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Graduate School of Life Sciences (GSLS), Ph.D.

  • Application Deadline
  • 36 months
University rank #201 (ARWU) Würzburg, Germany
The GSLS provides doctoral researchers with structured doctoral training. In return, the doctoral researcher has to meet additional requirements in order to successfully compete our graduate program.
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The mandatory elements of the core training program are:

  • Annual Progress Reports (Start-up meeting ~3 months after start of PhD project, at least 3 annual progress meetings) documenting meetings between the doctoral researcher and her/his thesis committee.  An annual meeting is required for each year of experimental work. Find the start-up and annual report forms here
  • Research Seminars (Lab Meeting, Literature Seminar & Jour Fixe) - these are organized by the lab the doctoral researcher joins as well as the research training group
  • Retreat or Summer School; annually; Retreat: “period of group withdrawal under supervision”; Summer School: “academic session for remedial or supplementary study”. Organized by the research group, the graduate training group or the doctoral researchers
  • International Meetings/Symposia; in total ≥ 3 with active scientific contribution, for example presenting a poster or holding a talk (local events with international participation and in English language are creditable)
  • At least one Scientific First Author Publication (shared first authorship is also accepted) in a peer-reviewed international journal. Only "Research Articles" publishing original results are eligible (no reviews, opinion pieces etc.). If questions arise regarding this regulation, please contact the GSLS office.
  • One Elective Activity per semester enrolled (six for a three year PhD project). 

Detailed Programme Facts

  • Programme intensity Full-time
    • Full-time duration 36 months
  • Languages
    • English
  • Delivery mode
    On Campus

Programme Structure

  • The GSLS especially recommends the general lecture of the FOKUS Master Life Sciences course, which provides a great overview of the research community in Würzburg.
  • The GSLS also organizes the lecture series Clinical Medicine for doctoral researchers, MD students, MSc students and students of the course Biomedicine. In this series, lecturers present their research in the border zone between basic life science research and clinical applications. This lecture series is only held in summer semesters.
  • There are also established lecture series like the BZ-Kolloquium  or the Mikrobiologisches Kolloquium, which present invited speakers on interesting and varied topics. If you are looking for food for thought or simply to expand your scientific horizon you should check out these events.

English Language Requirements

This programme may require students to demonstrate proficiency in English.

General Requirements

Successful candidates usually have a first class Master degree in fields related to the life sciences. However, holders of an excellent Bachelor degree in a field related to the Life Sciences may be accepted for a "fast track", leading directly to the PhD. In addition, the MSc program "FOKUS Life Sciences" (see links below) is an opportunity to earn both a Master and a PhD degree in 4 years.

Excellent English is a must. 

Tuition Fee

Living costs for Würzburg

  • 730 - 1100 EUR/month
    Living Costs

The living costs include the total expenses per month, covering accommodation, public transportation, utilities (electricity, internet), books and groceries.


Funding can come through the GSLS Fellowship program or through research grants to groups of or individual principal investigators.

Fellowships are in the range of 1500 Euors/month, salaries are according to public service payscale (2/3 TV-L 13).

Studyportals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.


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