If you need assistance or more information to complete your application, please read below the most frequently asked questions (FAQs) we receive.

If you have any questions that are not answered here, please contact our ISS Team (email). To be able to assist you most efficiently, we kindly ask you to always include your name, as you wrote it in the application, when you contact us.


What is the deadline for applying to the ISS?

The ISS 2023 will take place on 17 July -  25 August in Mainz. The deadlines and requirements for application will be published soon. Application will open soon.

Who can apply to the ISS?

We encourage applications from outstanding and enthusiastic undergraduate & Master's students who have been studying a life sciences subject at university for at least three years by the time of the ISS. Unfortunately, if you have already received a PhD or MD degree you are not eligible to apply.

Which nationalities are accepted for the ISS?

The ISS is an international programme and applications are encouraged from students from all over the world. However, due to funding restrictions, German students or students studying in Germany during the time of the ISS are not eligible for consideration.

Do I have to be currently enrolled as a student to apply for the ISS?

No, this is not a requirement. The ISS is aimed at junior researchers who are between their last year of undergraduate study and the start of their PhD, and many participants take part in the ISS between their studies. If you are not currently enrolled as a student, you should have graduated recently.

How much does it cost?

There is no participation fee. Costs for your accommodation, the social programme organized by ISS and training activities are covered. We will also reimburse your travel costs up to the fixed rate provided by the DAAD as travel allowances. You will have to pay for your visa and any other living expenses, such as food and drink and local travel (if required), during your stay.

Where will I be staying?

All ISS participants are offered free accommodation throughout the course. This will be within walking distance of your lab and will be well connected to the centre of Mainz (see Working & Living in Mainz).

What is the success rate for applications to the ISS?

The success rate for applications is approximately 5%.

Is there an age limit?

There is no age limit to enter the ISS.

What is the working language of the ISS?

The official working language of the ISS and participating labs is English. 

Do I need to provide a certificate of my English abilities?

No, this is not a requirement. However, all activities throughout the ISS programme are carried out in English, so it is important that you are able to communicate in this language. We might check your English proficiency via Skype interviews a bit further into the application process if it seems necessary.

I am a Master’s student. Do I have to provide a transcript from my previous degrees?

Yes, please submit your current transcript, as well as your diploma(s) and latest transcript(s) from your previous degrees in one PDF file.

What do the registration and application forms look like?

You can find an example of the registration and application forms here.

Will I receive confirmation after registering online?

Yes. Once you have submitted your registration, you will receive an email with a personalised link to the application form.

Will I receive confirmation after applying?

You will receive an automated confirmation email after submitting your application online. If you do not receive a confirmation email upon completing the form, please remember to check in your spam folder.

When will I know whether my application has been successful?

The final outcome of the ISS applications is usually known within 6 - 8 weeks of the application deadline.

How many reference letters do I need to support my application?

You need at least two reference letters to support your application. Please ensure that we receive the reference letters by the application deadline.

Who can act as a referee?

Please choose referees who are able to judge your scientific knowledge and skills. This can be e.g. university teachers or supervisors from previous research positions. Please ask your referee(s) in advance whether they are willing to write a reference letter, since referees cannot be changed after registration.

How much time do the referees have to upload their reference letters?

Referees can upload their letters via the link provided until the application deadline.

My referee has not received an email with the link and the request to submit the reference letter for me. What should I do?

Please contact your referee to check if perhaps her/his spam filter has blocked our email. If this is not the case, please contact the ISS Coordinator.

Can I make changes to my application after submitting it?

It is possible to save your application and complete it at a later time point. However, you cannot make changes after submitting your application. We advise that you include all the necessary documents and information before submitting the online application.

If my application is unsuccessful, can I apply again for future ISS calls?

Yes, you are welcome to apply again. However, please note that our system will not save your application, so you will have to fill out the application form again.  

Are there lab rotations during the ISS?

No, for your research project you will be in the same lab for the duration of the summer school. You can specify your preferred lab projects during the application process.  

If you have any questions that are not answered here, please contact our ISS Coordinator (email).