The MDC Graduate School curriculum consists of scientific and professional training modules. The school operates a credit point system, which students can use to monitor their progress and identify further training needs.

New students on campus are invited to an orientation session, during which all aspects of doctoral training at the MDC are explained.

1. Supervision and Research progress

Over the course of the PhD, each doctoral researcher will have at least three meetings with a PhD Project Committee, consisting of the PhD supervisor and two additional scientists from the MDC or partner institutions. These meetings are intended to provide researchers with advice and formalized regular guidance regarding the progress of the dissertation project.

Emanuelle Charpentier presents the CRISPR-Cas system in front of the MDC audience. Image: Anyess von Bock.

2. Science and research-related training

The MDC offers a number of lectures, seminars, and courses for early-career researchers that are advertised through the MDC event database, the MDC training database, the PhD Office, or individual departments. Doctoral researchers can apply for travel grants to support their participation in international scientific courses and workshops, or extended visits at a partner laboratory abroad.

Summary of scientific lecture and seminar series

MDC Event Calendar

MDC Training Database (internal access only)

3. Personal skills training

The MDC offers a range of courses on campus tailored to the needs of early-stage researchers. All courses are announced in the training database on the intranet (internal access only).

  • Soft-skill courses: These courses cover topics such as scientific communication and presentation, project and time management, leadership and supervision, cooperation and teamwork, networking, intercultural competence etc.
  • IT courses for scientists
  • Language courses. e.g. intensive German classes for beginners.
The MDC international PhD Program offers the opportunity for PhD students to attend excellent talks, given by outstanding researchers across diverse research fields, as well as to discuss and network with the invited speakers. 
Julia Markowski, PhD student 

4. Presentations and Outreach

PhD researchers are required to present their work to the scientific community on occasions such as the MDC Student seminar presentationPhD Retreat, Campus symposium or international conferences. Other opportunities include: 

The MDC Graduate School supports participation in international conferences via travel grants.

5. Additional activities

PhD researchers at the MDC may get involved in the organization of events such as Graduation Ceremony, PhD Retreat or other campus events (invitation of external speakers, seminars, journal clubs, Career Day etc.).

The prize winners of this year's graduation ceremony. Picture by M. Caliari/MDC