PhD positions in Population Genetics at The Vienna Graduate School of Population Genetics


Over the past years, Vienna has developed into one of the leading centres of population genetics. The Vienna Graduate School of Population Genetics has been founded to provide a training opportunity for PhD students to build on this excellent on-site expertise.

We invite applications from highly motivated and outstanding students with a love for evolutionary research and a background in one of the following disciplines: evolutionary genetics, functional genetics, theoretical or experimental population genetics, bioinformatics, mathematics, statistics.

Topics include:

  • Mathematical models for the adaptation of complex ecological traits.
  • The evolution of recombination under balancing selection in heterogeneous environments.
  • Historical demography in horses.
  • Sequence diversity in mammalian Y chromosomes.
  • Dissecting the genetic basis of co-selected traits during thermal adaptation in Drosophila simulans.
  • Complex trait dissection in conifers.
  • Genome-wide molecular dating.
  • Efficient detection of variants of polygenic adaptation in Drosophila experimental evolution.

Application procedure

We encourage young, enthusiastic students intrigued by the interdisciplinary nature of the Vienna Graduate School of Population Genetics to apply for the program within the application deadline. Our students show a high level of dedication and activity and integrate into an international team with English as the working language. We welcome candidates with backgrounds in either theoretical, computational or experimental fields such as bioinformatics, biomathematics, statistics, evolutionary genetics, functional genetics, theoretical and experimental population genetics. Applicants with a genuine interest for interdisciplinary research in evolution will be preferred.

Only complete applications will be considered!

Applicants are requested to email the following information as a single pdf document to the program coordinator:

  • application form with indication of two preferred topics
  • CV
  • a motivation letter with a statement of research interests
  • university certificates including grades. Please enclose a copy of your university degree that enables you to pursue a PhD study (diploma, master; credit hours need to be equivalent to 300 ECTS); if you will earn your degree after the deadline: please supply recent transcripts
  • at least two reference letters assessing your scientific qualifications need to be e-mailed directly to us (please contact your referees proactively and use the referee request below as a guideline). Please consider that your referees may need some time to prepare and send their letters within the deadline!

    download referee request

Apply by September 29, 2019

The selected candidates will be invited for an interview with the faculty members.

The interview will consist of three phases:

  1. presentation of one publication selected by the applicant from five publications suggested by the faculty
  2. questions of the faculty to the applicant about the paper and the applicant’s background and motivation
  3. questions of the applicant to the faculty

As the next step in the selection procedure the applicants will have the opportunity to interact with current students of the Vienna Graduate School of Population Genetics. This will take place without the presence of the faculty members and should provide the applicants with further insights into the spirit of the PhD program. Furthermore, the applicants are given the opportunity to interact with the prospective thesis advisor to discuss specific aspects of the project. The final decision is made by the faculty, aiming to recruit the candidates with the highest scientific potential.

Start date for the current call will be January 2020.

Depending on the project, PhD degrees will be awarded either in genetics, mathematics or statistics.

Accepted PhD students will receive a monthly salary based on currently EUR 2.162,40 before tax according to the regulations of the Austrian Science Fund (FWF).


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