VDS Physics Application Procedure


Pre-selectionBeginning of December, March, June and September

Possible hearings

Mid January, April, July and October

The cut off-date for the hearing in autumn 2019 is August 1st, 11.59 p.m. (CET). When your application arrived after this time you will be considered for the first hearing in 2020.

Next hearings

14 & 15 January 2019
11 & 12 April 2019
1 & 2 July 2019
30 Sept. & 1 Oct. 2019


How to apply?

The VDS Physics opens calls for doctoral fellowships throughout the year. The hearings are scheduled for Mid-January, April, July and October. 

All application material should be submitted electronically via our online application system. Admission to the VDS Physics is competitive and we can not consider incomplete applications. Please also make sure to read about the research groups and their projects before applying, to be sure you find the right target group.

Pre-selected candidates will be invited to a hearing in Vienna. Their travel expenses will be reimbursed within reason (eco flights etc.) and we provide your accommodation.


Admission to the VDS program is a three-stage process: 


1) Online application

Candidates are invited to provide their application documents via the online submission system. They are requested to inform their academic teachers of advisors that they need to upload their recommendations via this link. These recommendations will be treated confidentially and they will not be shared with the applicants.

All candidates will be notified of the decision of the pre-selection committee. 


2) Hearing in Vienna

Short-listed candidates will be invited to a two-day hearing in Vienna. The candidates will be asked to give short presentations and to participate in interviews with the selection committee. The candidates will have the opportunity to visit the VDS Physics research groups, inform themselves about the research projects, meet their potential supervisors and fellow students.

Selection in this second stage is based on academic achievements, scientific promise and research personality as well as the commitment to actively contribute to the community building goals of the VDS. The University of Vienna is an equal opportunity employer. Doctoral candidates will be considered independent of gender, race, religion or nationality.
The short-listed candidates will be notified of the final decision of the selection committee shortly after the hearing and can start their PhD any time of the year, upon agreement with their supervisor.
Acceptance to the Doctoral school of Physics terminates after about one year, unless it is extended by step 3.


3) Faculty-open presentation of the research project

All doctoral students at the University of Vienna must present their research project in front of the faculty, before the end of the first year of their PhD studies. There are two such presentation days, one each around the end of the winter and the summer term (see here). 

Already, after the 2nd stage VDS students become full members in the VDS program and will be listed as doctoral fellows of the University of Vienna to recognize that they have passed a competitive selection procedure.


  • Applications are generally only considered once per candidate. Re-applications will only be considered if evidence for substantial additional qualifications (compared to the last selection procedure) can be provided.
  • VDS students and fellows are employed according to local Austrian rules, usually through funds provided by their thesis supervisors. All VDS students and fellows are encouraged to work towards completing the PhD degree within the 1+3 years.
  • Students accepted to the VDS need to follow the enrollment procedures for all doctoral students at the University of Vienna.