Application guidelines for open positions

  • Eligibility criteria & profile
  • How to apply
  • Application Portfolio
  • Selection process
  • Timeline
  • Gender equality, diversity and non-discrimination

If you have any questions or difficulties with the recruitment tool Apply@VDSEE please contact

Eligibility criteria & profile

  • Early-Stage Researchers: VDSEE is open to all early stage researchers of any nationality with a Master’s degree or equivalent and who have not been awarded a doctoral degree.
  • The applicant needs to hold a Master degree or equivalent in the field of the open position or in another relevant discipline entitling the researcher to embark on a doctorate. The degree certificate must be available before being accepted into the doctoral program.
  • The VDSEE program language is English; therefore, written and oral English proficiency is expected and essential (at least B2 level).

  We expect from all applicants 

  • interest and experience in the research field of the open position(s) and strong interest in scientific work
  • high level of motivation to complete his/her PhD studies within three years
  • strong interest to publish in peer-reviewed journals (cumulative dissertation)
  • good analytical and/or lab skills needed in the field of the announced position is an asset
  • collaborative attitude & teamwork
  • good communication skills in English

How to apply?

Only online submission via the Recruiting Tool Apply@VDSEE of the Vienna Doctoral School of Ecology and Evolution are accepted.

Applications received by mail or other means, applications that do not meet the formal criteria and unsolicited applications will not be considered.

IMPORTANT! To apply via Apply@VDSEE, you first have to register at the University of Vienna and open an u:account. With your u:account user ID you can apply through this platform.

Recommendation: do not deactivate "Don't notify me" after you submitted your application. In case you do so, you will not receive any update on your application status.

Application Portfolio

Single PDF document in English (file name: "application_NAME.pdf") (A4 format, font size 11 pt., minimum margins 2 cm) composed of:


  • Motivation letter: summary of your motivations, qualifications & skills, previous research conducted (max. 1 page).
  • Abstract of your Master thesis: this abstract must be identical to the one included in this online application form below (max. 2000 characters).
  • Curriculum vitae (CV): incl. educational and academic degrees, technical proficiency, projects you have been/are scientifically involved, list of publications, presentations at congresses and awards (preferable Europass format, max. 3 pages).
  • Transcripts and certificates of BSc and MSc degree.

If applicable/optional:

  • Confirmation letter: The Master certificate must be available before admission to the doctoral programme. If the Master's thesis has not yet been completed, a letter of confirmation from your supervisor is required, stating the date on which the Master degree is obtained at the latest.
  • English proficiency certificate (optional): e.g. TOEFL, IELTS, Cambridge Certificate, etc.  certificates in German or in certified English translation in addition to their original language. Self-translated transcripts of your certificates will not be recognized.

Selection process

Based on academic performance, research experience and motivation to apply for the VDSEE programme, our selection committee will assess the quality of your application. The first selection round will therefore be conducted solely on the basis of the submitted documents. This stage of the selection process is completed within four weeks of the application deadline.

The selected candidates will be invited to online and/or in-person interviews. Details about the interview procedure will be communicated to the candidates.

Successful candidates will be notified approximately two weeks after the interview and are expected to accept their position within two weeks of notification.

Ideally, the selected PhD candidates should start their PhD studies within three months after the final decision. However, exceptions are made under certain circumstances (e.g. visa problems).

Please note: In order to be admitted as a PhD-student at the University of Vienna, a separate application is required (to be done when starting your PhD). Full diplomatic certification and/or translation of your documents might be requested. 

VDSEE values diversity and encourages applications from all qualified candidates.


The selection procedure is expected to last about 6-12 weeks after deadline, but may last longer dependent on the number of applications.

  • Application closes: earliest 21 days after opening date
  • Pre-selection meeting: approximately four weeks after submission deadline
  • Interview: within two weeks after the pre-selection meeting
  • Final selection meeting: within one week after the last interview
  • Offers sent out: about one week after the final selection meeting
  • Offer needs to be accepted: within two weeks
  • Start of the position: to be expected within three months after the date of final decision*

* dependent on VISA obligations and procedures, the period until start may be extented.

Gender equality, diversity and non-discrimination

© Manuel Lavoriero

The University pursues a non-discriminatory employment policy and values equal opportunities, as well as diversity ( The University lays special emphasis on increasing the number of women in senior and in academic positions. Given equal qualifications, preference will be given to female applicants.

The University of Vienna has an institutionalised gender equality policy and within this framework VDSEE strives to strengthen the career development of female scientists at all qualifications levels and to support compatibility between family and work/training.

The Gender Equality and Diversity unit of the University of Vienna provides services which, based on the issue of gender equality, aim at ensuring equal opportunities for all university members.