At first glance, the GSLS might seem like a lot of extra work during your PhD project. You need to recruit a thesis committee, organize meetings, attend conferences, participate workshops and - most importantly - publish a paper. No question - compared to other options, obtaining a PhD from the Graduate School of Life Sciences is tough.
So why should you choose to enroll with us? The short answer: Because it's worth it!
For the long answer take a second look at our requirements. When you have completed the GSLS study program, you not only have the title PhD (or Dr. rer. nat.) but you also have a great position for your future career:
- If you approach your thesis committee as an asset rather than a chore, they can significantly expand your options for your PhD project. They offer you not only advice, but also additional methods, experience and training. On top of that, you have two additional senior researchers in your scientific network, which will often be crucial for your future career.
- Conference visits take time and effort to organize and to attend. True, but most of them are also a fun experience and will give you a perfect reason to travel and gather international experience. To enable you to actually travel to the conferences, the GSLS provides up to 2,000 Euros as GSLS Travel Fellowships to each enrolled student. These conferences also expand your scientific network.
- The GSLS requires you to take some of the transferable skill courses it offers. However, you have the free choice from an extensive program, fully held in English and can partake in expensive workshops completely for free. In addition, the GSLS certifies any workshop you take, so you use them for your CV and future job applications. The only mandatory workshop for everyone is Good Scientific Practice, and for those enrolled for the PhD (as opposed to the Dr. rer. nat.), the Intercultural Communication workshop is also mandatory, although we do encourage everyone to attend.
- The biggest burden many doctoral researchers voice their concern about is the requirement to publish a paper as first author. It is a hefty requirement - not only for you but also for your supervisor. But published papers should be among the goals of every PhD project anyhow and publishing will be a success for you and your future career. Just in case your paper is stuck in the review process, there are also options to avoid a delay of your graduation.
As you can see, our study program is put in place to push you to an excellent starting position. Don't forget: you are not alone on your path to graduation. The GSLS community comprises a large peer group that you will inevitably meet during workshops, social events or our annual International Doctoral Researchers' Symposium. So you can talk about problems, share experiences, and celebrate successes together. Also we as the GSLS team will do our best to help you reach your goals within our graduate school - just get in touch!
Principal Investigators of the University of Würzburg can become a member of the Graduate School of Life Sciences. While membership is a prerequisite to be the primary supervisor of a GSLS doctoral researcher, it also brings other advantages:
- Access to financial support
The GSLS supports the travel of your PhD student with up to 2.000 Euros per registered student, so conference visits or lab exchanges become less of a burden on the group budget. Members can also initiate lectures, workshops, summer schools etc. in their sections and draw from the section budgets in agreement with their section speakers.
Postdoctoral researchers working in the group of GSLS members can apply for PostDoc Plus funding.
- Funding through the GSLS
Every year GSLS fellowships are awarded to doctoral researchers, who in turn can join the group of any GSLS member. At the other end of the PhD phase, GSLS members can nominate doctoral researchers for a career development fellowship, which pays for a postdoctoral researcher position for six months.
- Training for your researchers
The Graduate School of Life Sciences provides a structured training program for your doctoral researchers free of charge. Courses offered include valuable soft skills such as oral presentation, poster design or scientific writing, often improving the performance of young scientists. With the start of the PostDoc Plus program, postdoctoral researchers benefit from courses tailored to their interests.
- Organizational support
GSLS members can utilize our organization to advertise events or open positions using our website and our database of doctoral researchers. The GSLS will also support your applications for third party funding (e.g. Collaborative Research Centers or Research Training Groups) to the best of our abilities. You can use the existing GSLS structure for your proposals as many funding agencies require structured training for doctoral researchers.