Training modules

The minimum requirements to be met by every member of Life@FAU on completion of their doctoral degree programme are defined in the following. Compliance with these minimum requirements is mandatory for all Life@FAU members if they are to be recognised as having completed the Life@FAU programme successfully. The research training groups in the fields of medicine, biology and biophysics and other organisational units may define other requirements for their respective programmes which doctoral candidates will need to meet in addition to these minimum requirements.

In order to accommodate degrees in medicine with an integrated doctoral research phase which are now commonplace, the modules are designed to conform to the shorter duration of the doctoral study period. Medical students are required to complete a nine-month full-time research activity consisting of at least 8 consecutive months and one additional month.


Training modules

The Steering Committee defines the number of specialist or interdisciplinary training modules that must be successfully completed during each study period. Completion of ‘Good Scientific Practice’ training modules is also required. Other modules offered by FAU (especially  Life@FAU and the Graduate Centre) and  Universitätsklinikum Erlangen are elective and include:

  • Skill courses (scientific writing, communication, etc.)
  • Practical courses for training in laboratory methods
  • Attendance of lectures and seminars (in consultation with the Supervision Committee)


Specified number of seminars:

Dr. med.: at least two seminars in total

Dr. rer. nat. / Dr. rer. biol. hum.: at least three seminars in total

A seminar organised by doctoral candidates must take place at least once a month during each semester. Participation is mandatory. Doctoral candidates who are not members of a research training group can participate in the jour fixe meetings of these groups following consultation with the coordinator of the respective group or alternatively organise their own jour fixe meetings in coordination with the Steering Committee. Doctoral candidates are responsible for defining the subject matter of jour fixe meetings. This should be based on relevant training modules and can take the form of a journal club, progress reports, presentations by guest speakers and other educational matters.


Specified number of participation:

Dr. med.: at least six in total

Dr. rer. nat. / Dr. rer. biol. hum.: at least six of eight p.a. during the doctoral thesis (3 years; a total of at least 18 participations)

You have to present your project once a year.

Doctoral candidates are expected to participate in an annual retreat. During the retreat they will present and discuss their research.


Specified number of annual retreats:

Dr. med.: at least one in total

Dr. rer. nat. / Dr. rer. biol. hum.: at least one participation p.a. (3 years; a total of at least 3 participations)

Doctoral candidates are required to attend locally organised guest speaker seminars. Doctoral candidates are free to choose the seminars they wish to attend from the local programme of guest speaker seminars. The Steering Committee will define how many seminars are to be attended.


Specified number of guest speaker seminars:

Dr. med.: at least ten in total

Dr. rer. nat. / Dr. rer. biol. hum.: at least ten p.a. during the doctoral thesis (3 years, a total of at least 30 participations))

Doctoral candidates are required to provide evidence of having given at least one or rather two presentation (poster or talk) at different national symposia/conferences.


Specified number of external congresses:

Dr. med.: at least one in total

Dr. rer. nat. / Dr. rer. biol. hum.: at least two in total

Doctoral candidates are to actively participate in public relations activities. There must be some form of active participation at least once; they can, for example, participate in the Long Night of Science, a school project, prepare an online contribution or a contribution for the general public.

At the end of the doctoral degree programme, doctoral candidates are expected to provide evidence of having published, as lead author, at least one article in a leading specialist journal.

The doctoral student is supervised by a mentoring committe, consisting of 3 supervisors. (Of which at least one is habilitated, medical students need two habilitated mentors from different institutions ). One member of the mentoring committee is to belong to another chair. The Mentoring Committee must be named at the latest until the beginning of the experimental work. A supervision agreement between the doctoral candidate and the members is therefore necessary. Regular meetings of the mentoring committee with the doctoral student are to be carried out according to the following schedule:
  • Dr. med.: at the beginning of the experimental work (full-time research /scholarship) , after completion of the experimental works (full-time research /scholarship) and afterwards annually until the doctorate is submitted
  • Dr. rer. nat. / Dr. rer. biol.hum.: initial meeting, then annual meetings and at the end of the works

A protocol of the meetings of the supervision committee is necessary. In addition, a short written report of the doctoral student about the state of the research is to be attached. This report should also contain own publications and third-party funding raised in connection with the doctorate.