The University of Cologne has a long-standing academic tradition and a world-wide reputation for top-level biomedical research. Since 2003, the Faculties of Medicine and of Mathematics and Natural Sciences at the University of Cologne offer an Interdisciplinary Postgraduate Program in Molecular Medicine (IPMM). This IPMM is coordinated by the Center for Molecular Medicine Cologne (CMMC). The IPMM is
member of the Organization for PhD Education in
Biomedicine and Health Sciences in the European
Based on Anglo-American models, the IPMM is aimed at outstanding research-oriented medical and life science graduates. The three-year PhD program reflects the increasing importance of interdisciplinarity and provides comprehensive research training in an atmosphere of scientific excellence.
The Curriculum of the Interdisciplinary Postgraduate Program in Molecular Medicine
IPMM participants are enrolled in a 3-year experimental research project in the field of biomedicine. This research project is supplemented with an individually tailored study program of obligatory lectures and courses, guest seminars, progress reports, advanced method courses and workshops as well as scientific soft skills training.
The core study program lasts 2 years and consists of a minimum of 4 hours of lectures, seminars or practical courses per week.
Courses include current topics in biomedical research fields, e.g. molecular biology, cell biology, biochemistry, physiology, pathology, genetics, immunology, pharmacology, virology, microbiology, neurosciences as well as biophysics, structural biology and bioinformatics; e.g. outline of the program.
The research groups offering positions for IPMM participants are in the CMMC, the Faculties of Medicine and of Mathematics and Natural Sciences as well as in associated research institutions located in the BioRiver Region.
The IPMM awards the academic degree Dr. nat. med.
After completion of the postgraduate course program and successful defense of the doctoral thesis the degree of "Doktor der Naturwissenschaftlichen Medizin" (Dr. nat. med.) is jointly conferred by the Faculties of Medicine and of Mathematics and Natural Sciences.
The degree Dr. nat. med. is equivalent to the German Dr. rer. nat. and corresponds to an Anglo-American PhD, or for qualified physicians an Anglo-American MD-PhD.
Throughout the postgraduate training program IPMM participants have external mentors in addition to the research supervisor.
These senior scientists develop the individual postgraduate study program according to the particular needs and research interests of the participant.
They also regularly monitor the progress of the research and advise on issues related to the project and the coursework.
The language of the IPMM is predominantly English. Although German is not required for participation, foreign graduates are offered German courses in the first 6 months after enrollment in the program. The thesis may be submitted in English or in German.
The program is open to students from Germany and abroad. Applicants should hold a medical degree equivalent to the German 2nd State Examination or a life science degree comparable to a German university diploma in biology, biochemistry, chemistry, physics or related fields.
The applicant should hold or expect a funded PhD student position in a research group within the CMMC, the Faculties of Medicine and of Mathematics and Natural Sciences or associated research institutions located in the BioRiver Region.
The IPMM Office will support applicants in finding a principal investigator, who is interested in supervising and funding a potential IPMM graduate. Applications are accepted throughout the year.
Selection and Admission
Admission to the IPMM involves a two-step evaluation procedure. Candidates are selected based on their academic record, the quality of the biomedically oriented PhD research project and two to three academic references.
Potential participants should also have experience in and skills for experimental research and a strong interest in the life sciences.
Selected candidates are interviewed by the IPMM steering committee. Positively evaluated candidates are admitted into the program throughout the year.
The Interdisciplinary Postgraduate Program Molecular Medicine at the University of Cologne is designed for highly qualified research-oriented medical and life science graduates wanting to participate in a postgraduate program in an atmosphere of scientific excellence.
The IPMM offers:
an interdisciplinary program covering both research and complementary skills
a flexible curriculum adapted to the particular educational background and specific re-search interest of the participant
- individual mentoring by senior scientists in addition to the principal investigator of the research project
- an excellent international reputation in research and education and unique bio-medical training opportunities
- the degree Dr. nat. med., equivalent to the German Dr. rer. nat., conferred after the successful completion of the IPMM