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Program Basics

The selection of a PhD program is a major step towards a scientific career. A PhD student commits several years of his or her life to research and the acquisition of scientific communication and leadership skills. At the end of his PhD training period, the student should come away with not only an advanced academic degree, but a firm understanding of the workings of cutting-edge research and a solid foundation for his or her career.
Here is a brief overview over what the International PhD Program in the Biological Sciences has to offer:

Research First

The main focus of the International PhD Program lies on hands-on experience in research. Students start their PhD projects immediately and generally produce one or more research publications before they obtain their degree. You will find details about the research in laboratories participating in the MCSB track, the EDGE track or the CBBI track on the respective webpages.

Program Structure

In addition to carrying out scientific research, PhD students are required to attend a minimal number of courses, participate in research seminars and present their research findings at an internal symposium. In addition, a wide variety of optional courses and activities are also available. 

PhD Degree/ Dr. rer. nat.

Most students of the International PhD Program register with the Faculty of Science at the University of Tuebingen, from which they will receive the German equivalent of the PhD degree (Dr. rer. nat.).

Financial Considerations

All PhD positions are fully funded for up to 4 years, usually through support contracts  from the Max Planck Society. The contracts include complete coverage by the  German social security system, as well as health insurance. On average, PhD students can expect to have a disposable income of approximately 1200€ per month.
The International PhD Program does not charge tuition or fees. Students wishing to enroll at the University of Tübingen are charged minimal fees (approximately €130/semester). 


The PhD Program is open to highly qualified students from Germany and any other country. Approximately 20 new PhD students join the program each year. Most students are selected through the annual application process, while some are admitted after directly contacting a faculty member.