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Graduate School of Life Sciences

Admission & Enrollment

Becoming a GSLS Doctoral Researcher

The way into our structured doctoral training program is a three-step process:

  1. You need to make sure to meet the admission requirements.
  2. You need to be admitted into the GSLS - this can happen at any time of the year.
  3. You need to enroll at our university - this can only happen in Sept/Oct or March/April of each year.

Requirements for Admission

You can seek admission to the Graduate School of Life Sciences at any time of the year. However, admission is only possible prior to or at the beginning of your doctoral research project. In order to gain admission to our Doctoral Training Program, prospective doctoral researchers have to:

  1. Have a primary supervisor
  2. Acquire funding - ideally for three years or more
  3. Meet the admission requirements
Primary Supervisor:

The primary supervisor is the principle investigator who chairs your thesis committee which will guide you through your PhD. Your primary supervisor will offer you a suitable work environment in his/her group and funds most if not all of your research. Your primary supervisor needs to be a member of the Graduate School of Life Sciences.

In order to find your supervisor, please politely approach the members of the GSLS directly. You can find a list of GSLS members here. You can also browse the research section of our homepage to find groups matching your personal research interest. You can also check our open position sub-page for project opportunities.


In order to pursue your PhD project, you need funding to sustain yourself. Ideally, your primary supervisor will have an open position and can fund you from one of his/her grants. You can provide your own funding through fellowships available from many different organizations. There are also GSLS fellowships for doctoral researchers available each year.

Providing your own funding gives you a greater degree of independence and responsibility and significantly increases your chances of finding a place in the lab that interests you the most.

General admission requirements:

Researchers are required to posses one of the following academic degrees:

  • M.Sc. degree (or German diploma) with experimental thesis work in one of the following subjects: Biochemistry, Biology, Biomedicine, Chemistry, Food Chemistry, Physics, Psychology in conjunction with natural sciences - for courses in related subjects please inquire with our office - Note: Not all foreign degrees are considered equivalent / sufficient. In all cases of foreign qualifications we consult the International Office to check equivalency.
  • Erste Staatsprüfung Biology, Chemistry or Physics or Zweiter Prüfungsabschnitt der Pharmazeutischen Prüfung
  • MD (Dr. med.) and completed graduation in Begleitstudiengang Experimentelle Medizin (or similar)
  • MD (Dr. med.) or Dental MD (Dr. med. dent.) is sufficient for the admission to the MD/PhD program only

Researchers are required to have a very good active knowledge of the English or German language.

International Applicants are required to fill in the application form of the International Office of the University of Würzburg.  Please ask for assistance from our office when filling this in.

Applicants from Mongolia, Vietnam or China are required to present an APS certificate.

The GSLS office will check your documents for compliance. We advise you to contact Katharina Bötsch  or Heike Schrenk prior to time consuming and/or costly activities.


Once the above requirements have been fulfilled (primary supervisor and the necessary funding), the application process to the GSLS can start.

You will need to create an account with our online platform Open Campus in order to fill out the pre-application form.

You will find the homepage of Open Campus here.

After filling in this brief form, a PDF document for your primary supervisor will be generated.

Please print the PDF document, have it signed by your primary supervisor, and upload it to Open Campus. This completes your pre-application.

Once the GSLS Office has received the completed pre-application and has reveiwed it, the full version of the application form in Open Campus will be made available to you.  You will receive an email from the Open Campus system when you are able to access the full version of the application form. 

In the full verson of the application form, you will need to enter information regarding your previous studies and your planned doctoral project.  Please note that to complete the application form, you will need to have a complete Thesis Committee

The Thesis Committee

The Thesis Committee has to comply with the GSLS regulations:

  • At least three supervisors
  • Primary and secondary supervisors have to be GSLS members from different departments
  • One GSLS member supervisor (first or second supervisor) has to be a member of a natural science faculty of the University of Würzburg
  • One GSLS member supervisor (first or second supervisor) has to be habilitated or hold a permanent professorship
  • A minimum of three different departments should be represented
  • Feel free to add an external supervisor (e.g. collaboration partner)

Please contact  GSLS office if you need advice or have questions regarding the thesis comittee composition.

Final Admission

Once you have submitted the completed full version of the application form, the GSLS will review your application and contact you as soon as possible.  For final admission to the GSLS you have to appear in person at the GSLS Office (please make an appointment with Katharina Bötsch) and bring along the following documents:

  • Originals of degree(s) and academic transcripts
  • Original of your highest school diploma (secondary school certificate)
  • Signed, up-to-date Curriculum Vitae outlining education, including your PhD position and start date

You will then receive your admission letter from us. The admission letter admits you immediately to the GSLS and enables you to enrol in the University of Würzburg in the Life Sciences programme.


With your letter of admission, you can enroll with our university at the student registration office (Studentenkanzlei). While admission to the GSLS is possible at any time, you can only enroll in the university during the following time periods: March/April & September/October

The Graduate School of Life Sciences expects you to enroll in the next available enrollment period after your admission, and you must be enrolled in the university for at least 6 semesters.

For the enrollment procedure, please bring with you the following documents:

  • Letter of admission
  • health insurance certificate (letter from insurance company)
  • certified copy of high school leaving certificate (German: Abitur)
  • certified copies of academic records
  • study progresses (Studienverläufe) from all German universities you attended
  • copy of identity card or passport
  • proof of transferred semester fee (covering membership of student union and a contribution to the semester ticket.  See here for current semester fee [German only])

Upon enrollment you will receive your student ID, which also allows you free access to the public transport system of Würzburg.