The first call for applications for the ELLIS PhD Program closed on December 1, 2020. In its first recruitment round, the ELLIS PhD program attracted more than 1,300 registered applicants. After an initial pre-screen, 850 eligible candidates from nearly 70 different countries were released to ELLIS faculty for further review. These numbers clearly show that the program has generated a significant buzz among young scientists well beyond Europe. Applications have now been reviewed and more than 200 students will be interviewed in the course of February (see also our FAQ page). Below is an overview of the timeline for the 20/21 selection procedure.
- December 1: Application deadline
- December - January: Review & Matching for interviews. Advisors review and rank students. The ELLIS team matches top-ranked students to advisors, based on mutual preferences and the advisors’ interviewing capacity (see this paper on the matching algorithm for technical details).
- January 22-25: Applicants and advisors are informed about their mandatory matches for interviews; start of the interview stage.
- February 19: End of the interview stage. Deadline for advisors to rank their candidates. Deadline for students to submit their advisor preferences (the link to the submission form is in the email the ELLIS administration sent on January 25; for questions, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org).
- February 20-28: Final matching: Unlike in the interview stage, where students could be matched to multiple advisors, each student will now only be matched to 1 advisor for offers. The algorithm is optimized for students, e.g. if two advisors rank a student 1, the student will be matched to his/her higher-ranked preference.
- Beginning of March: Advisors are informed about their matches. They then contact the students to make a conditional offer (see Note 2). If the student accepts, the advisor, student and co-advisor (from a different country) sign a Letter of Intent, which specifies the plans for funding, graduation and the exchange. This letter should be sent to email@example.com. Upon receipt of the Letter of Intent, students are conditionally accepted to the ELLIS PhD Program; the list of conditionally accepted students will be published.
- March 15: The first preliminary deadline to submit the Letter of Intent. The letter may still be submitted at a later time if for whatever reason the decision to accept is delayed.
- March 15-April 15: Rematching phase: Advisors who were not matched or still have extra hiring capacity can see in the application portal which students participated in the interviews but are still unmatched. They may conduct additional interviews and make an offer (the ELLIS Team does not propose the matches in this stage).
- April 15: Final deadline for advisor-applicant pairs to submit the Letter of Intent together with the co-advisor.
- Official admission to the ELLIS PhD Program (after acceptance to the university): Admission to ELLIS is finalized when the student enrolls or gets a contract at the degree-granting institution and ELLIS is informed about this (students and advisors will receive instructions upon submission of the Letter of Intent).
- Co-supervision: ELLIS PhD students in the academic track are supervised by one ELLIS fellow/scholar and one ELLIS fellow/scholar/member from different countries, and they visit the exchange institution for min. 6 months (the partitioning of this time is flexible). During the interview stage in the central recruiting, advisors may discuss a potential exchange partner jointly with the student, but do not need to inform ELLIS about the co-supervisor yet. Only when an actual offer is made, will the student and two supervisors sign a Letter of Intent to inform ELLIS about the triple match.
- Admission to the ELLIS PhD Program: As a meta PhD program, the ELLIS PhD program does not employ students nor grant degrees. Consequently, new students must be accepted to the degree-granting university in addition to being accepted as an ELLIS students. In other words: the acceptance to the ELLIS PhD program is a conditional accept, and can only be finalized once the student is officially accepted at the degree-granting institution. All the official paperwork goes through the institution of the main advisor and the student has to comply with all their rules and regulations. If, for whatever reason, the student is not accepted at the degree-granting institution to start their PhD, the offer to become an ELLIS PhD Student is cancelled.