Doctoral School of Biology

The Biology PhD School of the Eötvös Loránd University was founded in 2001. It is the largest postgraduate biology school in the country, offering research oriented training in a wide range of areas of modern biology.

At present 10 doctoral programmes are available in biology. More than 100 research projects are associated to these programmes in both the departments of Eötvös Loránd University and in other research institutions outside the Univerity. These are funded financially by a number of various sources, for example by the National Research Foundation, the Hungarian Academy of Sciences and, in case of international research collaborations, by various European and American grants.

The Institute of Biology employs more than one hundred full or part time professors and teachers who have many years of teaching experience and are well-recognised scientists in their field of work. The Biology Program also receives support from other distinguished researchers working in close association with the Institute as senior scientists, and grant holders. Members of the Biology Program have a wide range of international contacts, and collaborate with several outstanding research institutes and universities both in and outside Hungary, and regularly invites foreign visitors doing research and/or giving courses.


The program is strongly research oriented: apart from attending specialized courses, the students are expected to start their research work well before the end of the first year. At the end of each year the students report about their research progress. It is expected that students publish at least two papers in peer-reviewed internationally renowned journals of their field.

The main topics include theoretical and evolutionary biology, ethology, ecology, and conservation biology, molecular neurobiology, physiology, human biology, immunology, experimental plant science, cell biology, microbiology, molecular genetics and cell biology, structural biochemistry, taxonomy.

The selection of courses covers both theoretical background and lab or field skills and experience. The training emphasizes practical skills: the majority of credits are earned with supervised research work under personal tutoring by leading researchers. Students are involved in collaborative research taking advantage of the collaboration networks within the institute and with international partner institutions. The aim of the training is to fully prepare students for a successful career in the life sciences: either in basic research or in the industry.

Eligible Programmes

  1. Theoretical Biology and Ecology (Prof. János Podani, janos.podani[at]
  2. Ethology-Behavioral Biology (Prof. Adam Miklósi, adam.miklosi[at]
  3. Immunology (Prof. Anna Erdei, anna.erdei[at]
  4. Experimental Plant Biology (Prof. Gábor M. Kovács,
  5. Genetics (Prof. Tibor Vellai, vellai.tibor[at]
  6. Molecular Cell and Neurobiology (Prof. Gábor Juhász, gabor.juhasz[at]
  7. Neuroscience and Human Biology (Prof. László Détári, laszlo.detari[at]
  8. Structural Biochemistry (Prof. Mihály Kovács, mihaly.kovacs[at]
  9. Zootaxonomy, Animal Ecology and Hydrobiology (Prof. János Török, janos.torok[at]
  10. Theoretical and Evolutionary Biology (Prof. Eörs Szathmáry, eors.szathmary[at]

List of the main selected courses, from which students are expected to choose depending on their research interest, may be downloaded from attachment below.


Biology is the science of the 21st century. Students finishing our Biology Program will have the necessary skills to apply for jobs around the globe. While many of our former students obtain postdoctoral positions throughout the world, a large portion of them gets tenure or tenure track positions at universities or research institutes. Some of our students will pursue their research career in the non-academic environment of large international research institutions, tied to high-tech development or to the economic or financial world.


Admission requirements

The successful applicant must have a M.Sc. (in biology or chemistry), M.D., D.V. The Programs may restrict the range of degrees that they accept in order to ensure that the field in which applicant’s prior degree was issued, and the curriculum of applicant’s graduate studies meet the special expectations of the Program.

On an interview by tutors in the chosen program, the applicant will be asked about her/his prior studies, research experience, thesis work, motivation and theoretical knowledge.

Research program plan arranged by one of the member of the faculty.

Language proficiency requirements

The successful applicant must have a good command of English.

Required documents

  • Master-level degree
  • Transcript of records
  • CV
  • Motivation letter
  • Research work plan
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • Application form
  • Copy of the main pages of the passport (needs to be valid)
  • Passport photo
  • Certificate of clean criminal records
  • Copy of application fee transfer
  • Certificate of English language skills

Application procedure

Applicants have to apply by the deadline given, by registering at and uploading all required documents.

The coordinator will forward the letter to the respective Program leader. Prof. Ádám Miklósi and the program leaders deal only with the educational aspects of admission and do not deal with any bureaucratic and financial issues.

Before submitting the application applicants should contact the supervisor whose topic they have chosen, so as to find out if their knowledge and research experience are relevant to the subject. If so, they should agree with the supervisor on the outlines of the research, and should make a research plan approved by her/him.

Important note: It is the student’s responsibility to find a qualified teacher in the institute who is willing to act as a supervisor and they write together the research plan which is submitted along the application.

Criteria for ranking at the admission procedure shall include:

  1. previous university achievement (examinations, comprehensive examinations, qualification of degree)
  2. achievements related to previous research work (awards obtained in students’ academic circles, publications in the particular professional area)

Procedure of the entrance examination:

  1. The deadline for the submission of ALL documents is the 20th April each year
  2. The Program leader contacts the student by email and they set a date for the oral interview by skype. The interview consists of two parts. In the first part the teachers check the scientific knowledge of the student about the specific field of the program, in the second part they discuss the research plan submitted by the student. The interview lasts about 20-30 minutes.
  3. After the interview the student is informed whether he/she is accepted as a student in the PhD Program via email.
  4. The central administration of the faculty informs the student bureaucratic and financial condition of the admission (‘Letter of acceptance’) no later than end of July.

Application deadline

20 APRIL 2018

Start date

01 September 2018

Application fee


EU/EEA students

non-EU/EEA students

Tuition fee/semester

1910 (EUR)*

2500 - 4500 (EUR)

depending on the research topic

Application fee

160 (EUR)

160 (EUR)

Registration fee

60 (EUR)

60 (EUR)

 * Reduced tuition fee: 350 EUR, if you research not in the University teritory.


Head of Doctoral School

Prof. Anna ERDEI

Deputy head for international affairs

Prof. Ádám MIKLÓSI, adam.miklosi [at]

International program coordinator

Ms. Éva NAGY, inter [at]

Study adminisrator

Ms. Zsuzsa BUVÁRI, doktoranduszugyek [at]