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How to apply (for the efficient student)

Dear candidate!

We kindly ask you to follow our “how-to apply” guide thoroughly. Please take your time, but do not postpone the preparation of your application until the day before the deadline (what if your connection fails at those critical 5 minutes before the call is closed?); if in doubt, feel free to contact us at any time via dp@docc.eu.

Your DP DOCC Management Team


If, by the end of the deadline, your application is not complete, it will be refused! (Only exception: Contact us before the end of the deadline to inform us about a plausible reason hindering you from completing the application, then the DP DOCC Management team might decide to provide an additional respite!)

1. Make up your mind!

Even before investing time to prepare your application, make up your mind regarding two essential questions:

  1. Are you willing to relocate on short notice (we intend to start your training as soon as possible after a successful application) and spend 3 years in Innsbruck, Austria?

    At that point you should gather information about country and town and review the impact studying abroad will have on your private life and plans for the future.

  2. Are you willing to work hard for these three years that the DP DOCC programme has to offer?

    Of course, the DP DOCC (management) team and your future supervisor will do their best to support you but, you will have to show real dedication!

Iff you can answer these questions in the affirmative, proceed to:

2. Check your formal eligibility!

The DP DOCC programme targets mobile early-stage researchers from abroad, entitled to start PhD studies. Hence you have to meet and prove upon request three criteria listed below:

ESR eligibility criterion

Early-stage researchers (ESR) shall, at the call deadline, be in the first four years (full-time equivalent research experience) of their research careers and have not been awarded a doctoral degree. Full-time equivalent research experience is measured from the date when a researcher obtained the degree which would formally entitle him or her to embark on a doctorate, either in the country in which the degree was obtained or in the country in which the researcher is recruited or seconded, irrespective of whether or not a doctorate is or was ever envisaged.

MSCA mobility criterion

Applicants may have not resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in Austria for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately before the call deadline.

PhD study qualification criterion

Applicants must be in possession of a master degree or equivalent degree (corresponding to at least 120 ECTS points and including a master thesis) in a relevant field: atmospheric sciences, engineering science, computer science, physics, chemistry, mathematics. (For specific requirements on each topic please see the list of thesis topics).

Iff you meet these requirements, proceed to:

3. Prepare your application!

This will be the most time consuming part of your application procedure and we kindly ask you to pay close attention to the instructions and hints listed below!

Read it once as a whole, then follow our recommendations paragraph by paragraph and do not skip a single line!

If, by the end of the deadline, your application is not complete, it will be refused! (Only exception: Contact us before the end of the deadline to inform us about a plausible reason hindering you from completing the application, then the DP DOCC Management team might decide to provide an additional respite!)

Select a supervisor/field of study that will fit your qualifications and interests

All supervisors currently looking for early-stage researchers to train are listed at the “Recruiting Supervisors” section of the list of supervisors. There you will find a list of proposed thesis topics at each supervisor’s section. A complete list of open, proposed topics can be found at the "Thesis topic" site.

Go through these lists, find out if there is a match between your interests, qualifications and the field of study a supervisor offers. If so, investigate further, study the description linked with each thesis topic offered, check if you meet the requirements and maybe you even want to visit the linked homepage of the supervisor’s group, have a look at his/her recent papers or contact him/her for details.

As soon as you have decided for which position(s) to apply (yes, you can apply to any number of positions you feel confident about and meet the requirements) continue:

Compose your Motivation Letter (required application document #1)

Unsurprisingly, we expect you to motivate your application, an application which should specifically target the DP DOCC programme at the Universität Innsbruck!

Your motivation letter has to depict your research interests and clearly state the desired research topic(s) and intended supervisor(s). If a proposal from the list of published thesis topics is chosen, please use the three-letters-one-number abbreviations provided there.

Just in case you intend to submit an own proposal …

In case that an own project (different from the suggested topics) is proposed by the applicant, the supervisor representing this research field has to be contacted in advance and asked for a letter in support of the project (see the list of supervisors). An Ethics Assessment Form will have to be completed by all applicants who propose own research topics, please contact apply@docc.eu for details.

Update your CV (required application document #2)

Make sure that your CV includes a list of previous scientific expertise, skills, and publications (if applicable).

In case you wonder how to optimize your CV and motivation letter, consider a close look at the evaluation criteria by which our expert reviewers will grade your application – see our application procedure.

Name 2 academic reference persons & motivate them to send support letters to us (required application documents #3 & #4)

Please append a list of two academic reference persons who are willing to provide you a letter of recommendation. State their names and affiliations (e.g. University and Institute) to us and ask them to provide us these letters via email to apply@docc.eu before the application deadline. As soon as we receive their letters, we will inform you so that you can rest assured.

Proof your fluent English (required application document #5)

A proof of fluency in English at minimum B2 level (Upper Intermediate English; e.g. studies in English or an internationally accepted certificate) is needed.

Include your MSc thesis (or equivalent, required application document #6)

MSc thesis (or equivalent), as submitted to the applicants university. If the thesis has not been written in English, provide the thesis in the original language in any case, and in addition an English translation of the abstract.

Transcripts & Diploma (required application documents #7, 8, 9, 10; at least)

Scanned copies of transcripts of records for BSc and the Master (or equivalent degree) including the diplomas.(Only documents proofing the conclusion of the studies will be accepted. Intermediate certificates or confirmations, temporary transcripts etc. are accepted only if these include all information also provided by the final documents).

Please check our Guideline to Translation and Authentication: Documents will also have to be provided in the original before acquiring a job and study contract.

Note that you do not need all authentications done when applying. At the very least we need the transcripts and diplomas, properly translated to English, as to accept your application. Nevertheless, keep in mind that the authentication process can be time consuming: In case of a successful application all authentication must be provided bevor acquiring a job and study contract!

4. Submit your application successfully!

  1. The complete set of "Requested application documents", listed above, must be submitted before the call deadline.
  2. All documents have to be compiled into one (!) PDF file:
    1.  Minimum PDF version: 1.4
    2.  Maximum file-size: 19 MB (grayscale suffices, text must be readable)
    3.  Name the PDF as within the parenthesis: "LastName_FirstName_application_dpdocc.pdf"
  3. Send the PDF file as an email-attachment to apply@docc.eu:
    1.  Compose the subject line as within the parenthesis: "Application DP DOCC"
    2.  Use the text of your letter of motivation as text for the email-body
    3.  Provide contact information (email, telephone, postal address) within the e-mail body

We will then acknowledge the receipt of your application and keep you informed on the progress of your application process in due time. For details on the application process (all formal requirements repeated) and the subsequent stages of grading and selection, see the application site on formalities.

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