Selection Criteria for PhD Fellowships

Selection Criteria

The scientists in the Board of Trustees and the external peer reviewer evaluate applications according to the following three criteria:

  • the applicant's achievements to date (grades and curriculum vitae);
  • the scientific quality, e.g. originality and inventiveness, of the proposed PhD project;
  • the scientific standard of the laboratory in which the project is to be pursued.

The three criteria in detail

When making their decision, Board of Trustees and external peer reviewer seek answers to the following questions.

  1. Applicant's achievements
    What personal qualities has the applicant demonstrated during his/her training: top grades, talent and inquisitiveness, versatility and creativity, determination and motivation, diligence and perseverance? Has the applicant shown mobility or has he/she been rather settled? In the latter case, did he/she have sound reasons for not having changed country, university and/or supervisor? Is he/she capable of independent research? Does the applicant have a wide variety of techniques at his/her disposal?
  2. Quality of PhD project
    Is the project imaginative and promising? Is it liable to yield new insights or is it a descriptive, industrious but uninspiring piece of work? Is the current state of knowledge correctly described and adequately documented? Are the methods of investigation state-of-the-art and sophisticated? Is the work schedule logical and realistic for a PhD project of about 3 years? Is the project really a research project in its own right or rather a subunit of a collaborative effort?
  3. Standard of the laboratory
    Does the laboratory in which he/she wishes to pursue the PhD project have first-class equipment and use state-of-the-art techniques? Has the laboratory made significant contributions to the respective scientific field and does it have an international reputation in this field? In other words, is the laboratory one of the most suitable places worldwide for the project in question?
passion for science