PhD Program

To apply for our PhD program, please read ALL information given carefully!

You can apply if you are currently looking for a PhD project and position. Application is also possible if you have already started your PhD in the group of one of our faculty members (only possible during the first 6 months of your PhD). For outstanding applicants with a Bachelor's degree we offer a fast-track option, but applicants will be asked th fulfill additional requirements/training (up to one year) before the start of the PhD (see below).

Please look at the websites of our faculty for details about open PhD projects or visit the open positions section.


Fast-Track Option

Please note that students with an outstanding Bachelor of Science degree can be accepted for a PhD at the University ("fast-track" PhD) but will be asked to fulfill additional requirements/training (qualifiaction period; up to 1 year) before the start of the PhD thesis. Fast-track candidates need to be accepted by the dean's office of the respective department (08, 09 or 10 at JGU) BEFORE they can apply at MAINZ! We offer stipends for the qualification period of those candidates.



Besides meeting the basic formal requirements given by the regulations for PhD studies of the respective university faculties, our candidates are only accepted to our program when they also meet the excellence criteria imposed by the graduate school. These include:

  • top marks in the final degree from a recognized and internationally acknowledged university;
  • top references;
  • exceptional performance of the applicant in general, resulting in shorter than average duration of study;
  • high qualification of the applicant for the advertised research project;
  • top performance at our interviews.

Interested candidates who are about to receive or have already obtained an excellent Master's or outstanding Bachelor's degree in physics, chemistry, biology or related fields can apply, if there is mutual interest from a member of the MAINZ Faculty. Fluency in English is required and must be proven. Knowledge of German is not essential, but advantageous.

To evaluate the quality of the exams, we follow international standards. Competition for the available positions is strong. To be considered for the program, the final grade of the degree must be equivalent or better to the grade "very good" for diploma students (final degree at least 1,5 equivalent to the Greman educational system) or "good" in a Masters degree (equivalent to 2,0 in the German educational system). The following guidelines for selected countries and regions indicate an approximation of the required minimum level:

  • China: minimum 80% or GPA 3.2/4.0
  • Europe: minimum grade of 5.0/6.0
  • India: First Division with distinction (80% or GPA 8/10 with NET/CSIR) applications from IITs and the IIS are especially welcome.
  • Pakistan: minimum 80% or GPA 4.0/5.0


How to apply

Application is possible throughout the year. Seats will be assigned according to the date of your complete application including reference letters (and project proposal - if applicable).

The MAINZ Selection Committee meeting takes place every two month. There, applicants have the possibility to present their (planned) PhD project. Please note that there is no application fee.

The next Selection Committee Meetings:

  • October/November

If you want to apply, please send the following required documents (only PDF-files in upright position will be accepted) as well as up to 3 names of research teams you would like to join to . Only 1 file with all documents would be appreciated.

  • Motivation letter outlining your research interests, how you intend to pursue those interests and your motivation to apply for a PhD position of the MAINZ Graduate School of Excellence
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Bachelor's and Master's degree certificates and certified English or German translations
  • University transcripts of Bachelor and Master showing your academic record (lists of courses and individual grades) in the original language as well as certified English or German translations. Please add a certificate about the grading system (i.e. minimum and maximum passing grade) of the University attended if it is not shown on your transcript.
  • General Education Diploma or corresponding diploma of your home country (e.g. Zeugnis der Allgemeinen Hochschulreife, A-Levels or Matura) and certified English or German translations
  • Only required for candidates from abroad: A filled and signed form "Application for the recognition/validation of foreign certificates" (download here)
  • Proof of English language proficiency (TOEFL, IELTS preferred or, for candidates from Germany, a copy of the Zeugnis der Allgemeinen Hochschulreife).
  • Names of two referees, including their websites and email-addresses, who will be available to submit a letter of recommendation on your behalf. Please note that your supervisor cannot be one of youre referees. Please note that it is your obligation to inform your two referees to submit a filled referee form (download here) and a letter or reference on your behalf directly from their institutional email to us. Should they not have such an email they need to sent a scan of the referee form (as PDF-file) bearing the seal of their host institution and their handwritten signature. References sent from private email accounts (googlemail, yahoo, hotmail etc.) will not be accepted!
  • If you have already started your PhD: project proposal (5 pages max.).


Selection Procedure

After careful evaluation of each application and related references, suitable candidates are invited to MAINZ for an interview and presentation of their previous research work. The Selection Committee evaluates each candidate and afterwards admits the most qualified candidates to the program. Preference in the selection process is given to candidates from outside the host universities, and to projects that are not simple continuations of past work, so as to broaden the exposure to new research areas. Special care is taken to enhance diversity and equal opportunities on all steps of the selection process. MAINZ now offers interviews and admission every other month.