Neurobiology Postdoc wins Ruprecht-Karls-Prize

28/10/21  Dr. Jing Yan, a postdoc in the Neurobiology group of the IZN has won the Ruprecht-Karls-Prize for his publication 'Coupling of NMDA receptors and TRPM4 guides discovery of unconventional neuroprotectants' in Science last year. The award ceremony will be on the 17th of December. [...]

MSc Molecular Biosciences - FAQ

Frequently asked questions about Application, Selection & Admission

Q What does certified copy mean

Please see

Incorrect documents from international students is THE reason of rejection. Please check it carefully.

Q1. Have my paper documents arrived?

We are sorry, but we handle about 1000 applications and cannot look to see if your documents have arrived. Please just make sure you send them by the best route that you can afford.

Q2. Am I eligible, how about my chances?

We are sorry, but we handle about 1000 applications and cannot do a prechecking. Country-specific information on educational qualifications is to be found at:

Q2. My TOEFL (or other language test) result is not available yet. Can I send it later?

Yes. If you are shortlisted for interview, the interview will be in English and we can use it to judge your English competence.

Q3. My TOEFL (or other language test) result has expired ...

We accept it even if it has expired

Q4: My TOEFL (any other test) score is not high enough - could I get admission

No -we offer so many possibilities, so we are strict in the fulfillment

Q5. How many reference letters do you need? Shall I send paper copies?

We do not require reference letters. We have found that practices across the world are so different that we cannot compare letters from different countries. If, however, you have some experience of work, or have spent time in a laboratory, you should send a letter that confirms that you had this experience, and that letter can include an evaluation of your performance.

Q6. Do you give scholarships?

The Helmholtz International Graduate School for Cancer Research (HIGS) offers competitive MSc fellowships to outstanding applicants from all over the world, enabling them to enroll in the MSc program Molecular Biosciences (for Major Cancer Biology applicants only).
International students can apply for a DAAD scholarship

Q7. I will only get my degree certificate in September. Is that too late?

You must have your degree certificate when you finally enroll for the program. The latest possible time to have it is when you go to the university office to register in person, so you need to have it before you leave home. Also, it may be required before you can get your visa.

Q8. What do I need to get the visa?

This varies from country to country. Please contact your local consulate or look at their website.

Q9. When should I apply for the visa?

It is essential that you start the application process as soon as you have your letter saying you are accepted for the program. Allow at least 8 weeks before you plan to leave! If the consulate gives you an interview date after the proram as started, however, please contact us. We will, however, only help if you submitted your application well in advance.

Q10. The university says I need to send proof of finance for the course. Do I really have to send that now?

No. But you will definitely need it before you can get a visa.

Q11. The University says I need to send a photocopy of my passport. I don't have a passport yet. What do I do?

Send a photocopy of some other form of identity card.



Q13: The University says I can use my English written Bachelor thesis as proof of English language skills. But my thesis will be finished after the applicaiton deadline. Will you accept them later?

The language proof could be submitted at the time of enrollment in October

Q14: How do I get a certificate stating that my thesis had been in English?

Come to the coordinators office, show your thesis and get the certificate.

Q15: Why am I not on the Valid applications list?

According to the guidelines of the Central Office for International Education Affairs in Bonn (Zentralstelle für ausländisches Bildungswesen – ZAB; see:, the included documents do not allow you to embark on a master’s course at Heidelberg University.
Your application did not include all the required documents. One or more of the following documents are missing:
Ø  Certified copy of the Higher education diploma
Ø  Certified copy of the Transcript of records
Ø  Certified translation of the Higher education diploma into German or English
Ø  Certified translation of the Transcript of records into German or English
(please see the following link concerning information about certifications
Ø  Grading system, indicating highest grade and passing grade
Ø  Original certificate of the Akademische Prüfstelle (APS) in China, Ulan Baator/ Mongolia or Hanoi/ Vietnam
Ø  Mandatory online application form, SIGNED


Q16: Why wasn't I shortlisted?

If you have not been shortlisted, you may wish to know why, and if you can do anything about it. Please do not write to ask. Here are three of the most frequent reasons:

1. Your degree does not have enough solid background for example in molecular biology, biochemistry, and cell biology content to prepare you for our course.

For example, for degrees from Africa, middle eastern countries, and the Indian subcontinent, this usually applies to Medical Laboratory Technology and Pharmacy, and often (though not always) to Veterinary medicine and Medicine. We scrutinize course content carefully. If you do not know enough at the start, you will not understand our lectures at all and will therefore be extremely unhappy, fail the exams, and be unable to continue the course. You CAN do something about this. First, you can do a year, at least, of study specifically in molecular biology, cell biology and biochemistry, in your own country or elsewhere. Some relevant molecular research experience will help a lot too, especially if it includes a broad range of methods. You could also apply to our bachelor course, if you can speak German and have financial support.

2. Your grades are not high enough.

We pay particular attention to your most recent grades in relevant subjects. We are aware that different countries have different standards, and that universities and colleges within a country vary too; we take this into account. As a general guideline, for letter grades, we expect to see a very high proportion in the range of B+, A, and (if given) E (excellent). Indian students should have many grades above 70% and at least some in the 80% range.

3. Your degree formally does not qualify you to start a Masters in Germany.

The most common example of this is a three-year bachelor’s degree from India. To qualify you need an extra year, for example in a more advanced program. Exceptionally, a year of research experience may be a substitute. If you are uncertain about this try enquiring at the local German consulate or DAAD office.