We are very pleased and honored that you are considering applying for admission to the PhD Program Molecular, Cellular and Clinical Allergology, MCCA, at the Medical University of Vienna and the Veterinary University of Vienna.

PhD-students will be admitted to the MCCA program on the basis of excellence and dedication for science as documented by their application files and the personal interview on-site (for short-listed applicants). In principle, the MCCA program strives at a balanced split between national and international, female and male students, however, the overall quality of the applicants will decide on the admissions. Candidates will be considered for the admission process (invitation, interview, presentation, etc.) on the basis of their application and following formal criteria.

Formal eligibility criteria:

  • Hold a master of science (MSc) or equivalent university degree (final degree) in a subject-relevant or -related diploma study, e.g. biological sciences, chemistry, medicine or a related discipline at the point of enrollment (the degree needs to be obtained at the latest before enrollment in the MCCA program) and fulfill the admission criteria for PhD-students of the MUV as documented by transcript and degree certificate.
  • Have a fluent command of English (written and spoken) and, unless they are native speakers, should document their proficiency in English (TOEFL test, GRE test, or similar). The knowledge of the German language is not required, however, interested international students will be offered opportunities to take German language courses
  • Provide a motivation letter explaining their commitment to science
  • Provide a detailed curriculum vitae including scholarships, prizes, awards and high school degree transcripts (incl. presentations at meetings/publications if already applicable at this early stage of the career)
  • Provide synopses of diploma- and bachelor-theses
  • Provide two to three letters of recommendation
  • Have strong communication skills as well as the ability and the ambition to work in a team in an international environment
  • Have the willingness to work on a flexible time schedule if required by the project
  • Express their strong interest for two to three projects (Faculty members) they would like to work on (with)
  • Be no older than 26-28 years of age to ensure a successful research career after completion of the PhD (the personal vita of the individual candidate will be taken into account, e.g. maternity leave, compulsory community or military service, other personal reasons).

Criteria for obtaining a PhD-degree within the MCCA PhD program:
PhD-students have to achieve the following aims to be eligible for obtaining a PhD-degree:

  • performed three (four) years of research on a scientific project
  • taken lectures, seminars, and courses in accordance with MUV regulations (3-track system, i.e., 50% in the own track plus 25% in each of the complementary tracks, respectively)
  • attended compulsory scientific-medical propedeutics courses and courses to obtain additional qualifications
  • presented annual progress reports to the Thesis Committee
  • participated actively in national and international meetings (2 plus 2 in three year period)
  • written either two first author papers or, alternatively, one first author paper plus one review, all in peer-reviewed scientific journals.
  • written and approved thesis
  • positively defended thesis in front of the Thesis Committee

Required Application Materials:
Required materials for all applicants include (please refer also to application form):

  • Motivation letter explaining the applicant’s commitment to science
  • Resume/CV showing the applicant’s excellence and dedication to science including a list of scholarships, prizes, awards and additional important achievements
  • Transcripts (complete list, not selected courses) including all undergraduate level certificates and confirmation of university degrees. All documents, which are not in German must be either in English or accompanied by a certified English translation
  • A publication list, itemizing publications and presentations (oral or poster presentations) at scientific meetings and conferences
  • A synopsis of the diploma and bachelor thesis (if applicable)
  • Current letters of recommendation along with the e-mail addresses of 2-3 referees
  • Proof of adequate knowledge of English as demonstrated by standardized test scores in TOEFL tests, GRE tests, or similar)
  • Expression of interest for at least 2 laboratories (faculty members and projects) within the MCCA program along with information explaining how this choice was made
  • A detailed description of your work and research experience
  • Plus additional material as requested in the application forms

Once we have received all required application materials the review and evaluation of your application will start. Please note, that only complete applications can be further considered for the admission process. It is your responsibility to make sure that all required material arrives at the MCCA office in time. All documents should be sent in electronic form.

