• Fully-funded

  • Interdisciplinary

  • Cutting-edge research training

  • Apply with BSc or MSc

  • English-speaking

One of the hallmarks of the IST Austria PhD program is the shared graduate school experience.

Our aim is to train broad-minded scientists who perform cutting-edge, curiosity-driven research. An initial stage of exploration encourages broad exposure to important scientific approaches and problems. This allows students to lay a solid foundation for intensive research in the second phase of the PhD program.


Our U.S. Style Graduate Program is characterized by modern comprehensive training with a special focus on interdisciplinarity.

The following graph shows cross-group collaborations at IST Austria, based on co-authored publications from 2016 to June 2019. The PDF can be downloaded here.

Cutting-edge research training

Students work closely with outstanding faculty within small research groups, and have access to first-rate facilities. Students spend the first year completing coursework and rotations before affiliating with a group.

This first phase of exploration allows students to be sure that the research topic as well as research group are the best match for them before they embark on in-depth thesis research in the second phase.


We welcome students with a bachelor’s or a master’s in science to apply to our PhD program.

6 tracks of study

There are six tracks of PhD study:

Research groups

“Students are the lifeline of science.” Listen to what Prof. Daria Siekhaus has to say about the importance of students at IST Austria.


Through close collaboration with faculty and other group members, our students publish prolifically. See the full list of 254 student publications (and counting!) here in the IST PubList database.


We use English throughout the institute as the language of instruction and communication.

International community

IST Austria has a diverse and international student population, represented by students from over 50 countries.

Awards and Honors

In 2019, IST Austria was ranked #3 in the world-wide Nature Index ranking (normalized). In 2018, IST Austria was ranked within the top ten of Nature Index Rising Stars “Top 30 academic institutions under 30” list and was featured in this article in Nature Index. For more details, browse our Nature Index research profile. We also have the highest ERC Grant success rate (at 48%), and our faculty are the recipients of distinguished honors.


The Institute is only a 25-minute bus ride from Vienna, which is consistently voted one of the best cities in the world to live in. Our students have the choice of living in Klosterneuburg, a quiet area surrounded by beautiful woods, or right in the hustle and bustle of Vienna. We also have a number of housing options on campus.


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