FAQ from applicants
How do I choose my referees?
We have two tips for choosing the right referee for you. Before inputting your referee's contact details into our system, please get in contact with the referee and get their approval. Bear in mind that your referee most likely receives many requests like yours and might not have the time to follow up on your request in a timely manner. You might even consider preparing them for their task by telling them a bit more about our university and the program to which you wish to apply. Communicate very clearly that the university cannot consider your application unless their reference letter is submitted before the application deadline. Let me stress again the importance of giving your referee enough time to act upon your request. The university does not grant deadline extensions and it is solely the candidate's responsibility to provide all necessary information on time.
Second, choose your referee wisely! The person should be familiar with your personality, as well as able to vouch for your skills, work quality, and style. Approach only people who will give you a stellar recommendation for your application.
About the process:
You must register your referee by providing their professional email address and contact information. If your referee's academic institution does not offer business email accounts, please notify our PhD coordinator in advance so that we can verify your contact. Once you have filled in and submitted the contact information, an email will be sent to your referee, inviting them to complete an online reference form in English. The link that leads the referee to our online platform is active so long as no reference has been submitted.
How many reference letters need to be provided for my application?
You will need to provide us with the contact information of two referees, who will be asked to write a reference letter for you. Once we have recieved both letter of recommendations, you will be able to submit your application. A notification will be sent to your Email each time that your referee has submitted their referral.
How will I know that my referee has submitted their reference letter?
You will be notified by Email each time a letter of recommendation was submitted. Additionally, you can see the updated status on your "My PhD Applications" site, as well as in the "My process" area. In the moment we receive a reference the icon changes from a person to a check mark.
Can I upload written references?
We ask you to refrain from uploading additional reference letters. Thank you!
My referee submitted a recommendation, but it is not marked as submitted, what can I do?
In the rare occassion for this to be happening, please send a short note to our PhD Coordinator stating the name and contact of your referee . Our IT department will start an investigation to resolve the issue. As soon as we have more information on the matter, we will get back to you.
Can I exchange one referee for another one?
Once you have submitted the contact details of your referee, you will not be able to change the information anymore. Your referee will be contacted soon after submission. We advise you to notifiy your referee in due time that Medical University of Vienna will reach out soon due to your PhD application to avoid any unnecessary delays or missunderstandings.
Can I request a recommendation letter before starting my application?
You can start the application process by adding your personal details and only than will you be able to add your referee details before moving on to fill in your application form.
Are there any deadlines for references?
Two references must be recieved by the deadline of the application call you are applying for in order for your application to be considered. It´s the applicant´s responsability to take all necessary measurments to meet this deadline and communicate the deadline correctly to their referees.
Will I be able to read my references?
No, references are always treated as confidential and are generally not disclosed to the candidate.
Crafting and completing the PhD application
What is a motivation letter?
A motivation letter is the same as a letter of intent or cover letter. It accompanies your application and supporting documents, such as CV and diplomas.
Additionally, you state here your motivations to pursue a PhD education at our university and to become a researcher.
Can I modify my application?
During the application process, you can modify and save your information at any time. Its possible to pause an application and return to it at a later stage, but once you have submitted a form it’s impossible to change it. A pop up will warn you that no modifications will be possible beyond this stage.
What documents do I need to provide during the application process?
Make sure to have the following documents ready when starting your application process:
1. Motivation letter
2. University diplomas (including translation, if required)
3. Proof of language proficiency (if applicable and can be handed in later too)
4. Financing documents (grants or award information, if applicable)
5. Contact details of your referees (Email, affiliation)
Can the PhD Coordinator add or revise information of my application after the deadline??
No this is not possible. No application can be modified once it has been submitted.
Can I have an extension for submitting my application?
We are sorry that no submission extensions can be granted to applicants. The same deadline applies to anyone without exceptions.
In what language do I have to transmit my diplomas and transcripts?
All submitted documents must be in English, except for diplomas, which are also accepted in German.
Do I need to submit a TOEFL/IELTS or GRE score to proof my language skills?
No, it is not necessary to submit your exact language proficiency score results during the application. However at enrollment, you will have provide your language(s) proficiency proof(s).
How do I calculate my GPA
There are different ways to calculate, your grade point average (GPA). Depending which grading system is used in your country, you will have different reference points of your lowest and highest score. At first you will need to convert your gradings to the American grading system, which only uses a four letter grading system (A,B,C,D,F). Each letter represents a certain amount of points. A= 4, B=3, C=2, D=1, F=0. Now you have the needed data set to calculate your GPA. You can use the scholaro GPA calculator for it, but for Austrian ranking systems, we advise you to use following formula:
Build in the round brackets the sum of all your ECTS points including your grade points of your courses and multiply this sum by the number of grade points. Round up the end results by 2 decimal places. E.g.
[(Σ ECTS / course with grade point 1) x 4] + [(Σ ECTS / course with grade point 2) x 3] + [(Σ ECTS / course with grade point 3) x 2]+ [...] + [(Σ ECTS / course with grade point 4) x 1] + [(Σ ECTS / course with grade point 5) x 0] divided by Σ ECTS
As a reference, the OECD offers a helpful guide, how to relate different international grading system to the GPA (1-4) score system.
What is the minimum GPA I need to have?
