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Graduate School of Life Sciences

Study Program

Duties of a GSLS Doctoral Researcher

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. On this page, the core training program is detailed. The thesis committee can require the doctoral researcher to attend additional workshops, should they identify the need for specific training.

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). Doctoral researchers can freely decide when to pursue their electives and can choose from a broad variety of electives:
    • Scientific Methods Course / Lecture / Workshop; organized by the graduate training group, GSLS, doctoral researchers, or offered externally (e.g. statistics, animal experimentation, data-base analysis)
    • Transferable Skills Workshops organized by the GSLS, though non-GSLS organized workshops are also creditable. You can freely register in all courses of our program. 'Good Scientific Practice' is a mandatory course for all GSLS doctoral researchers. The GSLS recommends a core training of 'Oral presentation', 'Poster Design' and 'Scientific Writing'.  Doctoral researchers pursuing the 'PhD' title (as opposed to the 'Dr. rer. nat.' title) must also attend 'Intercultural Communication.'

    In addition, the following activities can be recognised by the GSLS as contributing to the structured training if doctoral researchers have the possbility to partake in such opportunities (please note these are not mandatory activities):

    • Research Stay; usually several weeks to months, in collaborating labs, ideally abroad
    • Contribution to GSLS Activities; e.g. peer mentor, DRC membership, teaching activities, conference organization

The attended courses have to be documented in the study book, which is mandatory for the thesis submission and serves as an important prerequisite for a comprehensive diploma supplement. In case of incorrectly filled out folios or if additional space for entries is required, extra hardcopies of the study book inlets can be downloaded.

To receive a diploma supplement it is important for the doctoral researcher to document each of the graduated elements in the study book and have it signed by the responsible supervisor (alternatively, and where applicable, a copy of the course certificate replaces the signature).