Deadline 15 November (2359 CET – Vienna time)

The Vienna Biocenter (VBC) PhD Programme in Life Sciences has been successfully running since 1993, providing students from all over the world with exceptional training. As a student at the VBC PhD Programme you will be supervised by a top scientist and have full access to state-of-the-art facilities, thus giving you an opportunity to launch a successful scientific career.

The Vienna Biocenter Campus is extremely dynamic and highly multidisciplinary with research areas ranging from molecules to populations.

The VBC PhD Programme is jointly organized by GMI, IMBA, IMP and MFPL; the degree is awarded by the University of Vienna. The VBC programme has established itself as one of the premier programs in biology and life sciences in the heart of Europe.

Training Programme

The main focus of the scientific training at the Vienna Biocenter is the PhD student’s research project.
The PhD programme’s role is to ensure that all candidates have the support and resources necessary to develop projects that matter and that are based on rigorous science. A flexible curriculum designed for and with PhD PhD Candidates. Read more…


To apply to our programme you must have the following:

  • Fully completed application form submitted before the relevant deadline
  • A Master degree or equivalent or anticipate receiving before enrolment, a university degree that would formally qualify you to enter a PhD or equivalent programme in the country where you obtain your degree
  • Research experience in a relevant scientific area (we recommend 6 months full-time experience)
  • Give the full details of two referees, at least one of them should have supervised you in a research project
  • Have a high level of both spoken and written English.

Applicants with Non-European Master Degree

Applicants that do not hold a Master degree or equivalent from a European University may be asked to provide GRE scores.

UK/US Applicants

We welcome applicants from the United States and other countries with an Anglican education system. Applicants from Australia, Republic of Ireland, the United Kingdom (UK), and New Zealand are able to enter our programme with a BA (Hons)/BSc (Hons) in a Life Sciences related subject but MUST have a significant amount of research experience. United States students should contact the programme administrator to enquire if their BA degree fulfils the requirements for admission to the VBC programme and that they have a significant amount of research experience.

Application Process

At the Vienna BioCenter we are looking for knowledgeable and enthusiastic applicants who want to develop competitive projects at the forefront of modern biology. We recruit approximately 15 candidates in each call, and receive many applications. The applicants come from many nations and cultures.

Our recruitment process has two stages:

(1) Online application form that includes 2 sections:

  • Section 1: you will be asked about your personal information and the information for 2-3 referees. After you submit this information you will receive a link by e-mail to edit the second part of the application.
  • Section 2: has questions regarding your education, research experience and research interests. Using the provided link, you can save and edit your data as many times as you wish until you click submit. The online applications will be reviewed by our faculty, and a short-list of the best suited applicants will be produced. If there is something we need to clarify we may contact you via skype. We invite approximately 50 applicants for an interview in Vienna.

(2) The interview week runs from Sunday to Thursday:

  • Sunday – general introduction to the programme, campus, and research groups
  • Monday – panel interviews
  • Tuesday/Wednesday – meeting the groups (finding a match)
  • Thursday – announcement of the assignments


Open PhD Positions

  • Biochemistry, Biophysics, and Structure
  • Cell and Chromosome Biology
  • Computational Biology, Genomes, and Evolution
  • Disease Mechanisms, Immunology, and Pathogens
  • Gene Regulation, RNA, and Epigenetics
  • Neurobiology
  • Stem Cells, Development, and Regeneration


Full-time Employment Contract

  • Students will be hired by the research institute where there supervisor is based with a full-employment contract.
  • The salaries offered to VBC students are among the highest for PhD Programmes in Europe, around €30,758 (gross), per year (i.e. €23,148 net) – per month €2,197 (net €1,653) – paid 14 times per year.

Other Benefits

  • Health/Pension/Accident/Unemployment Insurance
  • University of Vienna tuition fees are reimbursed
  • Visa Expenses.  The HR depts. of the respective institutes will assist you in getting your visa on time before starting your employment. The costs for residence permits for newcomers are normally refunded.
  • Language courses are run by the institutes (on an institute specific basis) for you to learn some German while you are in Vienna.  English is the working language of the programme but a little German helps you to settle into the city and find your way around!
  • Sports and social Activities, the programme and institutes organise numerous sports and social activities throughout the year.

Deadline 15 November (2359 CET – Vienna time)


For more information, please visit the official website of the Vienna Biocenter (VBC) PhD Programme

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