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How to apply

The Doctoral School in Mathematics of the Higher School of Economics, Moscow, Russia, is pleased to announce 29 fully funded PhD positions in all areas of mathematics and theoretical physics, starting in November 2018. Scholarships will be awarded to all successful condtdates subject to conditions given below in section After admission.

Mathematics at the HSE

The Faculty of Mathematics has over 130 members, including 14 invited ICM speakers. Our main research areas are algebraic geometry, geometric and algebraic topology, differential equations, dynamical systems, representation theory, functional analysis and mathematical and theoretical physics.

Some of our recent PhD graduates have gone on to be welcomed as postdocs and instructors in several of the highest ranked mathematics departments in the world.

Most graduate level courses and research seminars take place in English. Our PhD students who are interested in pure mathematics or theoretical physics can have their theses supervised by any member of

as well as any of the associated international laboratories Research interests of the members of the Faculty of Mathematics and associated laboratories by area

Graduate students who are interested in applied mathematics could also work with any member of

Programme details, application and selection procedure

The duration of the programme is 4 years. All successful applicants will be offered a tuition waiver, accommodation in a university student residence for a nominal fee (ca. 1000 Russian roubles per month) and a scholarship of ca. 30000 Russian rubles per month.

Some of the successful applicants may instead be awarded a scholarship from the Skolkovo Innovation Centre (ca 75000 Russian roubles per month).

In addition to the above our PhD students benefit from rich social and cultural life in Moscow.

Submitting an application: Foreign applicants can submit an application electronically until 31 March 2018 via the web form.

Russian nationals who apply during phase 1, see below, can submit an application electronically or in person to Oksana Kipovskaya until 6pm Moscow time on 15 March 2018. Before submitting an electronic application Russian citizens must first obtain a login and password via this web form. This option is also available to some applicants who have ancestors who were born or resided in the USSR, see below.

Note: There are two separate tracks for applying for a PhD position at the HSE, although only one of these will be available to most applicants. Please note that this applies to the selection procedure only, and the rest of the programme, including funding, is the same for all successful applicants.
1. Russian government quotas. Foreign nationals and stateless persons who wish to apply for a PhD position without a tuition fee can only do so electronically until 31 March, 2018, except in the cases mentioned below. This option does not involve a foreign language exam, but there is just one deadline, March 31. Interviews with shortlisted candidates will take place shortly afterwards.

2. Regular track. In 2018 the regular track involves two phases and is open to all citizens of Russia and also most citizens of the former Soviet republics, see below. During phase 1 applicants can submit an application in person to Ms Oksana Kipovskaya or electronically until March 15th, 6pm Moscow time. Examinations in mathematics and in English, French, German or Spanish will take place shortly afterwards. Native speakers of these languages are exempted from these exams, and so are applicants who graduated or will graduate in October 2018 at the latest from an MSc programme in which all courses are taught exclusively in English, French or German. Applicants who have an international foreign language certificate may request their marks for the certificate to be translated into exam marks, see article 3.10 of the admission rules for full details. Based on submitted documents, interviews and the results of language exams if applicable the Selection comittee will offer PhD places to up to 29 applicants in late June.

Places not filled during the first phase of the admissions campaign, if any, will be filled during the second phase (August 1 - September 14, 6pm Moscow time). Nevertheless, all eligible applicants are strongly advised to submit their applications during the first phase. Note however that each applicant may submit an application during phase 1 or phase 2 but not both.

Citizens of Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, as well as stateless persons with a Russian residence permit, may use both of the above two options, and are advised to do so. If one of your direct ancestors was born or resided in the USSR, then you may also be able to use either of the above options, or both (supporting documents required: a passport or a birth certificate issued in the USSR). Please contact the Doctoral School for more information.

All applicants, regardless of their nationality, are advised to email their applications to phdmath@hse.ru, in addition to submitting the applications on line or in person.

Supporting documents

All applications should include the following:

  • A letter of motivation.
  • A CV.
  • At least two reference letters. These should be sent by the refereees directly to phdmath@hse.ru. For applicants currently enrolled in an MSc programme at least one of the reference letters should be from a member of staff of the university where they will obtain by 15 October 2018 their most recent qualification.
  • The name of the prospective thesis supervisor and a tentative title of the thesis; these can be changed afterwards. Applicants are advised to get in touch with their prospective supervisors before submitting an application.
  • Articles or preprints, if any.
  • A (draft) MSc thesis or BS thesis (or any other written research project).
  • Academic record, including the marks for the 1st semester of 2017/18 if available.
  • A research project if available. This could be a short description of the problems you would like to work on if admitted to the programme.
  • Any other relevant information.


After admission

By 15 October 2018 at the latest all successful applicants must have an MSc or equivalent diploma. Also, candidates who wish to receive a scholarship must include in their application one of the following international language certificates with the total score equal to or better than the number in brackets: IELTS (6), TOEFL PBT (500), TOEFL IBT (80); instead candidates may provide a copy of a registration for TOEFL or IELTS. This requirement is waived altogether for native speakers of English, French or German, as well as for those who graduated or will graduate on 15 October 2018 at the latest from an MSc programme in which all courses are taught exclusively in English, French or German.

For all enquiries please contact School director Alexey Gorinov agorinov@hse.ru or School manager Oksana Kipovskaya okipovskaya@hse.ru

See also the complete list of events and programmes  offered by the Faculty of Mathematics this year.