Frequently asked questions

Here you can find some answers of the most asked questions.
If you have have a question that is not listed below, don't hesitate to contact us.

Where do I have to send my application?

Applications can only be submitted via the online application portal on the IMPRS-RECHARGE homepage.

When is the last date of application submission for the doctoral/PhD position offered?

Applications are accepted at any time.

Do you need translated transcripts or other documents?

In case transcripts and other required document are not written in English or German, a translation of these documents will be obligatory.

I have not yet finished my degree, can I still apply?

You don't need your MSc degree certificate at the time of application, we only require your latest transcript and the thesis’ abstract. However, by the time you start your doctoral/PhD studies, you must have completed all studies and exams, and be able to provide official, written evidence of this. If the final certificate has not been issued at this point, a letter from the program office or director of studies will suffice.

Can I note in the list of the publications a submitted article which is ready for decision, but not published yet?

Yes, this is possible.

I am currently finishing my master's degree, but I have no publications yet. Am I still eligible to apply?

You may apply without publications.

Do my referees have to send recommendation letters or have I just to list their names in the application?

The latter is correct, please give the names of the referees in the respective boxes in the portal. Inform the referees about your application and ask them to follow the instructions at the link that will be send to them.

How many days after submitting the application will my professor whose email I provided in my application receive an email from you?

The professors will as well receive an email on the day of application.

Do you have any deadlines for the referees to submit the letters of reference?

The referees must submit the reference within two weeks.

One of my referees sent the recommendation letter but I have not received any confirmation letter from you. I wonder if you have received the letter or not?

Confirmation letters will be sent out to the applicant upon submission of the reference, but it may occur that the references have not been submitted.

What if my professor forgets to respond to your email? Do I get an email to remind him?

No, you will not receive a reminder, but as soon as a referee has submitted a reference, you will be informed that the professor has uploaded a reference on your behalf.

Can the referees be engineering managers/directors at work rather than professors?

Yes, this is possible.

How do I choose a supervisor? How do I get assigned to a specific research group?

You may state up to three preferred research groups out of the IMPRS-RECHARGE members in the application form. Possible choices will be shown during the online application process.

Should I contact the professor of my preferred research group before submitting the application?

You may apply without contacting one of the professors beforehand to your application.

Can I find the research group for my PhD program by myself in Germany or will I join one of the groups you provide?

The latter is correct. Applicants may state up to three research group preferences in the application form. The names of participating professors are given in the online questionnaire.

Do I need a proof of English proficiency when my mother tongue is English language?

English native speakers can apply to the program without a proof of English proficiency.

I am a Non-EU student and I do not have TOEFL, TSE or Cambridge certificate. Am I still eligible to apply?

IMPRS-RECHARGE does not require a test of English language proficiency. We prefer to check communication skills during the interview. However, for international applicants whose mother-tongue is not English or German it could be beneficial for the application to provide some proof of language proficiency.

Please note that a test of English language proficiency may be required at the time of enrolment at the university.

Will students receive a scholarship?

The students accepted to the 3-year-doctoral-program receive a salary, are funded by third parties or by a stipendium.

Does the financial aid for the research include accommodation and tuition fee as well or only for research?

The financial aid is sufficient to cover the costs for housing, living and health care in Germany.

I have successfully completed the application form but I am unable to submit the form. Each time I submit, I will receive an error message.

Maybe there is a problem with your uploaded documents. Mac users’ pdf files should end with .pdf


In March 2024, Michel Deitermann successfully defended his PhD thesis at the Ruhr-University Bochum under the supervision of Prof. Martin Muhler.


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In October 2023, Van Anh Tran successfully defended her PhD thesis at the Max-Planck-Institut für Kohlenforschung under the supervision of Prof. Frank…

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In November 2023, Berenike Stahl successfully defended her PhD thesis at the Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn under the supervision of…

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