Welcome to the IMPRS for Brain and Behavior application process.
We currently accept applications once a year. The next application round opens in August 2024.

Please read this page carefully before applying. If you have further questions about the application process, please refer to our FAQ page.

What do we offer?

  • A unique PhD program in neuroethology and neuroscience so you can become an expert in linking brain circuits to behavior
  • A unique, multidisciplinary approach and state-of-the-art equipment
  • Competitive salary for the whole duration of your studies
    (approx. monthly net salary around 1800 EUR, increasing over the years)
    (corresponding to approx. 65% of the remuneration group 13 of the TVÖD Bund / TVÖD Land)
  • Possibility of lab rotations during the first six months
  • A multitude of training opportunities: methods workshops, courses, travel grants, soft skills courses, etc.
  • Mentoring and guidance by a Thesis Advisory Committee
  • Career development opportunities
  • International and administrative support with a dedicated Coordination Office
  • Family support

Who can apply?

You can apply if you meet the following requirements:

  • Strong interest in pursuing a PhD in Neuroethology
  • Master’s degree (or equivalent) in a relevant field 
  • Fluency in written and spoken English

Note: The right to confer degrees remains with the University of Bonn and you must meet all the admission and degree requirements of the faculty where you choose to study. You can check the regulations here:

How to prepare the application?

  • Prepare your official documents:
    You will need your Bachelor certificate and transcript and if you have already completed your Master's degree, then you will also need your Master's certificate and transcript. If your academic records are not in English, then you will need to submit translations in addition to copies of your original documents. You can provide unofficial translations at the online application stage. You will need official translations if you are accepted into the program.

  • Prepare your motivation letter:
    The motivation letter is directed to the Selection Symposium. Your motivation letter should explain why you are applying to the IMPRS for Brain and Behavior program in particular. Why is the the IMPRS for Brain and Behavior a good fit for you? Why are you a good fit for the the IMPRS for Brain and Behavior? Which previous practical experiences and skills have you already acquired that will set you up for a successful PhD?

  • Read about our faculty members and identify 3 Principal Investigators you are most interested in working with:
    In your research statements, you should explain why you want to pursue your PhD in each of these labs. Your research statements will be read by the Selection Committee, so they should not be directed to the specific PI. Which research questions are you interested in?  Which research would you like to pursue in each of these labs?

  • You will need to identify two referees:
    Please start asking potential referees before you start the application process. Please select carefully. Please make sure they submit the reference letter before the deadline. The reference letters have to be uploaded by the referees, candidates cannot upload or see reference letters.

How to apply?

  1. The application round starts on August, 1. This is when the application portal will open and you can create an account
  2. You can click "Create new account" to register and work on your application.
  3. Fill out the Online Application.
  4. You will be asked to name two referees in the application. Inform them about your application and ask them to follow the instructions at the link we send them.
  5. You will be informed when your referees upload the letters. Your application is not complete without the letters of recommendation!
  6. After the deadline (November 1), the Selection Committee will review all complete applications.
  7. Successful applicants will be invited to a selection symposium in February 2024. Applicants who did not get shortlisted will be notified by February.
  8. Accepted candidates will start their PhD no later than October 2024.