Within this call, the Silicon Austria Labs – Doctoral College aims at recruiting researchers as PhD candidates, eager to pursue scientifically excellent research in the field of Electronic Based Systems within an international and interdisciplinary research environment. The recruitment process follows the principles set out by the European Charter for Researchers and the Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers.

The recruitment for the SAL-DC encompasses three processes, which have to be successfully passed in order to be able to join the SAL-DC:

  • Application process
  • Selection process
  • Admission process


The overall timeline of the recruitment process and the corresponding steps is organized in the following manner:

Publication of application call


End of call


Publication of a set of scientific tasks


Elaboration on solution for tasks


Submission of solution for tasks (hand-in deadline)


Eligibility check, formal completeness check, correction of received solutions (= 1st assessment stage)


Decision letter (invite/reject) sent (based on 1st assessment stage)


Beginning of redress period


Beginning of interview period


End of redress period


Decision letter (invite/reject) sent (based on redress requests)


End of interview period


Final decision letter sent (based on 1st and 2nd assessment stage)


Contract/fellowship offer


Acceptance/decline of offer



Application Process

In order to apply for the proposed positions, potential candidates require to

  • fulfill the eligibility criterion for a PhD study,
  • provide a complete set of the required application documents, and
  • follow the submission procedure for the application.

Eligibility criterion for PhD study

Applicants must hold - at the time of the application call deadline - a Master's degree or an equivalent degree in order to apply for the proposed positions in this call.

Required application documents

  • 1-page letter of moti­va­tion (in English), inclu­ding 
    • a declaration of the considered research topic, and
    • the motivation behind your application explicitly with respect to the chosen research topic (obligatory!).
  • CV (in English), including
    • expertise, skills, and
    • (if applicable) list of internships and publications & patents 
  • [Optional] Letter of references from academic reference persons (with contact details)
  • Scanned copies of transcripts of records for Bachelor and the Master (or equivalent degree) including the diplomas proofing the completion of the studies (originally issued in English or German, or an official translation in alignment with the guidelines on translation and authentication).
  • Proof of fluency in English at minimum B2 level (Upper Intermediate English). Accepted proofs are e.g. Master studies in English or an internationally accepted certificate.
  • Scanned copy of valid passport/ID


Submission procedure for application

  • The complete set of the required application documents have to be submitted according to the following rules:
    • Compilation into one single PDF file
    • Concatenation of the documents in the exact same order as in the itemization (i.e, PDF begins with letter of motivation and ends with a copy of the passwort/ID)
    • Minimum PDF version: 1.4
    • File naming convention: “LastName_FirstName_application_saldc.pdf”
  • The application has to be submitted electronically via the recruitment portal before the application call deadline: 03.06.2020 23:59 CET. Please note that a submission via any other channel like e.g., via e-mail cannot be accepted.

Selection Process

The selection process is organized in three subsequent stages. After each stage, the applicants are informed regarding their current status in due time according to the timeline depicted in Fig. 1.


First assessment stage

All applicants receive an invitation to demonstrate their technical suitability for the applied PhD position(s) by solving a set of tasks. These tasks are related to the specific PhD position(s) and shall be solvable with basic domain knowledge. The solution has to be submitted in written form in a predetermined format until the deadline.

Only if a candidate successfully submits a solution (by meeting formatting rules and timeline), the selection committee will consider evaluating a candidate’s application.

In a first step a formal screening of completeness of the requested application documents as well as a formal verification of eligibility is conducted, both evaluated for the point in time defined by the application deadline.

If successfully passed, the selection committee assesses in a second step the submitted solution together with the submitted application documents based on the rating scheme depicted in Tab. 1. Applicants have to score above the threshold in each category to be able to pass this assessment stage. If the threshold criteria are met (for each category and overall), the accumulated score in descending order serves as ranking criterion. Selected candidates will be invited for a personal interview as part of the second assessment stage.


Second assessment stage

Applicants are invited to personal interviews, which are preferably conducted by the responsible supervising team of the corresponding PhD topic. These interviews are either performed face-to-face or as part of a remote video conference.  Applicants are asked to give a short presentation preferably on their Master thesis or on a similar own work related to the PhD position (10 min), followed by a discussion with questions assessing the scientific as well as the general qualifications of the applicants. These questions may address the given presentation, the solution submitted in the first assessment stage as well as aspects arising from the application documents such as the motivational letter or CV. During the interview, each candidate will also have the possibility to raise questions to the SAL-DC committee. Applicants are assessed according to the rating scheme in Tab. 1, with the requirement to score above the threshold (in each category and overall) to be able to pass this stage.  

For the final ranking for each position offered in the call, the candidates are ranked based on the accumulated score achieved in both assessment stages together. Based on that, invitations to join SAL-DC are sent out accordingly.


1st assessment stage: Application documents




Achieved score

Academic potential (class rank, GPA, etc... )




Relevance of Master-level degree to SAL-DC




Letter of motivation




English level judged by certificates
(no certificate does not exclude)




Aspects of curriculum vitae relevant for SAL-DC (multiple degree, work experience, professional qualification, etc., general skills)




Submitted solution to problem




Score 1st stage




Scientific eligibility ranking for 2nd stage is based on achieved, accumulated score in 1st stage,
given that individual (i.e., per category) and overall threshold criteria are met.


2nd assessment stage: Interview

a) Research and technical qualification




b) Presentation of abstract content




c) Oral language skills                        




d) Solution-orientated attitude




Score 2nd stage




Final scientific eligibility ranking for SAL-DC is based on achieved, accumulated score of 1st and 2nd stage, given that individual (i.e., per category) and overall threshold criteria of 2nd stage are met.

Final Score




Tab. 1: Rating scheme for assessment of applicants


Offer and confirmation stage

After invitations to join SAL-DC are sent out, the selected candidates are requested to accept or decline the offer until the acceptance deadline given in Fig. 1. In case of a decline, the next candidate in the ranking is offered the position.

Missing the deadline or no reply by the candidate at all is interpreted as a decline of the offer.


Redress procedure

Candidates may request redress within the period determined in the timeline in Fig. 1 by sending a letter (via email) clearly stating their case to the SAL-DC committee. The redress procedure will only evaluate handling of the evaluation procedure, screening of completeness, and perceived incorrect application of the eligibility criteria, but not the judgement of the expert reviewers. If redress is justified, the application will be evaluated again.

Admission Process

In order to finally join the SAL-DC, each selected candidate has to enroll into the PhD program of the local university associated with a particular PhD position.

For a successful admission and thus a successful enrollment, the requested documents have to comply with official translation and authentication rules as detailed below. Depending on the candidate’s country, fulfilling these rules may take up to several weeks. As a result, these pre-requisites (i.e., meeting these rules) have therefore not been requested for the documents submitted at the time of application. A candidate shall take care of preparing the documents according to these rules when entering the admission process. However, in order to shorten time until final admission to the SAL-DC, candidates are also encouraged to initiate these steps already during the recruitment process.


Information on translation and authentication provided by the different universities

TU Graz:

Required Documents for International Applicants

Overview Translation and Certification of Documents 

JKU Linz:

International University Entrance Qualifications 

AAU Klagenfurt:

Studying at AAU