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2nd call is closed! Evaluation completed!

Update (January 11, 2021, 19:56 CET): The evaluation of all complete applications was terminated. Every candidate will receive an e-mail in the next hours. All applicants will be informed via e-mail whether they are invited to the assessment center or not (Final result). Unfortunately, we cannot write individual e-mails to all applicants due to the high amount of applications (>120). You can check the status of your application anytime on the application platform in your profile. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to send an e-mail to grk2046@fu-berlin.de.
Thank you very much for your patience!


Where can I apply?

Applicate ONLY on the DRS application platform


Please note: you have to register yourself at the application platform and start your own profile, before you can apply.

After starting the application process, you may go for a coffee and come back later for completing the application. It is safed in your profile.

You can apply until December 28, 2020 (application deadline).

Please make sure that you have the following material/information with you:

√ CV (PDF-file)

√ Letter of motivation (PDF-file)

√ College/university career (including certificates, abstracts of your theses etc.)

√ High school career (including certificate)

√ Language proficiency (i.a. including English test certificate)

√ i.a. working experiences (including companies and publication list)

√ Name/address of two external referees for a letter of reference (please note: we will send an e-mail to your referees [sending address: grk2046@fu-berlin.de] who will download their letters of reference directly to our application platform, please don’t upload letters of reference yourself). We highly recommend that you inform your referees BEFORE you submit your application. You may send a reminder to your referees as well. Make sure your letters of reference are upoaded until December 30, 2020, 23:59 (reference deadline)!

Please note: Certificates and other material can only be uploaded as PDF-file!

 Application (costs)

Will there be any costs associated with the application process?

None. The Assessment Center will likely take place ONLINE (as WebEx video conference).

Amount of positions

How many positions are available? What are my chances of getting accepted?

In total, we offer 4 positions in the 2nd call in projects for a doctoral researcher. We make our decision based on the quality of the applications. So, in first line it depends on YOUR application how high are your chances.


I hold degree XYZ – am I eligible to apply?

Applicants must hold a German Master (M.Sc.), a German Diploma OR an equivalent international degree in a related subject. It is NOT necessary to hold the degree at the time of your application, but you will need it when you begin to work with us (April 1, 2021). If you have an M.D. with only clinical qualifications, we cannot consider your application.


If you fulfill these criteria then you are eligible to apply. If you hold an M.D., DVM or other related degrees that do not fall into this scheme, you will likely need extensive laboratory skills, epidemiological experience or bioinformatics knowledge in order for us to consider your application. Our recommendation is always to go for an application if in doubt! Please accept our sincere apologies that we cannot analyze individual situations at this stage.


Do I have to be a German or European citizen to apply?

Of course not! GRK 2046 is an international doctoral program. Right now, we harbor PhD students with 14 different nationalities! We happily accept applications from any country in the world. However, please make an effort to help us understanding your education / academic achievements / your country’s grading system.


When will I learn about the results of the application process?

We will try to keep you up to date with the application process via our webpage. We will send out information on who we will invite to the Assessment Center in January (19-20, 2021).

Referee form (letter)

Where do I find the reference form?

We will automatically send an e-mail to the referees you claimed in the application on the same day you submit your application! The referees will upload their letter of reference directly to the application platform. Please DON’T upload yourself letters of reference. It might be a good idea to check on your referees whether they already submitted their letter or not.


My referee is not around – can they submit their reference letter later?

No - submission of reference letters is only possible until 2 days (December 30) after the application deadline. If your referee cannot manage to provide the letter of reference within this timeframe, we cannot include them in your application.

Language proficiency

I don’t have an English test certificate, can I apply?

Yes. Though you still have time to acquire an English test certificate, it is not obligatory. During the Assessment Center, you need to give a talk, you have panel and individual interviews, everything in English language.


I don’t speak German, can I apply?

Yes, you can. If you are accepted for a PhD student position, be aware that university rules and regulations might demand attending German classes during your PhD time in Berlin.

Assessment Center

When/where does the assessment center take place and do I need a special preparation?

The Assessment Center will take place on January 19-20, 2021. It will be most likely ONLINE, as WebEx video conference. If invited, you will give a short talk (7 min.) about your previous scientific work. In addition, you will have panel and individual interviews with our researchers and lab tours.



Project start

If accepted, when will I start on my project in Berlin?

If you accept the offer, you will start on April 1, 2021 with your project as 3rd generation PhD students in GRK 2046. However, to find proper accommodation and to sign the contract etc. you might want to be here a little earlier. To orientate yourself and get things done, please also use 2nd generation GRK 2046 PhD students as vital source of knowledge. You will meet them at the assessment center. If you want to start earlier or later, please consult your potential supervisor. He / she will decide on that.

Enrolment fee          

Is there any enrolment fee at Berlin universities?

There is no special enrolment fee for PhD students at a German university. However, Berlin universities charge a fee that amounts to roughly €620 per year. This includes free public transportation in the Berlin metropolitan area and other benefits that are well worth paying for.

Financial support / position

Do I get a stipend for my PhD?

No, no stipend. You will receive a PhD student position for 3 years. This includes social security, e.g. health insurance and pension fund. If necessary, the position might be extended with funds by your host institution for additional six months. Your salary will easily cover your living costs in Berlin assuming a “student-type” lifestyle.

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