How to apply for a PhD fellowship

The application for a PhD fellowship of the Boehringer Ingelheim Fonds (BIF) consists of

  • An application form on our online portal (link below) including a PDF copy containing documents 1–7
  • Letter(s) of recommendation.

The application must be written in English by the applicants themselves. There are three deadlines each year:

1 February, 1 June, 1 October.

Project proposal

The project proposal consists of documents 1–3 and must be written by the applicants themselves. However, we strongly recommend that applicants discuss their draft proposal with their scientific supervisors and read our guide on how to write a research proposal.

How to write a research proposal

  • Download

    Tips on how to write a research proposal for a BIF PhD fellowship by Prof. Dr U. Benjamin Kaupp, former member of BIF's Board of Trustees

Documents for application

Please order documents 1–7 for the PDF as follows

  1. Title and summary of PhD project (max. 1,400 characters including spaces)
  2. Project proposal: detailed presentation of PhD project containing the formulation of the problem, current status of research, applicant's own groundwork, objectives, experimental strategy including methods of investigation (at least 4–5 pages for strategy and methods), references (including all authors and full titles of cited papers), work schedule indicating anticipated duration of entire project, and individual steps.
  3. Reasons for wishing to work with the proposed group
  4. Summary of final experimental thesis (e.g. bachelor, diploma, master thesis) preceding the PhD project; if none was performed, please provide the reason(s) in the field “Additional information” in the online application and provide a summary of your most important laboratory internship.
  5. List of applicant’s publications (if applicable)
  6. Scans of certificates of all academic qualifications (including grades) and certificates of professional education prior to university (if applicable); in chronological order, newest on top. If the language of certificates is other than English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, or Turkish, please provide a translation.
  7. Scans of high school diploma/secondary school leaving certificate including grades (e.g. Abitur, Baccalaureate, A-Levels) and, additionally, where applicable, university entrance test (e.g. SAT/ACT, PAU, YGS/LYS, Joint Entrance Examination, etc.). If the language of certificates is other than English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, or Turkish, please provide a translation.
  8. Letter(s) of recommendation emailed to us directly from the supervisors.

Letter(s) of recommendation

Letters are required from

  • The supervisor of the PhD thesis
  • The supervisor of the MSc or equivalent thesis (e.g. BSc, diploma), if different from PhD supervisor
  • If no final experimental thesis was performed, from the supervisor of the most important laboratory internship.

Letters of recommendation must be in English, on official letterhead, and signed. They must be sent separately by the supervisors themselves via email as a PDF attachment named as follows: applicant’s last name_applicant’s first name_MSc/PhD/other (depending on who has written the letter of recommendation) to: secretariat[at] (Example: smith_john_MSc.pdf)

PhD online application

Please click here to start your PhD online application.

After registration, you can also login to the portal via the link at the top right hand corner of this website or in the menu if you are using a mobile device.