FAQs for IGradU

  • What is a selection day?

    The selection day is for a student, who applies to get into the IGradU programme. Each applicant has to present his work from the master thesis in front of the PhD- committee. Students from Master Molecular Medicine can skip this selection procedure by adding a PhD- committee member to their master defense at Ulm University.

    For IGradU members, you can attend these talks for your “external speaker” list as well.

  • How long is the IGradU PhD programme?

    The IGradU program has a regulatory time frame of three years with an optional extension for the fourth year.

  • How is the funding situation of the IGradU?

    The IGradU has a safe funding till the end of October 2017 by the DFG excellence initiative. This funding was extended for other two years (till December 2019 with the secured sum for 2018). For 2020, the funding situation is not fixed yet. After 2020, there will be no funding for the DFG excellence initiative.

  • Do you have license for Graphpad Prism Software?

    The IGradU has a limited amount of licenses (now only licenses for Mac are left). Please ask your working group for this (it is likely, they have them already) or contact the coordination office.

  • When will the next IGradU student retreat take place?

    There were two great retreats in the last two years. The next one is not planned yet. However, the IGradU is always open for new ideas and the volunteers who want to organise the next retreat are welcome to contact the IGradU- office.

  • Who has to be in my Thesis-Advisory-Committee (TAC)?

    The TAC must consist of three members. At least one of them must be a member of the PI list of the Graduate School. The list of current PIs is available online 

    The second supervisor has to be from Ulm University, but not from the institute where the work is performed. The third supervisor is an external supervisor and must be from outside Ulm University. Industrial advisors are also possible.

    All members of the TAC have to be qualified for this duty, e.g. be a professor (equivalent to full or associate professors) or should be at the level of junior professors, junior group leaders or comparable.

    Duties of the Thesis Advisory Committee

    • Monitoring of the student’s progres
    • Support in all problems related to the PhD project
    • Advice concerning experiments etc.
    • Realization and evaluation of intermediate exams (during Spring and Fall   Meetings)
    • Evaluation of written dissertation
    • Realization and evaluation of disputation at the end of studies

  • What is the current rule regarding the progress report attendance?

    Every student should attend 12 talks at least in a semester. If you are abroad or visiting another institute for a longer period of time, you can attend the PR/meetings of your host institute and the IGradU will acknowledge these visits as equivalent to our PR. It is also possible to collect the amount of talks beforehand, e.g. if you are planning a longer stay abroad.

  • How is an “optional activity” defined?

    All PhD students have to attend two optional activities per year. These can be workshops, excursions, scientific meetings, summer schools, retreats, mini symposia or key competence seminars. Activities not organized by the Graduate School also count (although it is not possible to perform activities in your own Institute or working group). Recently, one of the optional activities for the first-year PhD-students has been replaced by the submission of the project plan to the coordination office.

    The optional activities must be recorded in the list of activities. Confirmation of participation in two optional activities must be provided for the registration for the intermediate examinations/evaluations. You will be reminded per email in time. If you are not sure, whether the Graduate School will accept an event as an optional activity, please contact the coordination office. 

  • What do I have to consider regarding the key competence seminar application?

    Every IGradU-student is eligible to participate in four key-competence seminars per year (on a first-come-first served basis). Please register only for those, which you really need because the courses are also reserved for the students of the “experimental-medicine” programme.

    Remember that because of many recent short-term cancelations, your application to a key-competence seminar will be checked. People who sign up for a seminar and do not show up without cancelation will be at the end of waiting lists for upcoming seminars.

  • Why do PhD students have to attend the “Improve Your Textbook Knowledge” lecture?

    The PhD course of studies comprising the lecture “Improve Your Texbook Knowledge” was launched in agreement with the University Law of the state of Baden-Württemberg in 2005 ad was the basis of the successful 2007 application within the framework of Excellence Initiative Therefore, the student representatives (now: Grace Ampem) organizes the lecture, which takes place every Wednesday at 5 pm (while lecture weeks). All IGradU students have to attend 85% of all offered talks (that varies from semester to semester) within the first year. Attendances are checked by signing a list. However, if you are not able to get the 85% attendance (for stays abroad, sickness, experiments, holidays etc.), you get the option to collect lectures in your second PhD year.

