International Graduate School in Molecular Medicine Ulm
The mission of the International Graduate School in Molecular Medicine of Ulm University is to promote and support excellence in graduate education and training in the field of biomedical research. Modern concepts in Molecular Medicine utilize interdisciplinary approaches combining methods from the areas of molecular biology and genetics with those from informatics, mathematics, physics and engineering. To fulfill these requirements a doctoral training programme entitled International PhD Programme in Molecular Medicine was launched in October 2005 to strive to create knowledge and to pass this knowledge on to our PhD students in order to foster their scientific career. Major aims of this programme are:
• to improve graduate training by creating an active, motivating, excellent and international research environment
• to foster critical thinking and acting, creativity and personal responsibility
• to encourage graduates to develop their own ideas, discuss them in an open forum and to convert them into meaningful action
• to generate an international environment within which students can work with tolerance and respect for people from different cultural backgrounds
• to encourage graduates to carry out independent scientific research by adopting a multilevel supervision and mentoring approach
• to guide graduate education by establishing a definitive and transparent programme structure
• to advance graduate career opportunities in the academic world and in industry.
The following institutes and clinics are involved in our Graduate School
Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry
General Zoology and Endocrinology
Molecular and Cellular Anatomy
Anatomy and Cell Biology
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Microbiology and Biotechnology
Molecular Genetics and Cell Biology
Core Facility Medical Systems Biology
Neural Information Processing
Division of Neurophysiology
Institute of Orthopedic Research and Biomechanics,
Center of Musculoskeletal Research
Organical Chemistry III
Medical Microbiology and Hospital Hygiene
Pharmacology and Toxicology
Pharmacology of Natural Products and Clinical Pharmacology
Experimental Cancer Research
Clinical and Biological Psychology
Medical Departments and Institutes:
Center for Internal Medicine
Internal Medicine I
Internal Medicine II
Internal Medicine III
Center for Surgery
General and Visceral Surgery
Orthopaedic Trauma, Hand, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery
Biochemistry of Joint- and Connective Tissue Diseases
Dermatology and Allergic Diseases
Gynecology and Obstetrics
Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine
Child and Adolescent Psychiatry/Psychotherapy
Psychosomatic Medicine and Psychotherapy
Research Training Groups
From the beginning of their PhD studies, doctoral students are organized and trained in smaller, thematically focused Research Training Groups in order to concentrate on specific research areas in Molecular Medicine. These Research Training Groups, based on the scientific topics particular to Ulm University, are defined by the Board of the Graduate School and implemented at the International Graduate School in Molecular Medicine Ulm. For each of now existing seven Research Training Groups, one or two persons are responsible for organizing retreats, seminars and activities within their respective Training Group. The Research Training Groups are:
1. Development and Regeneration
5. Host-Microbe Interaction
6. Trauma Research
Graduates are actively integrated into the international scientific community. For instance, each year the Graduate School organizes two international meetings where students deliver poster presentations and talks while at the same time having the opportunity to seek advice for their work from professional international scientists. We also hold scientific retreats that are organized either by the students themselves or by principle investigators of IGradU where graduates can exchange ideas among themselves and with senior scientists within a relaxed atmosphere. Furthermore, our PhD students have the chance to attend meetings and conferences abroad with the financial support of travel grants from the Graduate School.
In order to prepare our doctoral candidates for the job market, we offer a large number of key competence seminars in such subjects as project management, bioethics, presentation skills and so on. In addition, we regularly organize career workshops and excursions to pharmaceutical companies.
The International PhD Programme in Molecular Medicine
Scientific excellence depends on excellently trained young researchers. The training of such researchers is the key task of the International PhD Programme in Molecular Medicine. Our major aims in this respect are:
• cutting-edge research training of young scientists
• scientific independence and self-responsibility of PhD students
• improvement of employability through training in key competences.
Each doctoral student is supervised by a Thesis Advisory Committee (TAC) consisting of three members: the group leader of the laboratory where the thesis work is performed; a scientist from another institute of Ulm University; and an external reviewer either from industry or from a research institute. Within each TAC, scientists from different disciplines are involved to ensure interdisciplinary training and mentoring in research. The TAC supervises PhD students in their daily laboratory work, monitors the progress of their work and evaluates oral examinations as well as the written dissertation. This multiple supervision approach supports the independence of our PhD students as young researchers.
The International PhD Programme in Molecular Medicine is taught entirely in English. During the three year period of studies, students must take part in a number of compulsory activities. Central teaching activities include the lecture Improve your Textbook Knowledge as well as a Journal Club and the biweekly seminar Progress Report. The lecture Improve your Textbook Knowledge allows graduates from different disciplines to refresh the basic knowledge needed to perform research in molecular medicine independently of their scientific background. In the seminar Progress Report, students are trained to communicate and present their own research data to their fellow students and to place it in a broader international context. Furthermore, graduates must attend a series of 30 lectures a year presented by external speakers. Another important compulsory course is the seminar Good Scientific Practice which takes place at the beginning of practical work.
In addition to curricular seminars and lectures, we offer our PhD students a large variety of optional activities. As one of our aims is to give students insights into the work of industrial employers, we organize excursions to pharmaceutical and biotech companies. Summer schools and other scientific events in cooperation with international partner universities and partners from industry motivate students to deepen their knowledge in basic science and practical applications. We also organize scientific retreats focusing on particular research topics. In addition, there is a wide range of key competence seminars organized in order to improve the employability of our graduates. From this variety of optional activities students must choose a minimum of two courses per year.
Within the first two years of doctoral training, students are also expected to attend three practical training sessions in different laboratories or in industry. This allows them to learn new and innovative techniques that go beyond their own research field and to establish contact to possible employers.
A particular element of our training concept is the two intermediate evaluations that our students must pass on completion of their first and second years of study. Both evaluations take place during our international meetings held in April and October of each year and consist of a poster presentation and/or a public talk. Through their public frame the exams help to actively integrate the graduates into the international scientific community and to ensure proper progress in the scientific project. PhD Students have the chance to seek advice from professional international scientists. Only those students who successfully pass their intermediate evaluations may proceed to the next year of study.
At the end of PhD studies, our students can obtain the Germen degree Doctor rerum naturalium (Dr.rer.nat.) or the international degree Doctor of Philosophy (PhD). They have to decide for one of these degrees after the second intermediate examination. The efforts to obtain either of both degrees are the same.
The following is the list of proceedings by scholars from International Graduate School in Molecular Medicine Ulm that are published in OMICS International journals and conferences.