6 Fully Funded PhD Positions in Entomology/ Chemical Ecology/ Plant Biochemistry/ Fungal life in Soil at the  International Max Planck Research School (IMPRS) in Germany

6 Fully Funded PhD Positions in Entomology/ Chemical Ecology/ Plant Biochemistry/ Fungal life in soil, Jena, Germany

6 Fully Funded Ph.D. Positions in Entomology/ Chemical Ecology/ Plant Biochemistry/ Fungal life in the soil at The  International Max Planck Research School (IMPRS) in Germany.



The  International Max Planck Research School (IMPRS) “Chemical Communication in Ecological Systems” in Jena, Germany, invites applications for 6 Ph.D. positions and 11 exciting projects commencing in September 2022 – January 2023.


Who are we looking for in the 6 fully funded Ph.D. positions ?

We are looking for internationally trained, enthusiastic applicants with a strong motivation to pursue a Ph.D., adequate competence in the English language and excellent academic performance, and an MSc degree (including an MSc thesis) in one of the following fields: bioinformatics, analytical chemistry, entomology, neurobiology, molecular biology, biochemistry, plant physiology, genetics, ecology or evolution.


What are the benefits?

  • 11 highly integrative projects, that requires embracing multiple disciplines and close collaborations with other researchers from different backgrounds
  • State-of-the-art equipment
  • An excellent research environment
  • A structured training program
  • Successful candidates will obtain a 3-year Ph.D. position corresponding to TVöD (Collective Wage Agreement for the Civil Service). There are no tuition fees; consumables and equipment required for the project will be covered by the hosting lab.
  • The working language is English

What are the required documents?

Importantly, all documents sent to our office must be in English or German. Certified copies of documents are not required at the time of submission. All applicants who have qualified for the group recruitment  may also be asked for certification of relevant documents before admission to the program is granted

The following documents are required for the application:

  • Complete and validated online application data – Please fill in forms 1-6 carefully and pay particular attention to the motivation statement and question about your areas of interest for doctoral research.
  • Two letters of reference – Letters from two academic or professional supervisors who can evaluate your personality, academic experience, and intellectual merit. After submitting referee form 0, you get an email with information for the referee. It is your responsibility to forward this email to your referees.
  • Curriculum Vitae.
  • Last relevant academic certificate (usually M.Sc.) and transcript of study (study record).
  • Proof of proficiency in English for non-native speakers – TOEFL or equivalent scores; a signed letter from your university or one of your academic teachers stating that English was the medium of instruction and your English proficiency is excellent.
  • Registration Number – You will receive a registration number by e-mail if you have successfully submitted your application data on our website.

NOTE: Any incomplete applications or applications reaching the IMPRS coordination office after the deadline cannot be taken into consideration. 

6 Fully Funded Ph.D. Positions: Advertised Projects in Current Call

Please find an overview of projects advertised in the current IMPRS application call here. Also, visit the individual project pages for comprehensive descriptions and candidate profiles,

Project 1: Parasitism and social behavior in ants

Dr. Yuko Ulrich, Dr. Markus Knaden

Project 2: Bimodal processing of olfactory and auditory cues in the brain of Drosophila

Prof. Dr. Manuela Nowotny, Dr. Silke Sachse

Project 3: Evolution of natural products in plants

Prof. Dr. Sarah O’Connor, Dr. Maricel Santoro

Project 4: The role of sieve element occlusion for plant defense against aphids

PD Dr. Alexandra Furch, Dr. Grit Kunert, Prof. Dr. Jonathan Gershenzon

Project 5: Evolution of host-symbiont molecular interactions in reed beetles

Prof. Dr. Martin Kaltenpoth,  Dr. Heiko Vogel

Project 6: The interface of host-symbiont interaction

Dr. Tobias Engl, Prof. Dr. Martin Kaltenpoth

Dr. Grit Kunert, Prof. Dr. Jonathan Gershenzon , Prof. Dr. Martin Kaltenpoth, PD Dr. Alexandra Furch

Project 7: The influence of Regiella insecticola on legume plant – pea aphid interactions

Project 8: Alkaloid biosynthesis and evolution in medicinal plants

Dr. Maite Felicitas Colinas Martinez, Prof. Dr. Sarah O’Connor

Project 9: Fungal life in soil: attachment and microbial communication

Prof. Dr. Erika Kothe, Dr. Katrin Krause, Prof. Dr. Jonathan Gershenzon

Project 10: Did plants twitter miRNA messages during the transition to land?

Prof. Dr. Günter Theißen,  Dr. Lydia Gramzow, Dr. Axel Mithöfer, Prof. Dr. Jonathan Gershenzon

Project 11: Experience-dependent modulation of olfactory circuits in the brain of Drosophila

Dr. Silke Sachse, Dr. Markus Knaden

How to apply for one of the 6 fully funded Ph.D. positions?

Interested applicants should begin by clicking the Online application form.

Application call timeline for 2022

Application period: March 28 – May 6
Phone Interviews: June 1 – 17
Communication of selection results and invitation for Jena group recruitmentJune 20 – 24
Deadline for references: July 8
Group recruitment (via videolink): July 11 – 15
Communication of final admission decisionJuly 18.
Start of the program: Admitted students can start their Ph.D. anytime between September 2022 and January 1st, 2023, in agreement with their supervisors.


Read also: PhD Graduate Research Assistantship Position in Nematology at Purdue University


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