PhD Council

The PhD council is elected every year by the entire PhD community and consists of six members. Our main tasks are:

  • to represent the DKFZ PhD community and our common interests, e.g. in front of the Management Board and the Graduate School. Let us know anytime where you think working conditions or education can be improved - shoot us an email today!
  • we organize parties, gatherings, conferences, scientific events, and more. This would not be possible without our fellow pro-active PhDs that join the organization teams - let us know if you want to be one of them!
  • bring the ~ 550 PhDs together for both science and fun, be it within DKFZ, with other institutes in Heidelberg or other Helmholtz centres all over Germany. For the latter, we work together with the Helmholtz Juniors.

The current PhD Council

Being on the council is awesome.

Clockwise from top left: Michael Bonadonna, Samantha Zottnick, Oguzhan Kaya, Shub Sood, Khwab Sanghvi, Sonja Krausert

We were elected in November 2018 and are of different nationalities, departments, DKFZ buildings and stages of our PhDs. This is us:

  • Michael Bonadonna
  • Oguzhan Kaya
  • Sonja Krausert
  • Khwab Sanghvi
  • Shub Sood
  • Samantha Zottnick


Hope to see you around the institute!

Some events we are organizing

Want to participate? New idea what our institute desperately needs? Bring it on! Make it happen!




Happy Hour: music, beer, pizza and more for the lowest fares on campus!

Behind the Scenes: DKFZ publishes well. We want to create this new event to hear directly from the freshly-made authors amongst us how they developed the story, what went wrong and how they pushed through the horrors of peer review. Informal talk, snacks, invaluable insights!


Movie Nights: get together, watch on a giant projector screen - popcorn, please!


Pizza and Talk: together with the Welcome Team, this scientific talk with culinary joy is usually organized during the Selection rounds.


Football Tournament: teams from DKFZ and other Heidelberg institutes compete for amazing prices and the fame of winning this popular cup.


DKFZ Cup: we plan this event at Sommerfest: all divisions compete with each other in crazy games and unusual competitions !


Newsletter: what’s new in DKFZ PhD life, compiled into a nice brochure and published just before the new PhD Selection round - it might just inspire a recent M.Sc. to join our program!


DKFZ Blog: recently created, We Care tells inspiring stories right out of of the lab, musings as a researcher, personal stories and events from the DKFZ community. The blog is not maintained, but promoted by the Council, because it's an awesome idea!


Social Media: update the PhD webpages, manage our Facebook group or feed PhD news via Twitter - thumbs up for the DKFZ family!


Events with EMBL Heidelberg: great research is fueled by scientific exchange - be the first to help organize a cross-institute party, contribute to the ScienceSlam (talks in front of general audience in O’reilly’s pub) or find your own way to bring other institutes closer - EMBL, ZMBH, COS, etc.! We help you network, you organize beyond DKFZ!


International Dinner: DKFZ employs people from so many different nationalities - and we all know that whoever can do amazing experiments also is an amazing cook! So invite all your friends and colleagues to bring some food from their country (or from any country, really), organise some cutlery, maybe a bbq, some drinks and let’s enjoy the perks of having such an amazing international environment!


Tasting Nights: Ever been to a Whiskey tasting? We would like to start something like that. Maybe with beer, maybe with chocolate - there are many things to explore and fascinating background information to discover.


Meet’n’Greet: invite scientists from academics or industry for a cosy lunch with the first 10 PhDs that sign up for it. This successful event is extremely popular for its insights gained from the casual talk about a senior’s career.


Language Events: be it tandem partners, book clubs or peot club… anything that helps people to learn a language (German or really any) is a welcome event and you should organize it!

The previous PhD Student Council (2017/2018)

The PhD Council 2017/2018, left to right: Ginny, Maria, Florian, Michael, Lucie

  • Lucie Wolf
  • Gintvile Valinciute
  • Maria Bonsack
  • Florian Köhler
  • Michael Persicke

The PhD Council 2016/2017

Being on the council is awesome.

The PhD Council 2016/2017, left to right: Manasi, Britta, Lucie, Felix, Isa, Jacqueline.

  • Britta Ismer
  • Felix Frauhammer
  • Isabelle Everlien
  • Jacqueline Taylor
  • Lucie Wolf
  • Manasi Ratnaparkhe

The PhD Council 2015/2016

The PhD Council 2015/2016 members (front: Azer, Juliane, Sara; back: Antonino, Sebastian, Mahak)

  • Antonino A. Pane
  • Azer Aylin Acikgöz
  • Juliane Hafermann
  • Mahak Singhal
  • Sara Ciprut
  • Sebastian Kruse

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