PhD Fellowships in Cancer Research at the Helmholtz International Graduate School for Cancer Research 2020, Germany


January 05, 2020

Opportunity Cover Image - PhD Fellowships in Cancer Research at the Helmholtz International Graduate School for Cancer Research 2020, Germany

PhD Positions in Cancer Research

The Helmholtz International Graduate School for Cancer Research in Heidelberg is the interdisciplinary and international PhD program for all students working at the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ). Our PhD students conduct research at the forefront of basic, computational, epidemiological and translational cancer research.

Research Topics at the DKFZ

The long-term goal of the German Cancer Research Center is to unravel the causes and mechanisms of cancer development and, based on new insights, to develop novel tools for diagnosis, early detection, treatment and prevention.

In 2015, scientists at the DKFZ have published 1,557 research articles, many of them in high-ranking journals like Cell, Nature and Science.The divisions and research groups of the DKFZ are organized into six Research Programs:

  • Cell Biology and Tumor Biology
  • Functional and Structural Genomics
  • Cancer Risk Factors and Prevention
  • Tumor Immunology
  • Imaging and Radiooncology
  • Infection, Inflammation and Cancer

There is a lot of interaction at the DKFZ due to interdisciplinary collaborations andcross-topics:

  • Computational Cancer Research and Data Science
  • Medical Physics and Radiopharmacy
  • Epidemiology and Biostatistics
  • Cancer Epigenetics
  • Infection and Immunology

General Information

The typical duration of the doctoral studies at the DKFZ is three to four years.

The curriculum is in English and includes scientific and professional training.

More than 46 % of our PhD students are international.

Research at the DKFZ is highly interdisciplinary which is reflected by the fact that our PhD students have an academic background in (molecular) biology, biochemistry, chemistry, physics, mathematics, computational biology, computer science or epidemiology/public health studies.


Scientific Mentoring through Thesis Advisory Committees

PhD students are supervised by group leaders and department heads of the DKFZ. A Thesis Advisory Committee (TAC) – personal to each student – provides further support during the whole duration of the PhD. It consists of the supervisor and at least two other senior scientists, one of whom is external to the DKFZ. TAC meetings take place once a year to provide students with feedback on research already conducted and to give advice and suggestions for future projects. The students prepare a short written report and give a presentation of their work.

Scientific and Professional Training

The DKFZ offers a number of lectures, seminars, and events to allow PhD students to tailor their education to meet their own needs and interests.

PhD students are further supported through a comprehensive training program, starting with a one-week Initial Course dur­ing the first months of their graduate studies and further opportunities:

Progress in Cancer Research Lecture Series
Often it’s easy to get so involved in your own research project you lose sight of the big picture. This lecture series, which takes place once a week during semester time, is designed to give every student an overview of the current state of cancer research.

Scientific and Professional Skills Courses
Besides your scientific work during your PhD, you can gain additional skills by attending scientific and professional skills courses, such as "confocal microscopy", "scientific writing" or "how to present in English". Many such courses are organized by the DKFZ, but students are also encouraged to attend externally-organised courses.

Active participation in Seminar Series
An important part of PhD training is learning to explain your research to other scientists and to discuss results and hypotheses. Therefore, students present their work regularly in larger division seminars.

There are many possibilities to take part in other activities or courses, including summer schools, student-led activities, English or German language classes, teaching responsibilities… the list goes on and you for sure will find something that fits your needs and interests.

PhD Funding

All PhD positions at the DKFZ are fully funded for three years. The salaries are competitive by national standards. There is no tuition fee.

Doctoral researchers awarded a PhD position through the biannual selection roundsare funded either by a DKFZ PhD contract (65 % of a TVöD EG 13) or by third-party funding from their group leader.

All PhD students at the DKFZ are enrolled at the Helmholtz International Graduate School for Cancer Research, regardless of how they are funded.

For more information click "LINK TO ORIGINAL" below.

This opportunity has expired. It was originally published here:

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Publish Date
April 28, 2019