Helmholtz International Graduate School PhD Program
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 and translational cancer research.
We warmly invite you to apply to the DKFZ and join our many distinguished scientists in cancer research!
The DKFZ is Germany’s largest biomedical research institute and has an international and dynamic work environment, providing students with access to state-of-the-art research facilities and exceptional resources. More than 550 PhD students in over 90 divisions and research groups carry out research to unravel the causes and mechanisms of cancer development and to identify novel tools for diagnosis, treatment and prevention.
Evaluation Process and Selection
Applications will be evaluated within 4 weeks of the deadline. As part of the pre-selection process, some candidates will be asked to take part in short phone interviews. We will inform applicants about the outcome of the evaluation and invite successful candidates for an interview. Selection candidates will receive a list of approximately 150 project proposals from which they can select five to discuss with the respective PhD supervisors during the on-site interviews.
The interviews take place at the DKFZ in Heidelberg about 6-8 weeks after the application deadline and last 3 days. About three times more candidates are invited than the number we eventually accept.
During the interviews, aspects such as intellectual brightness, creativity, perseverance, independent thinking and the ability to work in a team will be evaluated. Candidates are expected to:
- give a short oral presentation of their own practical work (typically their master's thesis)
- complete a short multiple-choice test that evaluates quantitative/analytical/reasoning skills (similar to the shorter analytical questions in the general GRE exam)
- attend a panel interview with 3-4 senior scientists, in which they present their research project as a "chalk-talk" and answer general questions.
Throughout the interviews, candidates have plenty of opportunity to visit the labs of potential PhD supervisors and talk to current DKFZ PhD students and scientists.
If you have previously submitted an online application for the Graduate School and were NOT invited for an on-site interview, then you areeligible to re-apply. You will need to create a new account in the online system and re-submit all your documents, including the letters of recommendation. It is not possible for you to "re-use" a previous application.
If you have previously submitted an online application for the Graduate School and WERE invited for an on-site interview, but were unable to obtain a position, then you are NOT eligible to re-apply through the online application system. Instead, we encourage you to contact PhD supervisors directly. Potential supervisors can receive further information about your previous application by contacting the Graduate Office.