    For further information and schedule please visit the website:

  • What happens if I am not able to attend the compulsory activities in a given year?

    Every student has to attend two activities each year (in total: five, in the first year it’s only one, another one is replaced with an obligatory project plan). You can attend more activities in the first/second year and preserve them for the next year(s).

  • How many practical trainings should I attend?

    Students who use the new study regulation (starting in fall 2015), have to attend at least two courses with duration of 10 days. Students with the old study regulation have to attend at least three courses with duration of 10 days.

    Also, please note that you can use your mobility budget also for practical trainings in other labs outside Ulm.

  • What is different in the new study programme/regulations?

    The new study regulation was introduced in autumn 2015. There are four main changes: First, every year during the Spring or Fall meeting, students have an evaluation instead of an examination with the respective TAC. That means, you will not get any grades. Therefore, your final grade would be now: 60% written thesis and 40% your dissertation (old regulations: 20% intermediate exams, 60% written thesis and 20% dissertation). Second, practical internships: see above. Third, IYTK: see above. Fourth, green talks and first-author paper: see below.

  • How much is the mobility programme?

    Students who started in winter term of 2016 or before will get 3000 Euro travel budget. Students who started afterwards will get a reduced amount.  Please contact the coordination office in order to find out how much money do you have in your mobility budget.

  • Are there special requirements, if I want to book my flights, train or bus tickets for travels paid by the IGradU mobility programme?

    In that case you are only allowed to book your flight tickets at the DER Business Travel Immenstaad

    Please consider that you will need first an approved mobility programme application prior to booking. In most cases you need to pay the cost first and get a refund after returning.

  • If my budget from the mobility programme is used up, is it possible to get additional money? How can I finance stays abroad without an “active participation” (poster/talk)?

    According to the current IGradU regulations (as of June 5, 2013), costs arising through the co-tutelage between Ulm, Padova, and Oulu are excluded from your mobility budget and will be granted. Furthermore, exceptions duly reasoned and demonstrated to the board are possible! In addition, most conferences directly offer travel grants for students that you can apply for. Also many companies and foundations offer travel scholarships for PhD students either for practical courses, for several months at foreign universities or institutes, or for conference participations, e.g. Boehringer-Ingelheim, DAAD, Dr. Jost-Henkel-Stiftung, DFG, FAZIT Stiftung, Minerva Stiftung, BMBF and many more. Please note that also your group leader may pay for traveling.

  • When can the IGradU finance the fourth year of PhD study?

    The IGradU is able to finance your fourth year of study, if you are a member of the IGradU and have already been funded by any other institution for first three years or are in the double degree programme with Padua (Italy) or joint-PhD-programme with Oulu (Finland).

  • What do I have to consider, when choosing between the „Dr. rer. nat.“ and „PhD“ as my title. Does one title translate into the other and are there any legal issues?

    Please download the file "legal position of translating an academic title" to be found here 


  • What do I need to consider about copyrights of figures used in my thesis?

    Recently, the KIZ has started to control the compliance with image copyrights more tightly - also for PhD theses! Please make sure that you do not only give the reference but that you also obtain the license for pictures you use in your thesis (from journals or authors). If you do not have a license, you might have to consider creating a figure or scheme yourself to be on the safe side. Violations against the German "Law for Copyright and similar Protection" (Gesetz über Urheberrecht und verwandte Schutzrechte) are defined in paragraph 2 “Rechtsverletzungen".

    For further information, the IGradU offers a special lecture each autumn about the copyright topic.

  • Are three co-authorships equivalent to a first authorship and thus sufficient for graduation?

