We are looking for highly qualified candidates to apply for the PhD program at ISTA.

The call for the 2024 PhD program will open in the second half of October 2023. Deadline to submit your application will be 8 January 2024.

Bachelor’s and Master’s Students Eligible to Apply

ISTA welcomes students with different academic backgrounds who can bring their skills and experiences to the scientific setting.

Students with a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in biology, chemistry, neurosciencemathematicscomputer sciencephysics, data science and scientific computing and related areas are encouraged to apply.

How Do I Apply?

ISTA processes applications to its PhD program once a year. To apply, you have to create an online account, which will allow you to track your application through its various stages. We do not accept applications and documents received outside of this system.

The call for the 2024 PhD program will open in the second half of October 2023.

Please fill out the form using a web browser on a desktop computer. Web browsers on mobile devices (i.e. Android, iPhone, iPad, etc.) are not supported.

What Application Materials Are Required?

We ask you to upload the following documents to the application portal:

  • CV
  • Statement of purpose  (SoP) is an important part of your application that will tell the admissions committee who you are and explains why they should admit you. In your SoP you introduce yourself, your interests and motivations, summarize your undergraduate and previous graduate career, discuss the relevance of your recent and current activities, elaborate on your academic interests and what motivates you to apply to this particular program. You should also indicate what you would like to study in the graduate school in enough detail to convince the faculty that you understand the scope of research in their discipline, and are engaged with current research themes. Please specify up to three research groups at ISTA that you find the most interesting.
  • University transcripts and diplomas of all degree programs and all years you have attended and/or are currently enrolled in (in English and in original language)
  • Contact information of 3 referees who can assess your academic and research performance

All documents have to be submitted in English and copies of university transcripts also in their original language.

What Are the Selection Criteria?

The selection committee uses a collection of indicators to evaluate the applicant’s preparedness, motivation, and potential. The following will be considered:

  1. undergraduate performance: overall, with a special focus on relevant field-specific courses
  2. reference letters provided by professors and senior scientists: one letter from industry is acceptable, but letters from an academic background are given priority; referees are asked to address analytical capabilities, technical proficiency, ability to work independently and motivation/commitment;
  3. statement of purpose: the applicant’s past research experience and motivation for applying to this particular PhD program: is it a good academic fit? how does the program contribute to the candidate’s future career plans?, etc.;
  4. additional relevant skills (field-specific): demonstrated in, e.g., internships and/or participation in research projects, participation in science Olympiads, programming languages, lab techniques, etc.
  5. transferable skills: e.g. communication skills, experience with working in teams, previous mobility and international experiences, leadership experience as demonstrated in student organizations, etc.;
  6. diversity: e.g. a woman in computer science/math/physics; an applicant who switched fields, etc.;

Application and Selection Timeline

The call for the 2024 PhD program will open in the second half of October 2023. The first review process will be completed in the course of February. Candidates will notified about their status by the beginning of March.

Shortlisted candidates are invited for interviews, to take place in March/April Interviews may be conducted either remote or onsite. Offer letters will go out after the interview period, and candidates can accept or decline the offer of admission by 30 April. The start of the PhD program is uniformly on 15 September.

Application opens 2nd half of October
Application closes early January 2024 – exact dates will be announced later
Pre-selection meetings February
Student Interviews March/April
Final selection meetings tbd
Offers sent out after the final selection meeting
Offer need to be accepted 30 April 2024
Start of PhD program 15 September 2024

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

For more information about the application process and PhD admissions, please read the FAQ page.

If you have any questions about the PhD program, please contact phd.admissions@ista.ac.at


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