Please send your applications to:

MCCA PhD Program
att Mag. Metka Luckmann-Wagner

E: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The applicants are advised to carefully read the 'General overview about the PhD Program' extlink at the Medical University of Vienna
as well as the 'Admission' criteria extlink of the Medical University of Vienna.
It is the applicant’s responsibility to clarify, whether all formal criteria to enter a PhD study at the Medical University of Vienna will be met.

For further direct information on the formal eligibility criteria for PhD Studies at the Medical University of Vienna please contact:

Mag. Dieter Breitenbaum
Vesna Dominkovic, Bacc.phil. 

Medical University of Vienna
PhD Student Affairs  
Währinger Straße 25a, 1090 Vienna, Austria
Phone: +43 1 40160 21029 or 21030 
E-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Office Hours:
Mon, Wed, Fri: 09:00 - 12:00
Tue: 13:00 - 15:00
Thu: 14:00 - 17:00

Visa information:
Candidates hailing from non EU countries need to take into consideration that a visa for Austria will be required for attending the hearing in Vienna. In some instances this may be a lengthy procedure. Make sure to get all necessary information as you are applying. (Please also refer to the link 'Visa information regarding Austria' under ' Useful links ').

Letters of recommendation:
At least two letters of recommendation from persons qualified to describe and evaluate the applicant’s professional, academic and personal qualifications are required. Applicants are advised to solicit only recommendations from individuals who are familiar with their academic achievements and who can judge the applicant’s potential for success in the research areas relevant to the MCCA-PhD program. Please be aware of the fact that applications lacking the appropriate number of letters of recommendation cannot be processed further. Letters of recommendation can either be submitted by the applicant along with the application or can be sent separately by the recommender/referee. In the latter case, it is the responsibility of the applicant to make sure that recommenders/referees submit their letters to MCCA by the deadline indicated.

Selection procedure and criteria for PhD students:
Initially, a technical check regarding the fulfillment of all formal criteria will be performed by the Administrator in direct consultation with the Speaker. Should the technical evaluation reveal flaws or missing items candidates will be contacted by the Administrator and asked to complete their applications in due time. Applications still not fulfilling the formal criteria after this cross-check will be excluded from further evaluations. 
If eligible according to the above minimal criteria, applications will be ranked by the Admission Committee (all Faculty Members) according to a detailed and highly formalized scoring-process, evaluating academic credentials, personal traits, career objectives and the applicants ability to contribute to the further development of the art:

  • Commitment to a further career in biomedical sciences (curriculum vitae and based on previous research activities and letters of reference)
  • Experience, knowledge and excellence (performance during high-school, undergraduate and graduate studies, publications/presentations, honors and awards if applicable).
  • Written communication skills (motivation letter)
  • Extracurricular activities (demonstrating social competence including community service and unique accomplishments)

Moreover, the applications will be stratified according to their appropriateness for the doctoral program. The following questions will be asked:

  • Are skills, interests and background of the individual applicant compatible with MCCA’s goals and the goals of its Faculty members?
  • Does the applicant’s personality fit within the framework of MCCA and its members?
  • Would hiring of the applicant comply with gender mainstreaming rules and help fulfill a high international student quota?

The cumulative score assigned to each individual applicant will be entered into a ranking-list including all applicants. Only those applicants with the highest scores will be short listed and invited for a formal interview.

PhD-Student’s benefits:

  • Applicants admitted to the MCCA-PhD program are eligible to receive financial compensation for their daily work according to the rules and regulations of the Austrian Science Fund FWF extlink  and in compliance with the rules and regulations of the hosting universities for up-to three years (with distinct options for prolongation). Moreover, they will receive full social security coverage.
  • The work on the individual projects will be supervised on a daily basis by the Faculty Member responsible for the project. Additional support will come from Faculty Member’s more senior lab members. MCCA-specific supervision will be further ensured by the monthly progress reports with 2-3 PhD students presenting at a time. This schedule shall ensure that each PhD-Student will present at least twice a year.
  • Moreover, an individual Thesis Committee will be formed for each individual PhD-Student within MCCA. The committees will be composed of the actual supervisor, i.e. the Faculty member who has conceived the scientific idea for the research topic and has evolved it into a formal PhD-project, one intra- and one extramural scientist, who should have experience in the respective field of research. The composition of the committee is proposed by the supervisor and the PhD-Student and needs to be approved by the Steering Committee of MCCA and the hosting university (please refer to MedUni Wien). The Thesis Committee represents the immediate ‘mentoring-environment’ for the individual student and continuously oversees the project progress and education of the PhD-Student.
  • In contrast to conventional PhD-projects, PhD-Students within MCCA will have the opportunity to be trained in all relevant areas of modern allergy research including molecular, cellular and clinical allergology. This will be achieved by the implementation of a streamlined curriculum based on a set of highly efficient instruments and centered on allergy research (please also check the extended list of courses on ‘soft-skills’ and career development in section ‘Courses’).
  • Another important value will be that students are going to be integrated in an already existing research network of allergy research, which includes basic, translational and clinical research in allergy (Special Research Program ‘Prevention and Therapy of Allergy’, SFB-F46). Moreover, students will be internationally recruited and therefore work in an international, multidisciplinary environment. Internationalization will enhance the competitiveness of individual PhD-Students by promoting acquisition and trade of novel technologies. Moreover, there will be active programs of mentorship by external scientists from the University (Thesis Committee), who are not part of the program, and from the members of the international scientific advisory board (ISAB). Retreats to be organized with allergy researchers from Austria and international research centers will allow the students to get in touch with additional experts in the field early on in their careers.
  • The doctoral program MCCA will combine students working on different aspects of IgE-associated allergic diseases under a unifying umbrella, which will take care of their academic education and their professional career development. In that respect MCCA shall represent not less than the ‘Austrian-Allergy-School’ educating future cohorts of scientist (and MD-scientists) within the field of basic and applied allergy research. Excellence will, however, not be restricted to national borders, since the high-degree of international students within the program and the ambition of national students to work on scientific projects abroad (stays abroad) will guarantee reciprocal dissemination of knowledge and expertise also on the international level

Gender mainstreaming aspects and basis for a gender-balanced curriculum

The basis for a gender-balanced curriculum will be ensured by several means which are, in fact, inherent factors of the MCCA PhD program: i) The consortium of Faculty Members consists of 9 females and 7 males, corresponding to a 56% female contribution; ii) the Faculty Members PhD Students within the DK-MCCA during the period 2013-2020 consisted of 37 female and 13 male PhD-Students. The high number of female students (74%) reflects the efforts of the Faculty Members to promote talented females. iii) the clear-cut regulations of the hosting universities regarding equal opportunities and gender equality lays the fundament for a proper appreciation of the theme both, among Faculty Members and PhD Students. In fact, many initiatives are fostered within the MedUni including but not restricted to specific gender research, gender educational activities, and gender-specific mentoring programs dedicated to women such as K3 and ‘Schrittweise’. ‘Schrittweise’ (step-by-step) supports young female members of the MedUniVie to successfully plan and stream-line their young careers with the aim to equip them with a critical armamentarium of skills and thoughts for their future development. K3 addresses important aspects of how to combine the three ‘K’, Karriere, Kinder, Klinik, i.e., career, children, clinics. The center-piece of K3 are counseling interviews with the aim to help structure future career decisions of the female members of the Medical University Vienna. On top of these rather basic tools, female university members have also implemented to establish a gender-balanced professional exchange culture within the institution. The basic idea of is to establish gender-specific mentoring relationships between established female scientists and young female scientists about to make major career decisions. Due to their affiliation with the MedUni Vienna, all DK-MCCA PhD Students will have access to all of the above-mentioned programs and courses.
Further capitalization on the already high-standards will be achieved by offering PhD-Students and Faculty Members easy access to gender-mainstreaming seminars and courses offered by the office for gender mainstreaming of the MedUniVie  (Gender Mainstreaming extlink).


pdf Application guidelines

pdf Application form

pdf Referee form

extlink MUW PhD studies