    In principle, all students can always apply for exemptions, concerning every matter. The board will prove every case individually and will make a decision. If the board acknowledges that the contribution of the student in several publications is equal to the scope of a first author publication, graduation is possible. However, this will not become an official rule and will only be granted in special cases, as the 1st authorship represents one of the cornerstones of the DFG "excellence initiative" and thus is the basis for our funding.

  • What is a “green” talk?

    According to the new study regulation, you can apply for a so-called “green talk” (green because of the color of the printed paper with the announcement), if your submitted first author paper was not accepted after three years and nine months in the IGradU. For the application to the “green talk” you have to hand in your application, statement of your supervisor and a manuscript of your first author publication already submitted to a peer-reviewed journal. After you get accepted to a green talk, you need to find an appointment with at least 4 members of the PhD- committee  If the PhD- committee approves your green talk (like a defence), you can submit your thesis also without an accepted first author paper within 4 weeks after the notification of the passed green talk.

    Please note the following:

    The PhD committee will approve the Green Talk application 
    only if you have submitted your manuscript no later than 3 months 
    prior to your deadline (4 years). This decision will become 
    effective January 1st, 2018.

    You have to apply with the following documents:
    1. your application, in which you explain the delay
    2. statement of your first supervisor, in which he/she supports and explains your application
    3. confirmation of the journal that the article has been submitted and is now in revision (or similar)
    4. manuscript of the paper

    Your supervisor is not expected to attend your green talk!

  • Can I submit my thesis before the three year end?

    You can submit your thesis earlier, if you already have an accepted first author paper, attended all progress reports, activities and talks. Also in that case, the PhD- committee has to approve your application for earlier submission.

  • How many reviewers do I need for the thesis and defence?

    For your thesis, you need four reviewers: three are your TAC members and one additional external reviewer, who has not published together with your group in the last five years.

    For your thesis defence, you need five professors including two from the PhD- committee, according to the old regulation system and four professors (one from the PhD-committee), according to the new regulation system.

    If your PhD is to be graded “summa cum laude” you need one additional external reviewer for the written thesis and a third/second member of the PhD- committee for the defence.

  • Do I need to organize my defence on my own?

    Yes, you need to! After receiving the confirmation from the coordinators that all your reviews from your written thesis arrived (takes between 2-3 months after thesis submission), you have to organize your defense: 1. Four-five examiners: see question #18, 2. Date of defense (doodle questionnaire can help). Once you have the date and the examiners, please contact the coordination office for the room organization. For external examiners, the IGradU will cover traveling and staying costs.

  • What should I do after the defence (disputation)?

    Once you are done with the defense (congrats on that) there are several steps you should do in order to finish your PhD-studies and to get the final certificates.

    1.     celebrate well :)

    2.     fill in the missing data in the second page which were left blank such as: Current dean / chairman of the Graduate School, 
3. External reviewer:
4. Day doctorate awarded (day of your defence)

    3.     Make sure there you do not change anything in the final copy, so do not improve nor grammatical nor content mistakes. If after the submission of your dissertation, the source references changed (e.g.  your article has been printed and your dissertations states only “accepted” ) you have to change these data and present the final pdf-version to the chairman of the IGradU. Please contact the coordination office beforehand.

    4.     Go to: http://www.uni-ulm.de/en/einrichtungen/kiz/service-catalogue/wid/publikationsmanagement/universitaetspublikationen/ and follow the instructions  and download the English version. The IGradU strongly dissuades from publishing your dissertation on OPARU because of the copyrights issues with the magazines.  Instead, head to the printing section and order 15 copies (2 hard-bound and 13 soft- bound copies). In case of cumulative dissertation, it is only 5 copies (2 hard-bound and 3 soft-bound copies). 

    5.     Start the order then and wait for the confirmation. Please note that the KIZ may contact you in some cases.

    Meanwhile the coordination office and the student secretary office are issuing your final certifices which you will be handed in upon the KIZ confirms the rule-consistent submission of the statutory copies. You will be notified when you can collect your certificates. Alternatively, you can get them t Fall/Spring Meeting participating in the graduation ceremony.