International PhD Programme of the Helmholtz Graduate School at the MDC
The Helmholtz Graduate School “Molecular Cell Biology” is a collaboration between the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine (MDC) and the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin (HU), Freie Universität Berlin and Charité-Universitätsmedizin Berlin medical faculty. We offer, alongside outstanding research training, an interdisciplinary platform for structured PhD training to all doctoral students at the MDC. The graduate school currently supports 350 PhD students, one third of whom come from abroad.
The research diversity offered by the 55 groups working at the MDC covers the areas of
- Cardiovascular & Metabolic Research
- Cancer Biology & Immunology
- Developmental Biology
- Medical Systems Biology & Bioinformatics
- Structural Biology
The programme combines academic research, education and training from accomplished professors and researchers, access to high-end technology and collaborations, all within the campus. Research training is supplemented with teaching lectures in the main research areas, methods workshops, introductions to new technologies, soft-skills courses and opportunities for career development to foster the personal and scientific development of our students. To help our students keep track of the various activities and courses during their PhD, the Graduate School operates a Credit Point System for courses and conferences attended and participation in career development activities. This helps students to structure their training so that it meets individual needs and interest.
Accepted university degrees
Applicants are required to hold (or obtain within 6 months of the interview week) a university degree equivalent to a German Diplom (score at least ‘Gut’, =2,4) or MSc (=75%) with research thesis.
Applicants need to have a good command of written and spoken English. German language skills are not required, but international students will be offered German language courses at the MDC.
- Curriculum Vitae (maximum 1 page)
- Transcript (record of study) and degree certificate of bachelor degree, Vordiplom or equivalent
- Transcript (record of study) and degree certificate of master degree, Diplom or equivalent. If your degree program is not yet completed, please provide temporary transcripts.
- Two letters of recommendation
Please submit all documents as PDF files.
Translation of documents
Please submit a copy of the original document and the translation in english or german if available.
- GRE will strongly support any application; for applicants from India we also accept GATE scores.
- English proficiency test for non-native speakers
- High school degree transcripts
- Scholarships, prizes and awards
How does the selection process work?
Applicants will be chosen based on their academic qualification, aptitude, motivation, scientific interest and letters of recommendation.
Complete applications will be reviewed by the PhD office and forwarded to participating group leaders at the MDC and partner institutions.
Short-listed candidates (about 50 candidates) will be invited to Berlin for interview. Travel and Visa expenses are reimbursed and accommodation, including food, for the interview days is covered by the MDC.
The selection week in Berlin includes:
- Assessment day (1 day) including a short presentation of a research project to MDC faculty and a panel discussion
- Personal interviews (2 days) with faculty members and lab presentations of research group leaders. You are welcome to bring a longer version of your presentation or other useful material for these discussions.
- Berlin Tour, Campus Tour, dinners and various occasions to meet faculty and students of the MDC and learn about ongoing research project and the PhD program of the MDC.
At the end of the week, candidates will be asked to give us the names of the research group(s) they would like to join for a PhD project. In a final plenary session all faculty members will determine the candidates that will be accepted to the MDC. Successful candidates will be offered a position according to the candidate’s preferences. Results of the plenary session will be announced within 3 days. We expect the success rate of invited candidates to be 1:3. Successful candidates have 2 weeks to accept or decline this offer. Students may start between December 2011 and May 2012 with their research project.
Net salaries for MDC students are about 1100 Euro per month, including health insurance coverage. Health insurance is obligatory for students in Germany.
There are no tuition fees for PhD students of the MDC. The only fee required is a registration fee at the university, which amounts to around 550 euro per year or 285 euro per semester including a semester ticket for public transport.
Rent for an apartment or a flat for a single person starts at approx. 300 euro per month. On average our students pay around 400-500 euro for rent (including utilities).
Living costs in Berlin
The estimated costs of living in Berlin per person are approx. 800 euro per month (incl. rent, living expenses, food etc).
Fall 2011 PhD Selection
Online registration will open: May 10
Deadline for Application: September 1
Pre-selection: September 1 - 30
Interview week in Berlin: November 8 - 10
Important Notice for Applicants:
Successful candidates must start their PhD project at the latest by 1 May, 2012.
For more information, please visit official website: www.mdc-berlin.de.
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