Take part in the MENTOR PhD program

MENTOR is a novel Austrian PhD program dedicated to uncover molecular mechanisms of plant resilience.

The Doctoral Program “MENTOR”, funded by the Austrian Science Fund, brings together some of Vienna's leading plant biology researchers to provide a stimulating and state-of-the-art training environment. It is hosted by the University of Vienna in cooperation with the Gregor Mendel Institute (GMI of the Austrian Academy of Sciences), the Austrian Institute of Technology (AIT), and the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences (BOKU).

We are looking for highly motivated applicants that would like to work on their PhD in the fields of plant stress biology focusing on post-translational protein modifications.

Eligibility criteria & profile

Eligibility criteria

  • Early-Stage Researchers: MENTOR 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.
    Parental leave, nursing care of family members, military service or other specific circumstances and constrictive exemptions from the five years rule have to be proven by the applicant.
  • 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, or be proven by a supervisor’s statement that the Master degree will be obtained within four months after submission deadline.
  • The MENTOR 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?

Please send an email containing your application to: vera.dellmour@univie.ac.at

Please make sure to include your mandatory Application Portfolio as described below.

MENTOR values diversity and encourages applications from all qualified candidates.

Application Portfolio

In your application submit the following mandatory Application Portfolio in English as a single PDF document and composed of:

  1. A motivation letter explaining why you apply to MENTOR, addressing your qualifications and summarising your previous research experiences.  (max. 1 page).
  2. Abstract of your Master thesis (max. 2000 characters).
  3. Curriculum vitae (CV) indicating your educational path with time line and academic degrees, addressing your technical proficiency, past/ongoing projects you were scientifically involved along with your publication list, presentations at congresses and awards if applicable (preferable Europass format).
  4. Transcript of records of your MSc curriculum and copies of Bachelor and Master Diploma: certificates in German or in certified English translation in addition to their original language. Self-translated transcripts of your certificates will not be recognized.

Please add additional documents if the following points apply:

  • Confirmation letter: in case the Master thesis is not completed yet, a confirmation letter of your supervisor is required stating that MSc thesis will be defended at least four months after the submission deadline.
  • Please be aware that English is the prevailing programme language. If available, please provide relevant document(s) of proficiency in English, e.g. TOEFL, IELTS, Cambridge Certificate, School leaving certificate with English as graduation subject.

Selection process

Step 1 - Written online application

Submit your written application during our Internationally Advertised Calls following the guidelines.
All written applications will be screened by a large Panel of Faculty Members.
This stage of the selection process is to be completed within four weeks after the application deadline. The selection committee selects candidates for interviews based on the criteria outlined above.(400 spots)

Step 2 - Interview days

If you get invited to our interview days (via Zoom), you will be asked to prepare a short summary talk (max. 10 min) of your Master thesis and you need to prepare answers to two scientific questions you can choose from 3-4 given (max. 10 min). Additionally, you will also be asked to prepare a short statement of you research interests and the group(s) you are applying for. The interviews will be carried out by a panel of 3 MENTOR PIs. (30-40 spots)

Step 3 - Matchmaking day

After completing these interviews the successful candidates meet with faculty members (mostly via zoom) to find a match between your research interests and the available positions in each lab. At this point the candidate and the PI will agree on the final project project.

All successful candidates are notified approx. two weeks after the interview, and expected to accept their position within two weeks of their notification. Ideally, the selected PhD candidates should start their PhD studies within three months after the final decision has been made. However, under certain circumstances (e.g. visa issues) – exceptions are made.


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

  • Application opens:  now
  • Application closes: 27.09.2021
  • Pre-selection meeting: approximately four weeks after submission deadline
  • Student interview days: 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 need 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

© Manuel Lavoriero

Gender equality, diversity and non-discrimination


The University pursues a non-discriminatory employment policy and values equal opportunities, as well as diversity (http://diversity.univie.ac.at/). 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.