How to join yDiv

There are three possible ways of joining yDiv:

Apply for a PhD position at iDiv.

Check here for vacant positions. Please note that you can only apply for announced PhD positions.

Apply for admission into yDiv in case you have already started a PhD project in the field of biodiversity research.

Please start by discussing with your principal investigator (PI). You can apply for yDiv membership if your PI is an iDiv member.

Being part of yDiv gives you access to many opportunities but also implies the agreement of you, your PI, and additional supervisors to the regulations and statutes of our structured graduate programme as well as the supervision agreement.

To kick off the application process, please contact the coordination team at for an admission form. Based on your written application, you will be invited to an admission symposium, where the yDiv board and other yDiv members evaluate your admission. Admission symposia are typically organized twice per year; please ask the coordination team for details.

Apply for a scholarship by the Deutsche Bundesstiftung Umwelt (DBU) Stipendienprogramm and receive support by the yDiv graduate programme for your application.

This concerns potential doctoral researchers and their supervisors (preferably iDiv members) whose research interests are relevant to iDiv and the Deutsche Bundesstiftung Umwelt (DBU). iDiv can support potential doctoral researchers both seeking for a funding opportunity from the DBU Stipendienprogramm and wishing to take part in the structured graduate programme yDiv.

The support provided covers the reviewing of their proposal by experienced iDiv researchers before submission to the DBU. Should the candidate be invited to an interview, yDiv will organise a training interview conducted with the help of current yDiv doctoral researchers holding a DBU scholarship. As this is done on a voluntary basis, the candidates have to make sure they meet the below mentioned deadlines, otherwise yDiv cannot support their DBU application.

Applicants and their projects are evaluated both on yDiv and on DBU criteria. Beside an above-average degree, the applicant must show a high level of motivation, maturity and awareness about her/his project. As the working language of iDiv is English, fluency in English is necessary. For the DBU application and interview the applicant must furthermore have good command of German.

The project is evaluated following several criteria. To be accepted in yDiv, the candidate’s project must at least:

  • Address a question related to integrative biodiversity research
  • Be innovative or unique
  • Have a clear theme for coherence of the parts

To be supported for an application to DBU, the project needs:

  • To be relevant to the German environmental situation
  • To be carried out mostly in Germany
  • To contribute to finding solutions for environmental problems and conservation efforts
  • To be clearly structured
  • To have a realistic time schedule

The project would gain additional support if:

  • It is interdisciplinary or cross-disciplinary
  • It integrates humanities
  • It is of international importance

Finally, strong commitment of the supervisor(s) to the structured training programme of yDiv is a requirement. The supervision team must include at least one iDiv member. The doctoral researcher commits to follow the requirements of both DBU and yDiv (PAC, curriculum, stay-abroad) during their PhD.

If you want to apply, please contact the coordinator of yDiv at If you are a student with a project and seek a supervisor, please also contact the coordinator or members of iDiv.

Timeline for the summer and the winter calls:

ProcedureSummer callWinter call
(1) Candidates contact yDivuntil 1 Juneuntil 1 January
(2) Candidate sends project draft to yDiv who forwards it to revieweruntil 5 Juneuntil 5 January
(3) yDiv reviewer sends revised proposal back to applicantaround 10 Junearound 10 January
(4) Deadline for DBU application15 June15 January
(5) Interview of selected applicantsOctoberMay
(6) Start of PhD projectJanuary to JulyJuly to January
(7) Admission symposium and kick-off PAC meetingwithin a few months of project startwithin a few months of project start

Please note that only the applicants who have gone through the yDiv review process and were supported by yDiv are allowed to mention yDiv and iDiv in their DBU application!



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