PhD Program

You want to apply for a full PhD with us? Please follow the information below and don´t hesitate to contact us!

If you are currently planning your PhD project with one of our faculty members, or within the first 6 months after starting your project, you can hand in your application. For outstanding applicants with a Bachelor's degree we offer a fast-track option, but applicants will be asked to fulfill additional requirements/training (up to one year) before the start of the PhD.

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


Besides meeting the basic formal requirements given by the regulations for PhD studies of the respective university faculties, you will only be accepted to our program when you 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.

Since working language at the graduate school is English, you have to prove fluency!

How to apply

You can apply throughout the year - without deadlines. Please note that there is NO application fee.

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 will be accepted.

  • Motivation letter outlining your research interests, how you intend to pursue those interests and your motivation to apply for a PhD position within the Graduate School of Excellence Materials Science in Mainz (MAINZ)
  • 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 application foreign certificates form)
  • 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 your referees. Please note that it is your obligation to inform your two referees to submit a filled referee form (download referee form) 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 the Graduate School Materials Science in Mainz (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.