• Fully-funded PhD

  • Interdisciplinary program

  • Cutting-edge research

  • Bachelor’s and Master’s students eligible to apply

  • English-taught program and English-speaking campus

  • International community

  • Modern facilities

  • Support and development services

One of the hallmarks of the IST Austria PhD program is the shared graduate school experience.

Our aim is to train broad-minded scientists who perform cutting-edge, curiosity-driven research. An initial stage of exploration encourages broad exposure to important scientific approaches and problems. This allows students to lay a solid foundation for intensive research in the second phase of the PhD program.


Financial support for PhD students and interns is a key priority for IST Austria.

PhD students are employed by IST Austria and receive internationally competitive salaries and full social security coverage. Interns also receive a monthly compensation and health insurance.

IST Austria does not charge any tuition fees. No application fee is required to apply to our PhD and internship programs.

More about Funding.


Our Graduate Program is characterized by modern comprehensive training with a special focus on interdisciplinarity.

There are six tracks of PhD study:

What is special about the IST Austria PhD curriculum is its flexibility—students come in with different goals and are able to shape their own educational and research trajectories. Some students come to IST Austria looking to explore, others have a clear idea of where they want to go. Our program accommodates both.

Listen to what students say about the PhD program at IST Austria.

In case you cannot access YouTube, this video is also available here.

Cutting-edge research

Students work closely with outstanding faculty within small research groups, and have access to first-rate facilities.

In 2019, IST Austria was ranked #3 in the world-wide Nature Index ranking (normalized). In 2018, IST Austria was ranked within the top ten of Nature Index Rising Stars “Top 30 academic institutions under 30” list and was featured in this article in Nature Index. For more details, browse our Nature Index research profile. We also have the highest ERC Grant success rate (at 48%), and our faculty are the recipients of distinguished honors.

You can see the full list of student publications in the IST Austria Research Explorer database.

Research groups

More about our PhD Program.

Entry with a Bachelor’s or Master’s Degree

IST Austria welcomes students with different academic backgrounds who can bring their skills and experiences to the scientific setting.

We welcome applicants holding (or expecting to hold before enrollment) a Bachelor’s or a Master’s degree in biologyneurosciencemathematicscomputer sciencephysics, and related areas.

More about application requirements for our PhD program.

International English-Speaking Environment

IST Austria has a diverse and international student population coming from over 50 countries. The institute brings together scientists and staff from 72 different countries.

The working language of IST Austria is English.

More about IST Austria.

“Students are the lifeline of science.” Listen to what Prof. Daria Siekhaus has to say about the importance of students at IST Austria.

State-of-the-Art Facilities

No matter what your field of study, you will have access to cutting-edge equipment to perform research at an internationally competitive level. From bioimaging and electron microscopy to nanofabrication and high performance computing: centralized scientific services support cutting-edge research. 

Support and Career Development Services

IST Austria’s faculty and administration can provide information, advice and support throughout your studies. Academic support services include guidance from study track representatives, mentors, and the Graduate School Office. With regular career talks, skills training sessions, as well as visits from industry leaders, graduate training and career development programs prepare scientists for their next steps—in academia, industry, and beyond.


The Institute is only a 25-minute bus ride from Vienna, which is consistently voted one of the best cities in the world to live in. Our students have the choice of living in Klosterneuburg, a quiet area surrounded by beautiful woods, or right in the hustle and bustle of Vienna. We also have a number of housing options on campus.



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