International PhD Program

PhD Program

The DKFZ International PhD Program in Heidelberg (also known as the Helmholtz International Graduate School for Cancer Research) is the interdisciplinary structured graduate school for all PhD 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.

We warmly invite you to apply to join the DKFZ and our many distinguished scientists in cancer research!

Our online system is currently open for applications - the application deadline is 15. December 2021.

Find more information on how to apply and on the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Winter Selection here.


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 500 PhD students in over 100 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.

“When I found out about the international PhD Program at the DKFZ, I knew this was where I wanted to be: Cutting edge cancer research in one of the most renowned institutes in Germany in a beautiful and multicultural city is the perfect combination. My PhD studies at the DKFZ are a unique experience not only academically but they also enable my personal growth and cultural exchange.”
(Antonino from Argentina, PhD student at the DKFZ)

Perhaps you, too, would like to work at the cutting edge of cancer research amongst leading scientists from the field? This website hopes to give you a taste of what it is like to be a member of our international PhD program. If you are interested in joining our scientific community after reading this website, we are looking forward to receiving your application!

You are thinking of doing your doctorate in Germany? Then have a look at this Guide to doing a PhD in Germany which we wrote in cooperation with and at this video by Research in Germany.

If you are a bachelor student or you've just started your master's studies, please take a look at our programs for undergraduate students!

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