We are looking for highly qualified candidates to apply for the PhD program at IST Austria. Apply now for PhD entry in September 2020. The deadline for applications is Jan 8, 2020 (23:59 CET).


Fully-funded PhD positions

We offer fully-funded PhD positions in the natural and mathematical sciences in a world-class research environment on the outskirts of Vienna. For more information about our PhD program, please visit the PhD Program Overview page.

Bachelor’s and Master’s students eligible to apply

Students with a bachelor’s or master’s degree in biology, neuroscience, mathematics, computer science, physics, and related areas are encouraged to apply. We offer internationally competitive salaries, full health benefits, and subsidized on-campus housing in the first year.

How do I apply?

IST Austria processes applications to its PhD program once a year. The application portal is available from this link. 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 deadline for PhD applications is January 8, 2020 (23:59 CET), for a start in September 2020. Reference letters should be submitted by January 12, 2020, 23:59 CET.

Student Open Day, November 22nd 2019

IST Austria welcomes you to the Student Open Day on Friday, November 22nd 2019! You will get the chance to meet the research groups through lab tours and “Meet the Research Group” sessions, organized by our professors, PhD students, and postdocs. You can also discover the campus through a campus tour and learn about the history and future of IST Austria. In addition, there will be an information session where the Dean (Prof. Nick Barton) and the PhD Program Chair (Prof. Gasper Tkacik) present the PhD program and internship opportunities at IST Austria.

Please visit the Student Open Day page for more details.

What application materials are required?

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

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:

Scientific promise:

  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? 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.


  1. quality of the undergraduate background, i.e. quality of the institution attended
  2. transferable skills: e.g. communication skills, experience with working in teams, previous mobility and international experiences, leadership experience as demonstrated in student organizations, etc.;
  3. diversity: e.g. a woman in computer science/math/physics; an applicant who switched fields, etc.;

Download brochures & posters

You can also obtain an overview of the IST Austria PhD program from the “The PhD Experience” brochure. The following posters list research groups at IST Austria by research cluster for easy reference:

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 gradschool@ist.ac.at.

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