Frequently asked Questions




What should I do when I want to travel?

Download the "travel authorization form" available here and fill it out. Don't forget a cost estimate. The "Cost Centre" is M.R9.A.KERN0001. Let your advisor sign the form and send the original AT LEAST 3 DEAYS BEFORE YOUR TRIP to the IMPRS coordinator Werner Rodejohann (MPI für Kernphysik, Postfach 103980, 69029 Heidelberg). After returning, download the "travel report and claim" form available here and fill it out. Send it with all original documents, bills, tickets, etc. to the secretary.

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What should I do when I publish a paper?

You should write the following sentence in the acknowledgments: "N.N. acknowledges support by the IMPRS for Precision Tests of Fundamental Symmetries". You can also write "IMPRS-PTFS", or "International Max Planck Research School for Precision Tests...".

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What should I do when I want a holiday?

In the unlikely case that you need a holiday, please fill out the "time-off request form" (link) and send it to the IMPRS secretary.

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What should I do when I attend a lecture at the university?

At the end of each term you have to fill out a "thesis status report" in which you have to indicate the lectures you attended. The report form will be sent to you by the coordinator, but can also be downloaded here.

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Who can apply?

In order to enter this programme, students must have obtained the minimum of a Master's degree in Physics or equivalent. With respect to grades, it is expected that students applying for entrance to the IMPRS have the equivalent of the grade minimum 2,0 in the German system. This corresponds roughly to an "B+" Grade or better in the American or English system.

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When can I apply?

The application for IMPRS Fellowships usually has two deadlines. One is in December for fellows starting in April and the other in June for fellows starting in October. As a general rule, we start accepting applications one month before deadline.

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What should I do before I apply?

Before submitting any documents familiarize yourself with the application procedure. Further, take a look at the IMPRS faculty site for more information of work and projects of potential supervisors. In your application, you should describe your research and career interests. You can also identify one or more of the IMPRS faculty with whom you would like to conduct your research.

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What should I include in my application?

Your application should be in English and in pdf-format. Please use the application forms given on the corresponding webpages. Your complete application for admission to the IMPRS-PTFS has to contain:

  • your filled out application form including your contact information, educational background;
  • the naming of two recommenders and your choice concerning which faculty members you want to work with;
  • Curriculum Vitae (including academic training and professional experience);
  • Official transcripts/records of studies of all colleges/universities you have attended (scan or photocopy);
  • Two letters of recommendation and two ratings of your academic skills and abilities by mentors who know you well;
  • You also have the possibility to upload a thesis.

Your application MUST be submitted by the date given in the call for applications. !!We will not accept incomplete or late applications!!.

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What is the connection between IMPRS-PTFS and the HGSFP?

The HGSFP (Heidelberg Graduate School of Fundamental Physics) organizes the graduate education at the University of Heidelberg in the fields (i) Fundamental Interactions and Cosmology, (ii) Astronomy and Cosmic Physics, (iii) Quantum Dynamics and Complex Quantum Systems, but has no PhD scholarships to offer. It offers however funds for international exchange programs, dedicated seminar series and teaching of other (e.g. soft) skills beyond pure research. The IMPRS-PTFS largely maps the field (i), but is an independent entity. Students in the IMPRS-PTFS are however asked to be part of the HGSFP.

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How many students are accepted at the IMPRS each year?

Up to ten students are admitted per year.

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What is the language of the program?

Courses are held in English. A thorough knowledge of English is therefore inevitable. However, applicants don't need any certificate to prove their knowledge of the English language, since the application interviews are also held in English. Knowledge of the German language is not mandatory.

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What should the topic of my doctoral project be to fit in the program?

Your topic should fit the Research fields of the school. Furthermore, as you will need a thesis advisor, you should have a look at the Faculty IMPRS faculty site to find scientist(s) with similar interests to potentially work with.

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How much financial support will I receive?

Students admitted to the IMPRS will receive a usual "TvöD-contract" which implies participation in the german social security and health care system. Only a special cases a tax free stipend will be given.

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From which university will I receive my doctoral degree?

Degrees will be received from the University of Heidelberg. Neither the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics nor the IMPRS are degree-granting institutions.

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What degree can I pursue in the IMPRS-PTFS program?

You can pursue a "Dr. rer. nat.".

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What about health insurance?

Every student must have health insurance. If you have a TvöD-contract this works basically automatically, for a stipend more effort is needed.

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Who can be my referee?

We request references from at least two scholars familiar with your academic work (one letter should be from your master or diploma thesis research advisor) who can judge your potential as a PhD student. If your first language is not English, your referees should comment on your ability to read, write, and speak English. It is your responsibility to contact your referees and make sure they submit the relevant information before the application deadline.

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Do I have to apply online?

Yes.

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Tuition fees

Most German universities do not charge tuition. However, they may require payment of a small enrollment fee entitling students to certain services. Presently, the fee for the University of Heidelberg is about 100 EUR per semester (6 months). Enrollment entitles students to a public transportation ticket good on all local trains and buses (Semesterticket) and also to many student discounts for cultural events and travel.

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Can I do my master's in this program? Are there postdoc positions in this program?

No, this program is only for students with a master's or diploma degree who want to pursue a doctoral degree. For post-doctoral positions please refer to Job Openings of the participating institutions.

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I would like to apply for a summer internship only.

This is not possible at the IMPRS.

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Where do I apply?

You have to apply online at the link provided at the IMPRS webpage (Application). Alternatively, you can apply at the Heidelberg Graduate School of Fundamental Physics, where you can indicate in the form that you wish to apply for the IMPRS-PTFS.

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Can I apply for the Research School even if I am only going to finish my degree this year?

Yes, you can. As a rule of thumb, students applying in the December call should finish between September 30 and April 1st, while students applying in the June call should finish between March 30 and October 1st.

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Do you still have questions?

You still have questions? Do not hesitate to send an e-mail to:
ptfs [at] mpi-hd.mpg.de

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