Who can apply?

You need to hold a master's degree after at least four years of studies in natural sciences with excellent marks, where the grades obtained in foreign studies are converted by the MPGC to an equivalent grade in the German educational system. Depending on the origin of the degree, it might be necessary to provide a certified translation into German or English.
PhD students have to apply within the first year of their PhD thesis.

Application process

To apply to the MPGC, please provide us with the full set of the following documents:

  • Personal information: Curriculum Vitae
  • Exposé: Letter of motivation and own knowledge concerning the planned research project and future goals. Please refer in this part to one of the MPGC research fields and explain your qualification for and interest in this field (not more than 4 pages).
  • Certificates: Originals or certified copies of study certificates including all marks, either in an English or in a German version / translation. (Please do not send originals as hard copy, as they might get lost!)
  • Language skills: Proof of English language skills for non-native speakers (official tests, e.g. TOEFL or German Abitur).
  • Recommendations: Two letters of recommendation from two independent referees, preferable from both supervisors

Please note that we cannot respond if the documents are not complete. When applying from abroad you may send these documents first in an electronic version (PDF) via E-mail.

After acceptance of your documents a statement of a local supervisor eligible for the MPGC is necessary that he or she will care about your research project. The MPGC team will support you in this step.
After your application file has been approved, eligible students will be invited for an oral interview, consisting of an oral presentation and a question session. The presentation should comprise a short summary of your Master/Diploma Thesis and an outline of the planned PhD project in the MPGC, including first results if this project has already started at the time of the interview. This presentation should emphasize and clarify the interdisciplinary aspects of the PhD project, and define explicitly which disciplines, institutions, and supervisors are actively involved. The presentation has to be given in English and has to be completed within the allotted time of 10 minutes (sharp).


Before applying, please contact Karin Sulsky k.sulsky(at)

Please address your application with the key word "MPGC application" electronically to:
Monika Zangenfeind
Mainz University
Dekanat FB 09
Becherweg 14
55128 Mainz

E-mail: mpgc(at) 

Phone: +49 6131 39-20206
Room: 01-113

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