zum Inhalt springen

Frequently asked questions

I am interested to participate in the IPHS…

How do I find a supervisor at the Medical Faculty?

The pre-requisite for enrolment into the IPHS is a funded PhD position in a research group within the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Cologne. We recommend checking the following website which might be a good starting point for your search: Homepage Medical Faculty. On this site you will find links to Collaborative Research Centers and other research alliances at the University of Cologne. Another overview in German can be found here.
Once you found a funded PhD position at the Medical faculty, please inform the IPHS coordinator.

I do not have a medical degree. Is it possible to receive a doctor's degree at the Medical Faculty of Cologne?

Yes, applicants should hold a Master’s degree or equivalent comparable to a German university degree in an area related to Health Sciences. The applicant should hold or expect a funded doctoral student position in a research group within the Faculty of Medicine.

What are the requirements for the IPHS?

Please have a look on the requirements.
If you are eligible for the IPHS can be only checked when your full documents are present including your CV, Bachelor’s degree certificate, Master’s degree certificate and the Master’s thesis. Please note, an English or German translation of your certificates is needed.
To be accepted all candidates must send an application, which includes (among other documents) a doctoral project proposal. Afterwards, they have to present their project to the IPHS Selection Committee. Only after a positive vote the candidates are accepted into the IPHS and perform their doctoral project within a structured program with an individually tailored curriculum.

Do I need German language skills for the IPHS?

To have a certain level of the German language is not necessary for the IPHS. However, to get better adapted in Germany it is recommended to learn some German anyway.

Does the IPHS provide scholarships?

The IPHS does not provide scholarships.

Does the IPHS offer doctoral positions?

The IPHS does not offer or arrange doctoral positions.

Are there alternatives to the IPHS at the Medical Faculty?

The Medical Faculty (in cooperation with the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences) offers the Interdisciplinary Program Molecular Medicine (IPMM). The IPMM is open for physicians and natural scientists at the Medical Faculty who pursue doctoral level studies within the area of molecular medicine. The title awarded is the Dr. nat. med., equivalent to a PhD or the Dr. rer. nat.
Medical students can receive the doctor's degrees Dr. med. and Dr. med. dent.

When do the meetings of the IPHS Selection Committee take place?

Meetings of the IPHS Selection Committee take place on a regular basis (i.e. every 2-3 months). Your interview will take place approx. six month after the beginning of your PhD.

I am an accepted PhD student in the IPHS…

What is a tutor meeting?

Each PhD student is mentored by two senior scientists who accompany the PhD student. Meetings with the IPHS students should be hold on a regular basis in order to discuss doctoral project progress (i.e. approx. every 12 months). At least three tutor meetings have to take place during the doctorate. In these meetings, IPHS students present the progress of their doctoral project and discuss it with their tutors. In addition, the tutor meetings are a platform to discuss possible problems in the context of the doctorate.

Which kind of events count for the curriculum?

The courses which the PhD students have to attend comprise both mandatory and optional modules (see also here). The latter may involve a large number of subject areas. Lectures, seminars, guest speaker seminars and conferences may count for the curriculum. For more details please see the current version of the Study and Examination Regulations for the Interdisciplinary Doctoral Program Health Sciences.

How do I know, if my curriculum is completed?

After being more than one year in the program, we offer a preliminary check of the curriculum by the IPHS coordinator. Please read the information sheet “Submission of documents of your curriculum” and contact the IPHS coordinator.

I have a conflict with my supervisor or my tutors. Whom can I contact?

Prof. Dr. Esther von Stebut-Borschitz is the academic integrity officer at the Faculty of Medicine and contact person for IPHS doctoral students. The academic integrity officer is a trust person for doctoral students for the conciliation of conflicts concerning the dissertation. You can also consult trustfully the IPHS office.

I am a tutor in the IPHS…

What are my tasks?

We provide an information sheet for tutors in the IPHS (link). Please do not hesitate to contact us, if you have further questions.

I am a supervisor and my student is interested to participate in the IPHS…

Is there a format for the confirmation letter as supervisor of the IPHS doctoral candidate?

No, you can choose the format. In the informal statement you should confirm that the doctoral candidate is working in your research group and that you are willing to supervise the doctoral thesis. Please state also the exact starting date of the PhD thesis.
Hereby, I confirm that XYZ is working as a PhD student in my research group. I will supervise the doctoral thesis project. XYZ started her/his doctoral project on DD.MM.YY.

Which kind of documents should be handed in by the supervisor?

If the supervisor has not yet supervised doctoral students within the IPHS, the following documents need to be submitted:
CV and publication list
Overview of research group composition: (Post Docs, doctoral students, technical assistants)
Overview of former doctoral students (name, title of research project, academic degree, research period)
Overview of third party funding
Letter of recommendation

If the supervisor has already supervised IPHS doctoral students, only the following document needs to be submitted:
Letter of recommendation


Where do I find more information about the IPHS?

The Study and Examination Regulations govern the IPHS at the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Cologne. In particular, these regulations govern the admissions prerequisites, content, structure, goals, organization and the examination requirements of this doctoral program.

I have a question, but I do not find it in the FAQ...

Please do not hesitate to contact us, if you have further questions (contact).