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COS PhD Program

PhD Curriculum

The PhD curriculum includes courses, seminar series, lecture series, soft skill training, scientific presentation and a visiting scholar program. The program listed is mandatory for students completing their experimental work in one of the research groups of the COS Graduate Program. A total of 15 credit points (CP, according to the European Credit Transfer System) is required.

Core Course [6 CP]

HBIGS students attend the HBIGS core course. Non-HBIGS students may substitute the HBIGS core course by attending a lecture (Zyklusvorlesung) and 2x three-day lab rotation.



COS Seminar Series [1.5 CP]

All doctoral students attend a COS Seminar and present his/her own project and current results within this seminar once a year. Currently accredited seminar series are:


COS PhD Seminar
Wednesday 12:00 -12:45
INF360, HS
IZN Seminar Wednesday 13:00 -14:00
INF 306, HS 2
Joint COS/ZMBH PhD Seminar Tuesday 12:30 – 13:30
ZMBH, SR main floor
Systematic Approaches in Organismal Biology       Tuesday 13:15 – 14:15
Bioquant, gHS




COS Lecture Series [1.5 CP]

All doctoral students participate in at least six guest speaker seminars per academic year at COS (or another institution). The contents of the lectures may be part of the final examination.







Internal Research Group Seminar [0.5 CP]

All doctoral students participate in the weekly internal seminars of his/her research group and present and discuss his/her results at least once a year.







Internal Research Group Journal Club [0.5 CP]

All doctoral students visit a literature seminar (journal club) and present a current publication once a year.







Soft Skill Training [1 CP]




In collaboration with the Graduiertenakademie of Heidelberg University the COS/HBIGS PhD program provides soft skill courses in scientific writing, scientific presentations, and career opportunities. 


Research Presentation [1 CP]

Students participate at least once in an international scientific meeting and present their research results (poster or oral) and take part in a yearly graduate retreat here they present their research results at least once as a poster and once as an oral presentation.



Visiting Scholar Outside COS [1 CP]



Doctoral students of the COS PhD program perform at least two weeks of their scientific research in an internationally recognized research group outside COS during the second or third year of the doctoral thesis.



Additional Credits

Additional credits may be awarded for





Attending the summer school with poster or oral presentation     1 CP
Giving invited presentation  1 CP
First-authorship 1 CP
Co-authorship  1 CP
Patent 1 CP
Organization of a scientific meeting, retreat or workshop 1 CP
Awards such as poster prize or best oral presentation 0.5 CP





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