of two referees of your choice. Once you have submitted your application, they will automatically receive an email with a link where they can submit their recommendation letters. Please ask your referees for permission before you name them. The deadline for recommendation letters is 9 December. You and the referee will both receive an email confirming successful upload of the recommendation letter.

Please keep in mind: It is your responsibility to ensure that the recommendation letters are sent in due time. Only complete applications (including two letters of reference) will be considered for evaluation.

Online Application System 

Scholarship Link