IMP Fellows Programme

Lawrence Bragg won the Nobel Prize at the age of 25, Fred Banting at 32, Jim Watson at 34, and David Baltimore at 37. Yet today, few scientists even obtain an independent position by their mid-30s. For example, the average age to be awarded a first research grant from the NIH in US is now over 40. Increasingly, the postdoc is becoming a period of scientific employment, not of creative and independent research. At the IMP, we are concerned by this trend, and strongly believe that talented young scientists should be encouraged to follow their own scientific ideas as early as possible in their careers. We have therefore launched the “IMP Fellowship” programme, which gives ambitious young scientists with little or no previous postdoctoral experience the opportunity to conduct innovative and original research in a world-class scientific environment. Mentoring by more experienced faculty members will provide IMP Fellows with guidance, yet they are expected and encouraged to conduct and to publish their research independently. With exceptional scientific and technical support, IMP fellows will be able to concentrate fully on their own research programme.


IMP Fellows are appointed for 5 years, and receive a generous budget for set-up and running costs. Like all IMP scientists, they will have full access to the IMP/IMBA scientific services, including biooptics, mass spectrometry, DNA sequence analysis, bioinformatics, media preparation, and animal facilities. To facilitate their integration into the international scientific community, Fellows will receive a travel budget to allow them to attend international meetings and host seminar speakers. Funds will also be available to support one PhD student and one undergraduate (Diploma) student.


IMP Fellows will be fully integrated into the highly interactive scientific and social environment at the IMP and IMBA. This includes participation in regular in-house research seminars, journal clubs, and retreats. In addition, IMP Fellows will be asked to nominate one or more of the IMP or IMBA faculty members as their official mentor(s). The details of the mentorship will be left to the fellow and mentor, but would likely include frequent project and career discussions, and participation in lab meetings and journal clubs with the mentor’s group. Fellows will also appoint a mentoring committee that includes 3-4 other faculty members. This committee will meet formally with the fellow at least once per year to monitor progress and ensure independence. Fellows are of course free to collaborate with their mentor, or indeed any other group, but their main research activities should be conducted and published independently.

Career structure

We view the IMP fellowships as a “fast track” to a full group leader position. The Fellow will be considered for promotion to a group leader position at the IMP at the latest by the end of the fourth year. This evaluation will be performed by the IMP faculty, with the recommendation of the international Scientific Advisory Board. Compared to their colleagues in a more conventional postdoc position, IMP Fellows will have already demonstrated their ability to conduct independent research at the highest level. We are therefore confident that IMP Fellows will be highly competitive when the time comes to move on to a regular group leader position, whether this is at the IMP itself or elsewhere.


Applicants should have obtained, or expect to obtain, their PhD no more than 18 months prior to the date of application. Applicants from any area of the molecular life sciences will be considered, including either experimental or computational approaches. PhD Students/Postdocs from within IMP/IMBA are not eligible.

How to apply

Applications should include the following documents:

  • a full curriculum vitae
  • a max. 2-page synopsis of previous research
  • a max. 5-page proposal of future research
  • names and addresses of 3 referees

There are no application forms.
Please send your application to:

Christopher Robinson
IMP Fellowship Programme
Research Institute of Molecular Pathology
Dr. Bohr-Gasse 7, A-1030 Vienna, Austria

We accept applications on an adhoc basis.