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COS PhD Program

PhD Research

The COS Graduate Program offers intense and detailed advisory assistance and supervision and a constant theoretical and practical training in various fields of biology. A certificate from the COS Graduate Program will be issued along with the doctoral diploma from the faculty. All achievements as documented on the certification sheet must be acknowledged the by responsible director, group leader or lecturer. Before enrolment for the doctorate exam the achievements must be acknowledged in by the coordinator of the COS Graduate Program.


Thesis Advisory Committee (TAC)


At the beginning of the doctoral thesis the doctoral student chooses, in agreement with the supervising research group leader (ErstgutachterIN) two additional scientists as advisors (thesis advisory committee = TAC). One of the TAC members should also be available as second sup
ervisor of the doctoral thesis (ZweitgutachterIN). 

Legal requirements of first and second supervisor of the doctoral thesis are stated in the Promotions Ordnung (see Downloads).


Project Proposal


Within the first six months of the dissertation each doctoral student writes a project proposal on the planned subject of the doctoral thesis. The proposal is submitted to the TAC, and within 3 weeks the project proposal is discussed with the TAC in form of a 20 minute oral presentation. A copy of the project proposal is handed to the coordinator of the COS Graduate Program.


Annual Report and Periodic Discussion with the TAC Members

At the end of the first year and then annually the doctoral student writes a progress report and meets with the TAC to discuss the progress of the project and future plans.


Completion and Graduation


The common faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences of Heidelberg University confers the doctorate degree (Dr. rer. nat., equivalent to Ph.D.). Upon completion of graduate program (at least 15 credit points according to the European Credit Transfer System ECTS) and research project, the PhD thesis will be submitted for internal review. Following the review of the thesis, the PhD candidate is admitted to a disputation, during which he/she will present and discuss the thesis work in its general scientific context. A disputation typically lasts 60-90 mintues, and topics of the discussion may be related to the thesis and/or scientific questions proposed by members of the examination board.


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