Guides for applicants and new Ph.D. candidates


The Unofficial Guide For New DKFZ PhD Students provides general information for internal PhD students moving to Heidelberg and covers topics like living in Germany, accommodation, social security, local authorities and more.

All new PhD students starting their thesis at the DKFZ will find all the necessary first steps and other useful information.

How to apply as a PhD Student at the DKFZ

Every year, the German Cancer Research Center awards 36 scholarships within the International PhD Program for students with scientific background. Further information regarding application, closing dates and selection process are available via the webpages of the DKFZ International PhD Program. In addition, you may apply for a PhD student position financed by third-party funds in the lab of your interest by directly contacting the respective group leader. The majority of the DKFZ PhD students has such third-party funded positions. Scholarships as well as third-party funding is usually limited to 3 years.

Register at the faculty

Since the DKFZ is not authorized to award doctorates, you need to register as a doctoral candidate at an appropiate faculty at one German university. Most covenient is, of course, the Ruprecht-Karls-University in Heidelberg.

You may also (at some faculties you have to) enrol as a PhD Student at the Faculty of Biosciences to receive the student status and ID card, which is needed for the university services e.g. the libraries, the Mensa, Graduate academy courses. It is also valid for the public transport in the evenings and on the weekends.
For one term you have to pay approx. 110 € administrative fee, but not the tuition fees of 500 €.

The legendary Blue Sheet

More info:

You will take part in the International PhD Program of the DKFZ, irrespective of the funding of your PhD position. After registration at the faculty you will receive a blue folder with blue pages from the co-ordinator of the International PhD Program. You have to document all your activities (TAC meetings, courses) within the PhD Program in this blue sheet.

Possibilities for communication


To stay informed about activities and events for PhD candidates at the DKFZ you should register for the Dipdoc mailing list. This may as well be a forum for communication with Master's students and PhD candidates about non-science-related topics.

You can ask or answer science-related questions (concerning methods, materials or equipment) via the Benchworker mailing list.


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