Have a question? Check out our list of frequently asked questions below. If you can't find the answer here, you can also always email us at imprs@is.mpg.de

Applicant Questions

IMPRS-IS seeks doctoral students interested in pursuing a Ph.D. while contributing to world-leading artificial intelligence research. Qualified students should:
- have or be completing a Master's degree in one of our a related fields
- have a strong understanding of English as it is the working language of our school
- be passionate and motivated to contribute to advance human knowledge about intelligent systems

All IMPRS-IS Ph.D. scholars receive an initial three year work contract. All Ph.D. researchers receive a salary that is at least the equivalent of 65% of a TVÖD E13 German Employment contract. This is considered a standard full-time employment salary for a Ph.D. student as determined by the Max Planck Society.
There are also possibilities for contract extensions after the initial three year work contract has ended.

The review process for all applications starts after the submission deadline.

This process takes time with applications being reviewed for completeness by the coordination office. Complete applications will be passed on for a first round of review by our community postdocs and faculty. Then, faculty thoroughly reviewed well-scored applications to make preparations about whom to invite to participate in our interview symposium.

All applicants will be contacted by email no later than January 1, 2024, with the decision about their application.

Only applicants who have completed an application online (https://imprs.is.mpg.de/application) will be considered for our next recruitment round.

Exact dates can be found on our application page listed above; however, our application portal generally stays open annually between the months of July to November.

IMPRS-IS staff will begin to review all application materials only after the submission deadline, checking for the legitimacy and completeness of applications. Applications which are deemed complete are then thoroughly reviewed by a team of over 100 IMPRS-IS faculty, associated faculty, and postdoctoral researchers.

Top candidates will be invited to participate in an online interview symposium. Again, dates vary, but the interview symposium generally takes place in late January or early February. Job offers will then be made to promising applicants sometime in February or March.

All applications will be submitted via our online portal (https://imprs.is.mpg.de/application). Here, applicants will find sections to upload GRE or TOEFL scores; however, this is completely optional.

We do want to see some sort of examples of English proficiency for our program as our working language is English. In lieu of English proficiency test scores, applicants could also showcase their English proficiency by:
- including a self-authored paper written in English (include this in the supplemental materials section of the online application portal)
- proof that they have lived or worked in an English speaking environment (this could be articulated in the motivation letter or simply presented in the CV)

Current Scholar Questions

It is recommended that IMPRS-IS scholars choose their TAC around 6 months into their doctoral research. This allows scholars time to get acclimated in their group and comfortable with the general direction of their personal research.

For IMPRS-IS scholars who are already working on a Ph.D. when entering our program, please do not wait too long to form your TAC. Waiting too long to form one’s TAC delays the process of participating in TAC meetings. This is disadvantageous as scholars lose the benefits of receiving valuable feedback, and it also becomes more difficult to adhere to IMPRS-IS program requirements.

IMPRS-IS scholars can have TAC members who are not IMPRS-IS faculty or associated faculty. However, these must be additional members. They do not serve as one of your three core TAC members.

All IMPRS-IS scholars must have three TAC members who are affiliated with IMPRS-IS. Scholars may have one of the two combinations:
3 full faculty members
2 full faculty members + 1 associated faculty member

As long as one of the two above options is fulfilled, scholars are allowed to add as many additional external TAC members as they like.

This is not necessarily a requirement; though it is recommended as it is generally very beneficial.

In order to earn a Ph.D., all doctoral students need a supervisor of record eligible to graduate doctoral level students. This supervisor of record reviews the thesis, participates in the oral defense, and signs the diploma. This requirement is standard for all German universities.

In many instances, an IMPRS-IS scholar's primary supervisor has this eligibility and can serve as a scholar’s supervisor of record.

In other instances, an IMPRS-IS scholar’s primary supervisor may not have this eligibility. For example, the primary supervisor is a junior professor, group leader, or works at the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems. In this case, the scholar will need a full university professor, capable of graduating Ph.D. students, to serve as their supervisor of record.

It is recommended that this individual is an IMPRS-IS faculty member who can serve on the TAC. By being on one’s TAC, the faculty and scholar can develop an interpersonal relationship, the faculty member gets to know the scholar’s research, and it generally allows for a smoother graduation process.

Yes. We ask that IMPRS-IS scholars acknowledge the school in all publications. Suggested phrasing can be found here: https://imprs.is.mpg.de/acknowledgments

Yes. The IMPRS-IS coordination office adds scholars to its mailing lists immediately after being accepted in the program. At that time, scholars often do not yet have a work email issued by the university or institute.

If you would like to begin receiving IMPRS-IS notifications to your work address, simply email the IMRPS-IS coordination office (imprs@is.mpg.de) and request this change.

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