PhD Research Positions











The competitive excellence doctoral programs are open for highly motivated students in medicine and life sciences.

The PhD program implements the third cycle of the Bologna process (the roadmap of the European Union for higher education). Thus, PhD students are seen as students who are offered education and guidance for their benefit and as young researchers who contribute to the scientific success of our universities.

The programs


The Doctoral College "Metabolic and Cardiovascular Disease" (DK-MCD) offers an excellence PhD program that provides an in-depth, multidisciplinary training in biomedical research in a stimulating international environment. The thesis projects focus on aspects of metabolic and cardiovascular diseases that integrate basic research and clinically-oriented sciences utilizing a wide spectrum of state-of-the-art techniques. Areas of research are new concepts and technologies for studying metabolic and cardiovascular diseases, lipid-associated disorders, cancer and lipid metabolism, and cardiovascular disease.
Depending on the affiliation of the respective research group, DK-MCD students work at the Medical University of Graz (MUG) or the University of Graz (UG).

SFB Lipid Hydrolysis

The Special Research Program (SFB) "Lipid Hydrolysis" unites research groups in Graz and Vienna with distinguished expertise spanning from mouse genetics to lipid and energy metabolism, cell biology, genomics and proteomics, pathology, and internal medicine. They join forces and combine innovative approaches to better understand how intracellular lipid hydrolases affect lipid degradation pathways.
Depending on the affiliation of the respective research group, PhD students in the SFB work at the MUG, the UG or the Medical University of Vienna (MUW) and are enrolled for PhD studies at the MUG (DK-MCD), the UG (DK-MCD or Doctorate Program in Natural Sciences) or the MUW (PhD program "Endocrinology and Metabolism").



The PhD Program "Molecular Medicine" (MolMed) at the MUG provides cutting-edge education with respect to the molecular basis of human diseases and therapeutics. The thesis projects focus on various aspects of metabolic diseases, inflammation, and cancer and integrate basic, applied and clinical sciences, as well as a wide spectrum of experimental techniques.
Admitted PhD students are employed and enrolled for PhD studies at the MUG.



The Doctoral College "Molecular Fundamentals in Inflammation" (DK-MOLIN) offers a multidisciplinary graduate training program that scrutinizes the molecular and cellular mechanisms involved in the pathogenesis of inflammatory diseases, the pathogenic role of inflammation in diseases, and novel therapeutic targets to modulate inflammation using a wide range of state-of-the-art techniques.
Admitted PhD students are employed and enrolled for PhD studies at the MUG.



The Doctoral Program "Inflammatory Disorders in Pregnancy" (DP-iDP) aims to provide a comprehensive array of approaches to methodologically analyze the interplay between pregnancy, inflammation and the placenta in maternal and fetal diseases. Especially disorders like diabetes, obesity, preeclampsia or fetal growth restriction are associated with placental inflammation. The DP-iDP includes a variety of experts in the field of clinical research, molecular biology as well as sport science. Thanks to its interdisciplinary and translational approach to inflammatory conditions in pregnancy, the DP-iDP provides a novel and promising attempt to better understand and treat pregnancy-related disorders.
Admitted PhD students are employed and enrolled for PhD studies at the MUG.



The MUG and the FFG K1 center CBmed (Center for Biomarker Research in Medicine) provide a unique PhD Program AMBRA (Advanced medical biomarker research) with challenging interrelated research topics and a training program focusing on translational topics between medicine, health care and industry. The scientific concept includes all stages of strategic medical biomarker development ranging from the identification of new biomarkers to the validation and finally to translational research that will bring candidate biomarkers into clinical practice. AMBRA has a clear focus on the most common diseases that pose a major health threat to individuals and to the public such as cancer, metabolic, fertility and cardiovascular diseases, autoimmune as well as inflammatory, brain and aging-related disorders.
Admitted PhD students are employed by CBmed in Graz and enrolled for PhD studies at the MUG.

BioTechMed-Graz lab rotation program

BioTechMed-Graz offers master students the opportunity to gain insight in a lab of their interest before deciding for a doctoral school. A 4 months lab rotation is funded with EUR 12.000. The rules for application will be published on the BioTechMed-Graz website by March 2019.

Prospective applicants are highly encouraged to take the opportunity to apply!

The positions

PhD students will be fully employed at the respective university including social benefits with a net salary (after deduction of taxes, health and pension insurance) of approximately EUR 21.500 per year. Given the cost of living in Graz, this is not extravagant but sufficient for a decent living. The universities waive the costs of the PhD enrolment.

Parallel to the employment one has to enroll as a PhD student. Successful applicants will be involved in highly competitive research projects working towards their thesis. A successful PhD student will have to show considerable engagement beyond formal working hours.

Duration of the contract

Funding is initially granted for a period of one year with the option of prolongation by two years depending on their performance (i.e. in total up to three years, which is the typical duration for the PhD thesis). Moreover, students in DK-MCD, DP-iDP, DK-MOLIN, and the SFB Lipid Hydrolysis will be encouraged to spend 6 month up to one year abroad joining other collaborating laboratories with the possibility of a 4th year extension of their contract. There is a constant monitoring of the performance of the student by the thesis committee. In case the committee is dissatisfied with a student's performance, it is obliged to take actions which - in extreme cases - may include a premature termination of the employment contract.

Formal requirements a student has to fulfill to obtain a PhD degree

PhD students are enrolled at the Medical University of Graz (MUG), the University of Graz (UG) or at the Medical University of Vienna (MUW) as PhD students, and they have to conform to the requirements of the respective universities. Basically, the university curricula require participation in a number of lectures and courses during the PhD work. At the end, the student has to submit a written thesis. After its approval, there is a PhD exam, which consists of a presentation of the thesis by the student, followed by questions from two to three examiners. These questions typically relate to the thesis work and its scientific background. Doctoral students are expected to plan and pursue a training program that goes beyond this "legal minimum" imposed by the university laws. They take responsibility for organizing guest speakers, journal clubs and technical workshops, participate in all events and contribute to the open laboratory policy of the consortia. Dissemination of scientific results is crucial to the programs' goals. Students are offered laboratory training courses and courses to gain complementary skills. Students are expected to report regularly to their thesis committees, to present at the doctoral studies retreat and at international meetings. Students are required toconclude their projects with publications in international journals.