We are looking for highly qualified candidates to apply for the ISTScholar PhD program. The deadline for 2018 has already passed: the next open call deadline will be Jan 8, 2019.

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 co-funded by an EU Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant, full health benefits, and subsidized on-campus housing in the first year.

Deadline for application for 2018 has passed. The next open call deadline is Jan 8, 2019 (23:59 CET)

IST Austria processes applications to its PhD program once a year. The next deadline for PhD applications is January 8, 2019, 23:59 CET, for a start in September 2019. Reference letters should be submitted by January 15, 2019, 23:59 CET. The online application tool will go live in autum.

How do I apply?

IST Austria processes applications to the PhD program once per year. The application portal is available from mid-October to January 8 for a start in September in the following 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. For further instructions, please see “Instructions (PDF)” in the left menu of the student application page.

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, the university transcripts also in their original language.

What are the selection criteria?

The selection committee uses a bundle 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: past research experience and motivation for applying to this particular PhD program, is it a good academic fit, does the program contribute to the candidates 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 motilities and international experiences, leadership experience as demonstrated in student organizations etc.;
  3. diversity: e.g. a women in computer science/math/physics; an applicant who switched fields; etc.;

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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