Call for Applications: registration has closed on 15 September

Application to the IMPRS-ESM

Outstanding young scientists with strong interest in climate research, especially in the study and the modeling of the Earth system are encouraged to apply.

Our regular annual Call is aiming at students holding a Master’s degree (with written thesis) in physics, geophysical sciences (incl. meteorology and oceanography), ecology, mathematics, computer science, engineering, economics, or political science. Programming skills are expected. Also students currently still working on their M.Sc. thesis are encouraged to apply.

We value teamwork and personal development. Furthermore, we strive for gender and diversity equality and thus welcome applications from diverse backgrounds and explicitly encourage women to apply. Proficiency in English is required.

Doctoral positions are available from March 2023. Individual starting agreements will be made with successful candidates. For each position funding of approximately EUR 1,850 monthly net payment (duration up to 3 years) is available through a doctoral contract. This amount is sufficient to cover all basic living expenses.

Please apply online through this website (registration button will be found further below from 1 July) and carefully follow the introduced procedure.
Online application is possible until 15 September 2022.

The selection procedure includes an interview (planned for 1 + 2 December 2022).

Advisors who are considering to associate project-funded PhD candidates of their own research group with IMPRS-ESM, please contact our office for guidelines.

Application procedure

Interested students should download the application guidelines and carefully follow the provided instructions. Be aware that we only and exclusively accept applications that follow the prescribed application scheme (online application, submission of all requested documents and arranging for reference letters using the prescribed reference forms).

An application to the IMPRS-ESM consists of various subsequent steps which all require careful preparation. These instructions aim at guiding you through the whole application process as well as helping you to prepare all required application documents.


- any hardcopies / paper copies sent by ordinary post or fax
- any communication without the candidate’s ‘Registration ID’
- any reference letter without the candidate’s ‘Registration ID’

For your complete application, please prepare the following documents:

  • Letter of Motivation (see advice ‘General notes’ at the end of these guidelines)
  • Curriculum Vitae (CV)
  • Documents related to your Master’s degree
    • title page of your thesis and an abstract
    • copy of MSc certificate
    • copy of MSc transcript (a list of all courses/lectures you took)
  • Documents related to your Bachelor’s degree
    • copy of BSc certificate
    • copy of BSc transcript (a list of all courses/lectures you took
  • Proof of English skills, if possible
  • 2 Reference Letters (consider 2 senior scientists) – further details are found in 4th step.

Optionally you may submit any additional documents which you consider important for your application (e.g. publications, job references, certificates of workshops or awards etc.).

Note that both pdf files must be uploaded during the subsequent online registration process.

1. The first file ‘application documents.pdf’ should contain (in the following order and using these file names)

  • Letter of Motivation
  • CV
  • MSc transcript
  • BSc transcript

2. The second file ‘complementing information.pdf’ should contain (in the following order)

  • the title page and abstract of your MSc thesis
    (preliminary information in case the preparation of your thesis is on-going)
  • your MSc certificate (in case not yet available, please include instead an informal note which announces the expected date of completion of your MSc)
  • your BSc certificate
  • if applicable: any additional documents related to your application such as e.g. publications, job references, certificates of workshop, etc.

During the online registration (find the link at the bottom of this page while Call is open) you will need to complete our registration form and upload the required application files (thus, the two pdf files you prepared before - see second step).

We recommend to allow some time for the completion of the registration form as detailed information is requested. Be aware that once you exit the questionnaire, all entries are lost!

Therefore, we suggest that you look at the questionnaire and study all solicited entries before starting to fill it in. Most answers are straight forward and short. However, some points need further elaboration. Perhaps you wish to first prepare more detailed answers off-line using a word processor and then copy/paste text blocks directly into the online form.

Upon successful registration an automated e-mail will be sent to you containing your 6-digit ‘Registration ID’. Please state this ID for any correspondence with IMPRS-ESM as well as in the IMPRS-ESM reference sheet;
Attention: unreferenced correspondence will be ignored.

To complete your application, two reference letters are required (always use the IMPRS-ESM template reference sheet).

Download from our website the template reference sheet AND our letter to referees in which we explain our reference request. Add your registration ID and name to the template reference sheet and forward both, template AND letter, to your chosen referees (preferably your former advisors).

A referee shall directly e-mail her/his recommendation to the IMPRS-ESM office:

Attn. Dr. Antje Weitz (Ms.) office.imprs@we dont want

- we will consider those references only that are using our standardised reference sheet;
- both reference letters have to be sent to us directly by the referees via e-mail from their official work account.
- reference letters sent from private accounts as, e.g., Gmail or Yahoo or by yourself cannot be accepted;
- your application can only be processed AFTER we have received the two reference letters.

Advice for your ‘Letter of Motivation’ (to be written in English):

We recommend that you prepare this document very carefully as this is a crucial component in the selection process! Apart from a brief, general introduction of yourself and your academic interests you should elaborate on:

  • your motivation for aiming to do PhD research
  • your reasons for choosing IMPRS-ESM in Hamburg for your advanced studies
  • the research topic(s) in which you are interested

Language of your academic documents:

Application documents that are neither in German nor English must be accompanied by a translation into one of these two languages (please note that the 'Letter of Motivation' must be written in English). In this very first stage of application to the IMPRS-ESM, unofficial translations serve well. However, upon admission to our doctoral program and for registration as PhD candidate at the University of Hamburg officially certified translations are required.

Please allow yourself enough time to submit your application and do not wait until the last moment as technical difficulties or other problems might occur. The application period is also a busy time for us - therefore we are not always able to answer immediately.