Funded PhD Positions at the Institute of Science and Technology Austria (IST Austria)


The Institute of Science and Technology Austria (IST Austria) is looking for highly qualified candidates with bachelor’s or master’s degrees to apply for the IST Austria PhD program. We offer fully-funded PhD positions in biology, neuroscience, mathematics, computer science, physics, and data science, in a world-class research environment on the outskirts of Vienna.

The goal of the IST Austria PhD program is to produce intellectually broad, curious, open-minded scientists who are able to approach problems from different angles and can collaborate with diverse types of scientists. To this end, our students complete an innovative interdisciplinary training program consisting of both research and taught elements, and receive close mentoring by world-class faculty from different disciplines. All students whose broad research interests align with those of our faculty are eligible to join the ISTScholar PhD program. Selection of the thesis supervisor occurs at the end of the first year.

In the first year, students complete coursework and rotations in three different research groups. After selecting a thesis supervisor and passing the qualifying examination, students work on their thesis research, attend international conferences and colloquia, and receive training in teaching and other transferable skills. Research groups are deliberately kept small to ensure close supervision, and all students are mentored by several faculty members who make up their thesis committee.

The program is designed for students to complete their studies in 4-5 years. All students making reasonable progress are fully funded until the time of their thesis defense.


We offer fully-funded PhD positions in the natural and mathematical sciences in a world-class research environment on the outskirts of Vienna. For more information about our PhD program, please visit the PhD Program Overview page.


Students with a bachelor’s or master’s degree in biology, neuroscience, mathematics, computer science, physics, and related areas are encouraged to apply. We offer internationally competitive salaries, full health benefits, and subsidized on-campus housing in the first year.


  • Biochemistry
  • Biophysics
  • Cell and Developmental Biology
  • Evolutionary Biology
  • Genetics and Genomics
  • Quantitative Biology
  • Structural Biology
  • Systems Biology


  • Inorganic Chemistry

Computer Science

  • Algorithms and Complexity
  • Cryptography and Security
  • Formal Methods and Programming Languages
  • Machine Learning and Computer Vision
  • Scientific Computing and Computer Graphics
  • Software, Distributed, and Embedded Systems

Data Science & Scientific Computing

  • Bioinformatics
  • Modeling
  • Numerical Simulation
  • Statistics
  • Topological Data Analysis


  • Algebra / Representation Theory
  • Analysis and Differential Equations
  • Discrete Mathematics
  • Geometry / Topology
  • Mathematical Biology
  • Mathematical Physics
  • Number Theory
  • Probability Theory


  • Cellular Neuroscience
  • Computational / Theoretical Neuroscience
  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Molecular Neuroscience
  • Structural Neuroscience
  • Systems Neuroscience
  • Translational Neuroscience


  • Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics
  • Biophysics
  • Complex Systems
  • Fluid Dynamics / Turbulence
  • Material Science
  • Mathematical Physics
  • Nanotechnology
  • Optical Imaging
  • Quantum Physics
  • Soft Matter
  • Solid State Physics
  • Statistical Physics

IST Austria processes applications to its PhD program once a year. The application portal is available from this link. To apply, you have to create an online account, which will allow you to track your application through its various stages. We do not accept applications and documents received outside of this system.

The deadline for PhD applications is January 8, 2020 (23:59 CET), for a start in September 2020. Reference letters should be submitted by January 12, 2020, 23:59 CET.


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