Route 2: Individual PhD Position in a Participating Research Group

Step 1: Finding a PhD project and supervisor

As mentioned above: Before applying for admission to the program, interested students need to secure a PhD project, supervision and funding within one of the research groups involved in the program.

Nevertheless, should you wish to pursue this option, let us suggest a few things:

  • Spam-mailing faculty will lead you straight into the spam filter
  • Overwhelming faculty with your CV and tons of other documents and certificates will have the same effect
  • A relatively short yet carefully drafted e-mail addressing the faculty personally and demonstrating that you have read their publications, that your research interest matches theirs and that you posess just the kind of theoretical and methods skills needed in this lab have a much better chance of beeing read and answered to
  • Keep in mind, however, that a positive outcome of this approach is only possible, if the addressed lab leader has the necessary funds to finance your project
  • Alternatively, you have secured a grant or stipend elsewhere that you are willing to bring to the group
  • In additon, have a look here for advertised positions

Step 2: Submitting an application

Once you have secured a faculty member for endorsement, submit your application according to the list below.

Please either name the documents with a number according to the list below, or put it into the proposed order if you submit one document.

  • Application form (see below)
  • An endorsement letter from your supervisor, stating your financial support is covered (e.g. scholarship, contract, ...)
  • A letter of intent, in which you describe your academic and professional interests, a possible PhD project, your future goals and the reason why you should be admitted to the program
  • A curriculum vitae detailing any professional / practical experience you have had so far
  • Two letters of recommendation by teachers or professionals with whom you have worked in the past (see below)
  • A detailed project plan including time line and bibliography (cf. "Registration of a PhD project" below)
  • A proof of proficiency in English, if not a native speaker, through TOEFL, IELTS or equivalent
  • Certified copies of all diplomas awarding relevant degrees, e.g. BSc and MSc (original language and translated to either German or English)
  • Your record of study or official transcript, detailing your academic work so far (original language and translated to either German or English)
  • Copy of Thesis Agreement with two supervisors (Promotionsvereinbarung) (see below); you have to be admitted before officially filing your project at the thesis office.

Step 3: Admission test

Once you have submitted your application, you will have to sit an admission's test assessing your neuroscience background. Depending on your performance in this test, you may be required to attend certain lectures of the Master program during your PhD studies.

Recommended literature:

Bear MF, Connors BW and Paradiso MA (2006), "Neuroscience: Exploring the Brain" Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

Naish J, Revest P and Court DS (2009), "Medical Science" Elsevier. [Neuroscience part]


Step 4: Presenting before the commission

To complete the admission's porocess, you need to present yourself and your project before the admission's and examination's committee.

Step 5: Matriculation as PhD student

Only after having completed all steps 1 to 4 can you matriculate (enroll) as PhD student and receive your student ID.

Required documents to present at Promotionsbüro of Charité:
• Letter of admission issued by the program office
• The original thesis agreement (Promotionsvereinbarung) signed by you and your supervisor
• Master diploma or equivalent and certified translation if the document is neither in German nor English
• Official recognition by ZAB of degrees awarded outside Germany

Regulation for the PhD program

See download area.