General project application procedure

The International Graduate School (IGS) in BioNanoTechnology (BioNanoTech) offers scientific doctorate education and fundamental and applied research training in the area of nanobio science and bionanotechnology. It is organized by three partner institutes: University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Vienna (BOKU), Austrian Institute of Technology (AIT), Nanyang Technical University (NTU) and the A*STAR research institutes in Singapore. It is expected to expand to further partner institutions in Austria, Singapore and Sweden. Currently it awarda joint Doctoral degrees of the BOKU and the NTU. The program which will have a duration of 9 years (3 generations of PhD students), is expected to attract the very best students interested in cutting edge PhD education in a highly competitive and international setting. All projects are carried out jointly by at least one Austrian and one Singaporean partner, with the aim of minimum 1/3 of the PhD time spent in Singapore. It is also the aim that every project should have a reciprocal project where a Singaporean student spends 1/3 of the time in Austria on a related topic.

Nanobioscience and bionanotechnology

Nanobioscience and its implementation in bionanotechnology are characterized by their highly interdisciplinary approaches and feature a close collaboration between life scientists, physical scientists, and engineers. Thus, the innovative contribution of nanobiotechnology lies in the combination of biological principles, chemical technologies, physical insights, and engineering. By breaking down traditional disciplines to address scientific problems, the complementing questions, methods and plethora of techniques brought to bear on those scientific questions lead to more rapid expansion of knowledge and applications than can be achieved within each separate discipline. This fruitful meeting of disciplines typically occurs on the length scale of nanometers, which has donated the new inter- and multidisciplinary field its name, but there is no absolute recognized size at which nano science begins or ends. The IGS accepts project proposals in all areas of nanobiosciences and bionanotechnology with preference for projects that combine complementary approaches and skills of partners from different disciplines.

Eligibility for project applications

  • A project can be applied for by any Principal Investigator (PI) affiliated with the BOKU, however, further investigators from Austrian academic institutions may be included.
  • The project team must include additionally one supervisor (co-PI) who is NTU faculty, however, further investigators from Singaporean academic institutions may be included.

Selection criteria

Submitted proposals must be within the topical area of the IGS BioNanoTech to be considered, i.e., on a topic in nano science where emphasis on nanobio science is preferred. Selection of thesis research projects is based on strategic importance for building a strong Vienna-Singapore research and higher education link and on the scientific excellence of the research proposal.


A ranking list of submitted proposals to each call will be made. The rankings will only be used internally to distribute internal funding for projects. If a project fulfills the eligibility criteria and is considered appropriate for the IGS by the selection committee it can enter the IGS if external funding for the project is available. If a project fulfills the eligibility criteria and is considered appropriate for the IGS BioNanoTech by the selection committee consisting of representatives from BOKU, AIT and NTU, it can enter the IGS BioNanoTech if external funding for the project is available. A first generation of projects and students have been selected. Future specific calls for projects also funded through the IGS BioNanoTech are expected.
For accepted projects an additional selection procedure of students for admission to the IGS BioNanoTech will be applied. Accepted projects will receive further detailed information on the student application procedure.

Project selection committee

A joint BOKU-NTU project selection committee selects the projects. The selection committee comprises the same members as the student admission committee. Representatives on the admission committee are:

  • BOKU: Prof. Dr. Eva-Kathrin Sinner
  • BOKU: Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Knoll
  • NTU: Prof. Dr. Bo Liedberg
  • NTU: Prof. Dr. Peter Preiser


A project proposal should be submitted in electronic form consisting of:

  • Project description (3-5 pages)
  • Description of the added value of the collaboration (0.5-1 page)
  • Cover letter and letters of support from the PIs
  • 2-page CV of the two main PIs
  • When appropriate the financial support from the external funding choice has to be submitted.

Calls and timeline

Projects can be submitted at any time with formal entry to the IGS occurring at the start of each semester (1.10 or 27.2). The latest submission deadline and evaluation period will be announced in a call in advance of each semester on the IGS webpage and circulated among investigators in the IGS constituent institutes and IGS third parties. Please contact the selection committee if evaluation of a proposal is desired at other timepoints during the year. Submissions should be sent to: Univ. Prof. Dr. Eva-Kathrin Sinner (eva.sinner(at)