The Institute of Science and Technology Austria - ISTA is looking for highly qualified candidates with Bachelor’s or Master’s degrees to apply for the PhD program. We offer fully-funded PhD positions in Astronomy, Biology, Computer Science, Chemistry & Materials, Data Science & Scientific Computing, Earth Science, Mathematics, Neuroscience, and Physics, in a world-class research environment on the outskirts of Vienna.

In 2019, ISTA was ranked #3 in the world-wide Nature Index ranking (normalized). In 2018, ISTA was ranked within the top ten of Nature Index Rising Stars “Top 30 academic institutions under 30” list.

All students are offered 5-year contracts, they receive internationally competitive salaries, and full social security coverage. There is also financial support for students for attending scientific conferences and workshops.

The application deadline is January 8, 2024 for a PhD start date in September 2024.

Apply now:


• International and Diverse Scientific Community

Our scientists, from professors to postdocs to students, hail from all corners of the world, representing over 80 different nationalities, and building on research and degrees earned from the finest global scientific institutes and universities.

• English-Speaking

We use English throughout the institute as the language of instruction and communication.

• Interdisciplinary

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

• Cutting-edge Research Training

Students work closely with outstanding faculty within small research groups and have access to first-rate facilities. Students spend the first year completing coursework and rotations before affiliating with a group.

This first phase of exploration allows students to be sure that the research topic, as well as the research group, are the best match for them before they embark on in-depth thesis research in the second phase.

• Entry with a Bachelor's or Master's Degree

We welcome students with a bachelor’s or a master’s in science to apply for our PhD program.

• Funding

In all fields of research, funding is a very important topic. ISTA relies on diverse funding sources to support all its researchers. The Grant Office is there to support ISTA scientists who would like to apply for external funding.

All PhD students are offered 5-year contracts. All students making reasonable progress are fully funded until the time of their thesis defense.

Students also receive financial support to attend scientific conferences and workshops during their studies.

• Careers

Our distinguished alumni have gone on to successful careers after their PhD studies at ISTA.

PhD students receive support through our mentorship and career development programs which focus on training in transferable skills for academia and beyond. Throughout their studies, PhD students are supported by Career Services, which provides career development advice and training.

There are also regular talks organized by the XISTA Innovation, which aim to support researchers in the commercial development and use of their research results.



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

Students with a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in Astronomy, Biology, Computer Science, Chemistry & Materials, Data Science & Scientific Computing, Earth Science, Mathematics, Neuroscience, and Physics are encouraged to apply.


ISTA processes applications for its PhD program once a year. To apply, you have to create an online account, which will allow you to track your application through its various stages.



We ask you to upload the following documents to the application portal:

• CV

• Statement of purpose that explains your research experience and your motivation for applying to the ISTA PhD program. It should be 1-2 pages maximum. In your statement, specify up to three research groups you find the most interesting. At this stage you do not need to contact potential supervisors.

• University transcripts and diplomas of all degree programs and all years you have attended and/or are currently enrolled in (in English and in original language)

• Contact information of 3 referees

All documents have to be submitted in English and copies of university transcripts also in their original language.


Apply at:

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