IST Austria processes applications to its PhD program once a year, in January.
All admitted students start the program the following September.

On-line application for the 2015/16 academic year is closed now.
The application for the 2016 call for PhD students will in late October 2015.

Highly qualified students from all disciplines of the natural sciences, mathematics, computer sciences, and any related interdisciplinary areas, who are committed to pursue their scientific career in an international research environment, are invited to apply. All applicants must hold a Master's or Bachelor's degree (or equivalent), or anticipate the completion of the degree before September 2015. Participating students are expected to be proficient in written and oral English.

IST Austria is committed to Equality and Diversity. In particular, female applicants are encouraged to apply.

  • Deadline for students wishing to enter the program starting in September 2015: Application files and reference letters must be received by January 15, 2015.

Admissions process
All complete applications will be reviewed and ranked by a selection committee consisting of professors of IST Austria. Short-listed candidates will be invited to IST Austria for interviews and a campus visit in March 2015. Notifications to all applications will go out around mid-February. Travel expenses will be reimbursed and free accommodation will be provided. Final admission offers will be made shortly after the visit. 

  • The deadline for students to accept or decline an offer is April 15, 2015.

Benefits for PhD students
All PhD students admitted to the program will be offered employment contracts at IST Austria and will receive an internationally competitive salary with full social security coverage. Entering students holding a Master's degree will have four-year contracts, and students holding a Bachelor's degree, five-year contracts. The contracts will be extended by one additional year if satisfactory progress is made towards a PhD degree.

In addition, the PhD program will provide support for:

  • Travel expenses to scientific conferences and workshops
  • Research stays abroad at collaborating institutions
  • German-language courses

Housing - a guest house and four apartment buildings - is available on the IST campus. Depending on availability, a room or apartment can be rented for a period of up to one year after arrival, giving incoming international students time to find suitable accommodation for the subsequent years.

All applications must be received on-line through a web site. The deadline for submission is January 15, 2015 24:00 CET. Documents received after the deadline will not be considered in the review process.

When applying, you will have to create an on-line account with us, which will allow you to track your application through its various stages. You do not need to complete the process in one sitting, but you can return to your account until you submit the application. Once you have submitted your application, you won’t be able to make changes!

Step 1
: Create an account
Register on-line by entering your e-mail and a password using the link listed above. You will receive an e-mail with the link to your user account immediately.

Step 2: Confirm your registration

Step 3: The application

There are 5 parts to your application. Make sure that you click ‘save’ every time before moving on to the next section. When leaving the page without saving it, your data will be lost and you will have to reenter it.

Personal data

Education + Application data

In this section you will need to enter a resume/CV, a statement of purpose, details on your university education, and choose up to three areas that represent your current research interests. You need to upload the documents in PDF format.

In your resume/CV include your educational history since high school, relevant work experience, additional qualifications, list (if any) publications, scholarships, awards, etc.

The statement of purpose is a 1-2 page essay in which you should explain why you want to enter our PhD program, the research area(s) you find most interesting, and indicate which professor(s) you may be interested in studying with. You do not need to contact specific group leader(s) at this point.

Please enter all institutions of higher education (university, college, etc.) that you have attended. If your current course of study is still on-going, please provide the latest transcript and state when you expect to receive your degree. All applicants must hold a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree (or equivalent), or anticipate the completion of the degree before September 2015.

In this section you will also be able to upload additional supporting documents such as publications, TOEFL/IELTS and/or GRE scores. As the language of instruction is English, these documents are helpful, but not mandatory. IST Austria TOEFL code: 6384.

Additional information

In this section you can give us some information e.g. about lab experience you might have or internships you did.


Enter the names, institutions and e-mail addresses of 3 referees who have taught you or supervised your work in an academic setting and are therefore able to evaluate your academic and research performance. They will receive an e-mail directly from us with the subject “Request for Letter of Recommendation – IST Austria” with a link to an online platform. 

Before submitting your referees’ details, make sure that they are willing and available to provide their recommendation within the given deadline (January 15). Keep in mind that your recommenders need time to write and submit the letters! 

You will be able to track the status of the letters of reference. Please remind them if necessary.

Please note that you will not be allowed to upload scanned letters of recommendation yourself! All letters of recommendation must be submitted by your referees via this platform.
Please note that we are unable to process your application without letters of recommendation. These letters are an integral part of your application, and it is your responsibility to ensure that all letters of reference are submitted by January 15, 2015.

Step 4: Submit your application. The deadline for submission is January 15, 2015, 24:00 CET. Once you have done so, you won’t be able to make any changes to your application. Documents received via e-mail after the deadline will not be considered in the review process.

If you have any questions, please contact

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