The long-term goal of our research is to understand both the molecular mechanisms and the evolution of adaptive traits. To this end, we are using both phenotype-first and genotype-first approaches to identify genetic variants with a potential role in local, regional or global adaptation. Such studies benefit tremendously from knowledge about the genomes of other species, as well from a historical perspective that exploits ancient DNA methods to unlock the knowledge stored in herbaria. One of our lines of research, on fitness tradeoffs, has been generously supported by a grant from the ERC.

New components of the (plant) immune system: Advisor: Detlef Weigel: PhD Program: International Max Planck Research School (IMPRS) ‘From Molecules to Organisms’ Location: Max Planck Institute for Biology

Project description: A rapidly changing climate not only threatens plants directly through floods, droughts and temperature stress, but also through new pathogens that expand their range. In this interdisciplinary project, which combines cutting-edge analysis of a large number of newly assembled genomes with wet lab validation, you will identify and study new components of the plant immune system, building upon recent breakthroughs in understanding immunity across the tree of life.

Check that you meet our requirements:

Are you interested in doing a PhD with us? We welcome applications from talented and ambitious individuals, from all nationalities, to join the IMPRS ‘From Molecules to Organisms’.

We have two annual recruitment rounds. Between application rounds you may submit a speculative application to MPI and FML faculty. You need to fulfill the application criteria below to be eligible to apply.

Who can apply (requirements)?
To be eligible to apply you need to

  • hold, or expect to hold, a Masters (or Diplom) degree in Natural or Computer Science. All prior degree work must be finished before the PhD start date.
  • Bachelors-only applicants: Exceptionally talented students holding only a Bachelors degree may be admitted. You should hold a 4-years honors degree, have excellent grades and possess extensive and relevant research experience. Additional study requirements may be assigned
  • be able to show that your interests, skills and knowledge match well with your proposed area of doctoral research. 
  • be able to demonstrate a high level of written and spoken English.

If you obtained your degree(s) OUTSIDE the European Higher Education Areayour application should include scores from the GRE General Test. To have your scores forwarded to us online, supply our institution code: 4791.  In general, successful applicants have scored above 152 on the verbal test and above 155 on the quantitative test. Applicants with an Indian GATE score can supply this instead of, or as well as, the GRE.

What is the selection process for the application rounds?

  • Online applications deadline is : 5 February 2023
    To start your application for the IMPRS ‘From Molecules to Organisms’
    • check that you meet our requirements (see above)
    • familiarize yourself with the application process.
  • Review of applications:  6 February – 3 March 2023
    Once applications are submitted and the application deadline has passed, they arereviewed. Sometimes there will be a short online interview with a member of faculty to clarify a few points. Shortlisted candidates will then be invited to an online panel interview.
    If you have not heard from us by the 7 March your application was not successful.
  • Online Panel Interviews: 13 – 15  March 2023
    Online panel interviews are scheduled for 30-40 shortlisted candidates.
    Candidate will give a 10 minute presentation on a research project and answer questions from the faculty panel members.
  • On site visit:  3 – 5 May 2023
    Up to 20 applicants, who passed the panel interview stage, will be invited to an on-site visit consisting of talks, 1-1 interviews, lab tours etc..
  • Offers
    Successful candidates will receive an offer around 2 weeks after the on-site selection
  • Start date
    New PhD students should be ready to join the school at the beginning of September. Exact start dates will be agreed individually with the advisors.

Applying outside the application rounds
We encourage you to apply in one of our application rounds. You may though submit a speculative application directly to MPI and FML faculty members outside of the application rounds.

To submit a speculative application please send an email to the faculty member you would like to work with including:

  • a brief outline of your goals and interests
  • your CV
  • a list of references

To apply

Contact Person Prof. Dr. Detlef Weigel:
Application deadline: 5 February 2023

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