There is none. We will take your GPA into consideration in the selection process, but your motivations, creativity, commitment and potential to work in research is valued more highly.
I can´t find any open position in the current call in the area that I want to do my research, what can I do?
The list of open positions only displays all currently available PhD positions and PhD programs. If you can´t find a specific PhD programm on the list, the reason being is that there are currently no open positions available in this open call. You have two options here:
- Wait for the next call and hope a PhD position will open up in the near future.
- Consider a different research field and project for your PhD work and apply for this position in the current call.
I get an error message when entering my GPA
Make sure that you have done your calculation correctly, please note that the grading range must be not higher than 4 and not lower than 1. The decimal number has to be rounded up to a full number.
I don´t have a Webex account, do I need to open one?
It is not necessairy to create a user profile for your Webex interview, simply join the meeting by clicking on the link provided in our application tool
Wo will participate in the interview?
You will meet up with three of our faculty members at the online and personal interview. Your invitation will state who of our faculty members will be participating in the interview process. You can find more information on our faculty and their research work on here on our website.
I have technical difficulties before/during the online interview, what to do?
Don´t panic! What you need to do now is to inform our PhD Coordinator about your technical difficulties by Email and we will arrange a new appointment for you. In the meantime, we advise you to install the Webex app to your computer or mobile phone rather than accessing it trough the web. Try to use different web browers and see if it makes a difference. Ask a friend to help you make a short test-run with you.
Our Help Desk Team is available from Mo-Fri 09am-4pm by phone: +43 (0)1 40160 - 21212 or E-Mail: helpdesk(at)meduniwien.ac. to support you with any technical matters.
Do I need to make special preparations for the interview?
For the online interview, you will most properly don´t have to prepare more than for any other interview. At the first meeting, we would like to get to know you a little better to get an idea what are your talents, visions, expectations and passions. Tell us what you are burning for and why you see for yourself a future in research? Our work drives on diversity and inclusion therefore we welcome people who come from very different paths in life. There is no right or wrong answer. We recommend you to get yourself informed about our research work, institute and programs so that you can decide for yourself which is the most suitable career path for you.
Successful candidates will be invited to campus after the online interview to meet personally with our faculty and their research groups. You will be asked to present your previous work to your peers. However, we will inform you by Email if you need to prep anything special for the interviews in advance. Be assured there will be no surprises.
Who is covering my travel expenses for the interview on campus?
Medical University will cover your travel expenses, when you are invited to a personal interview. We kindly ask you to wait for instructions of our PhD Coordinator before making any travel arrangements. You will be contacted by Email.
I am having technical problems while working on the application. What can I do?
If you are facing continously technical difficulties, please inform our PhD Coordinator of the matter and provide us if possible of a screenshot of the error message so our IT team can try to resolve the issue.
Alternatively, our Help Desk Team is available from Mo-Fri 09am-4pm by phone: +43 (0)1 40160 - 21212 or E-Mail: helpdesk(at)meduniwien.ac. to support you with any technical matters.
I am an international student, can I apply?
You certainly can, we are welcoming applications from diverse backgrounds, experiences and nationalities.
What is the age limit for starting a PhD study?
Medical University of Vienna is an equal opportunity employer thereof there is no age limit. All qualified applicants will be considered for employment without regard to age, race, religion, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, nationality or disability.
I was not successful with my last application, can I apply again?
Yes, it´s possible to apply several times for a PhD program, please submit your new application in a timely matter for the next open call
Who can I contact when I have questions?
Feel free to contact our PhD Coordination by Email if you have any questions about the application process.
I have not yet completed my Master studies yet, can I already apply?
You can already apply to our PhD program, while finishing your Master degree, please mark down your expected completion date in the application.
Do I need to contact a specific group leader with whom I wish to work before applying?
All group leaders participating in the open call will receive your application for their consideration, therefore we kindly ask you to refrain from making contact with them outside of this application process.
I am currently enrolled in a dual Bachelor-Master program. How should I enter it in the application form?
As you have recieved two degrees a the same time with your graduation, please note down the higher degree in the application form.
When will a decision be made about my apllication and how can I check the status of my application?
You can check the status of your application at any given time in our online application tool under the menu "My progress". The final decission will be made within a couple of weeks after each application step.
How can I know the status of my application?
You can check the status of your application at all times in the "My process" section. All parts that have been successfully taken care of will appear with a check mark. Open or pending tasks are marked with a clock. You can also see in this file, what steps still lie ahead of you.
Who can apply for the open positions?
If you fullfil the requirements for a PhD study and are a creative mind that is passionate about research and ready for your next career step, feel free to send us your application. We are looking forward to receiving applications from people from all walks of life. Our science is diverse and so is our community, this is one of our strenghts.
Why am I unable to submit my application?
The program should notify you if you have missed any mandatory fields, but please re-check and make sure all necessary information was provided. Next, please check if your referee have already provided their reference letters. The application can only be finalized when two letters or recommenations have been submitted. If you are still facing troubles, please contact our PhD Coordinator for assistance.
Do you know when positions will be available in certain research areas?
PhD positions can only be created when a group has enough financial means for this post from an accredited science funding agency. Therefore, its impossible for us to predict when new opportunities will open up in a specific area for new PhD candidates.