Institute of Science and Technology Austria (ISTA) Scholarships 2023

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About Institute of Science and Technology Austria (ISTA) Scholarships 2023

The goal of the ISTA PhD program is to produce intellectually broad, curious, open-minded scientists who are able to approach problems from different angles and can collaborate with diverse types of scientists. To this end, our students complete an innovative interdisciplinary training program consisting of both research and taught elements, and receive close mentoring by world-class faculty from different disciplines.

All students whose broad research interests align with those of our faculty are eligible to join the ISTA PhD program. Students confirm their affiliation and their thesis supervisor at the end of the first year.

In the first year, students complete coursework and rotations in three different research groups. After finding a suitable home within a research group(s) and thereby securing a thesis supervisor(s), and importantly after passing the qualifying examination, students work on their thesis research, attend international conferences and colloquia, and receive training in teaching and other transferable skills.

Research groups are deliberately kept small to ensure close supervision, and all students are mentored by several faculty members who make up their thesis committee.

All students are offered 5-year employment contracts. Students can finish their program earlier – in 4 or 4.5 years – or ask for a year-long contract extension, depending on the nature of the research.

All students making reasonable progress are fully funded until the time of their thesis defense.

Institute of Science and Technology Austria (ISTA) Scholarships 2023 Eligibility Criteria

ISTA welcomes students with different academic backgrounds who can bring their skills and experiences to the scientific setting.

Students with a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in biology, chemistry, neuroscience, mathematics, computer science, physics, data science and scientific computing and related areas are encouraged to apply.

How To Apply?

ISTA processes applications to its PhD program once a year. The application portal will open in the Fall (2nd half of October).

To apply, you have to create an online account, which will allow you to track your application through its various stages. We do not accept applications and documents received outside of this system.

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Application Deadline

Deadline to submit your application is 8 January 2023. Referees have until 15 January 2023 to submit recommendation.

How To Apply Institute of Science and Technology Austria (ISTA) Scholarships 2023?

We ask you to upload the following documents to the application portal:


-Statement of purpose that explains your research experience and your motivation for applying to the ISTA PhD program. It should be 1-2 pages maximum. In your statement, specify up to three research groups you find the most interesting. At this stage you do not need to contact potential supervisors.

-University transcripts and diplomas of all degree programs and all years you have attended and/or are currently enrolled in (in English and in original language)

-Contact information of 3 referees

All documents have to be submitted in English and copies of university transcripts also in their original language.

Selection Criteria

The selection committee uses a collection of indicators to evaluate the applicant’s preparedness, motivation, and potential. The following will be considered:

-Undergraduate performance: overall, with a special focus on relevant field-specific courses

-Reference letters provided by professors and senior scientists: one letter from industry is acceptable, but letters from an academic background are given priority; referees are asked to address analytical capabilities, technical proficiency, ability to work independently and motivation/commitment;

-Statement of purpose: the applicant’s past research experience and motivation for applying to this particular PhD program: is it a good academic fit? does the program contribute to the candidate’s future career plans?, etc.;

-Additional relevant skills (field-specific): demonstrated in, e.g., internships and/or participation in research projects, participation in science Olympiads, programming languages, lab techniques, etc.

-Transferable skills: e.g. communication skills, experience with working in teams, previous mobility and international experiences, leadership experience as demonstrated in student organizations, etc.;

-Diversity: e.g. a woman in computer science/math/physics; an applicant who is interested in switching fields, etc.

Application Timeline

The application call opens mid-October and ends in January. The first review process is completed in early February. Candidates are notified about their status by mid-February.

Shortlisted candidates are invited for interviews in late February to late March. Interviews will be conducted either online or on-site.

Offer letters go out in mid-March (for online interviews) and late March (for onsite interviews). Candidates can accept or decline the offer of admission by 30 April. The start of the PhD program is uniformly on 15 September.

  • Application opens: mid-October
  • Application closes: 8 January
  • Pre-selection meetings: end of January
  • Student Interviews: late February to late March
  • Final selection meetings: March
  • Offers sent out: after the final selection meetings
  • Offer need to be accepted: 30 April
  • Start of PhD program: 15 September

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Official Notification

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