MSc / PhD Fellowships in Molecular Biosciences / Biotechnology, Heidelberg University, Germany

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HBIGS explores innovative ways to integrate the Masters programs with the PhD program by offering an integrated MSc/PhD program.

The MSc/PhD program is targeted at outstanding students with a Bachelor degree in biosciences, mathematics, chemistry, physics, computational sciences, pharmacy, and engineering.

About the program
Doctoral researchers enrolled in the MSc/PhD program will receive a Masters degree (after submitting an experimental Masters thesis) and a PhD (after submitting an experimental PhD thesis) with the dissertation phase. The MSc/PhD program emphasizes research-based training, problem-solving and critical-thinking skills and the development of individual interests.

Moreover, the concept combines the two years of the Masters program with the 3 to 3.5 years of the PhD phase into one continuous period of 5 to 5.5 years devoted to research-based training and individual research (Figure 14). Students will attend lectures and tutorials from 8.00 – 10.00 in the morning during the first semester, and lectures and tutorials in specialized areas, according to their interest and the topic of the individual research during the second semester. After 10.00 am students participate in lab rotations (four from at least two different majors) during the first year. Every second week MSc/PhD students gather for a 60 min research seminar where two of the students will give a scientific progress report in form of an oral presentation. This meeting will be attended by the tutors of the MSc/PhD students (see below), the direct supervisors of the MSc/PhD students, the director of HBIGS, a representative of the Deans Office and the teaching coordinator. The event will unwind with an informal get-together. After two years the MSc/PhD students will submit an experimental thesis and take the examination to obtain a Masters degree in Biosciences. Provided the students excel they will continue their research project and, after an additional 3 to 3.5 years, submit their doctoral thesis. Those students who are not qualified will leave the program with an MSc degree.

A tutor will guide each MSc/PhD student through their study program and advise them on lab rotations and possible host laboratories. MSc/PhD students will partake in the training, the tutoring and mentoring program and the vocational activities of HBIGS. The MSc/PhD students, like any other HBIGS doctoral researcher, will participate in the PhD core course and other curricular activities of HBIGS. The MSc/PhD program leaves enough time and flexibility for mobility and exchange and intersectoral training (e.g. six to eight weeks at the end of the first year).

What do we offer to MSc/PhD fellowship holders?
HBIGS offers up to 12 competitive MSc/PhD fellowships to outstanding applicants from all over the world. This includes:

  • Fellowships amounting to € 8,000 p.a. (tax free), granted for up to 1.5 years (reviewed after 1 year), including a Service package “High Tech Plus” offered by the Studentenwerk (upon request) followed by a PhD fellowship according to TV-L E13 (65%)
  • A personal tutor to support you
  • Opportunity to obtain an MSc degree and PhD within 4.5 years
  • Access to advanced scientific training
  • Access to extracurricular and extramural activities
  • Free access to the HBIGS Career Service

How can you apply for a fellowship?
Applications must be received between 1 Feb and 15 Mar 2013.
Applicants must submit their documents to the MSc/PhD fellowship program AND the MSc study programs in Molecular Biosciences or Molecular Biotechnology via the following links:

  1. the HBIGS online application system.
  2. MSc study programs in Molecular Biosciences or Molecular Biotechnology.

Only applications to BOTH fellowship and study programs will be considered. Receiving admittance to one of the above mentioned study programs is an indispensable prerequisite for receiving a fellowship!

All applicants for a fellowship are requested to provide the following information:

1. Secondary school leaving certificate
Submit with your application your Secondary school leaving certificate (equivalent to German “Abitur”).

2. Academic records
Submit your official transcripts of academic records from every postsecondary institution attended for at least one year as a full-time student. Academic records should give information on the type and content of courses taken (Diploma supplement) and the grades you received. Your rank in class should be noted whenever possible. If the institution does not issue records in German, English, or French, original language records must be submitted with translations. At this stage of the application process you can submit scanned and uncertified documents.

3. Statement of Purpose
Write a statement (± 500 words) describing your motivation and preparation for the selected field of study. Describe the area of biology you find most interesting, your previous research experience, your future career plans and other aspects of your background and interests which may aid the admissions committee in evaluating your aptitude and motivation for the respective programme. You are not requested to provide proof of your financial situation.

4. Curriculum Vitae (CV)

5. Proof of English language ability
If your native language is not English, proof of an adequate command of spoken and written English is required for admission.
Proof can be provided either by

  1. a TOEFL certificate ( (Score requirements: Paper based: 570+, Computer based: 230+, Internet based: 90+),
  2. an IELTS certificate ( (Score requirements: band 6.5+) ,
  3. a Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English (CAE ).
  4. Applicants who took part in an undergraduate program in which the language of instruction was English or German are asked to provide a suitable certificate from their Faculty or supervisors.
  5. Applicants who received a BSc degree from a university of an EU member state or an EU affiliated member state are exempted from providing an English language certificate. Their proficiency in English will be evaluated during the interview process.

6. Graduate Record Examination (GRE) Scores (optional)
The scores of the GRE Subject Test in Biochemistry, Molecular and Cellular Biology are not required for application but a good score will strengthen your application. Scores must be from an examination taken within the last three years.

How are candidates selected?
The selection of candidates for a fellowship involves three steps:

1. Evaluation of application documents
Applications will be reviewed and ranked.

2. Interviews
Shortlisted applicants will be invited for interview to take place in Heidelberg in May 2013.

3. The final decision about the scholarships will be taken by June 2013.

for an MSc/PhD fellowship
(link active from 1 Feb to 15 Mar 2013)

Please note: Only applications submitted via the online application system will be considered. Applications sent by e-mail or mail will be discarded without further notice.

For more information, please visit official website:

3 comments on “MSc / PhD Fellowships in Molecular Biosciences / Biotechnology, Heidelberg University, Germany

  1. I am an undergraduated in Biochemistry. This is my last year in the degree and I would like to do a Master’s Degree the next year. I have some experience in Immunology and Molecular Biology. I would like to apply for this grant, but I have a problem. I am going to do the TOEFL exam the next April and the deadline to apply for the grant is in March! Could I sent the results of my exam later?


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