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What Do I Need to Complete my PhD?

1. Lectures & Courses

Fundamentals: one of these two courses, depending on your undergraduate degree, 3 SWH

  • Life sciences for MDs
  • Insights into processes and needs of clinical medicine for Natural Scientists)

Complementary Skills: at least two courses in these fields, 4 SWH in total; e.g.:

  • Summer School in Complementary Skills
  • Summer School in Complementary Skills – Career Development
  • Scientific Presentation Skills
  • Scientific Writing
  • Biostatistics
  • Biostatistics with Practical Examples
  • Bioinformatics
  • Bioethics
  • Basic and Advanced Methods in Biomedical Research
NOTE: If students have not completed a corresponding course in their preceding study program, a course on the basics of biostatistics with a scope of 2 SWH shall be completed as part of the doctoral degree program.

Seminars & Courses: summing up to a minimum of 12 SWH; e.g.:

  • Technical workshops
  • Doctoral studies retreats

plus at least 2 practical courses:

  • Analysis of signal transduction and targeting of proteins in single cells (Graier, Groschner)
  • Animal handling and basics in mouse experiments (Haemmerle)
  • Molecular pathology (Hoefler)
  • Proteomics (Birner-Gruenberger)
  • Radioactive methods in biochemistry (Haemmerle)
  • Advanced cell culture training course (Panzenboeck, Bogner-Strauss)
  • Recognizing and classifying cell death (Madeo)
  • Basic principles of pharmacogenomic/pathogenomic (Groschner)
  • Functional characterization of animal models of metabolic liver diseases (Fickert)
  • Physiology and pathology of excitation-contraction coupling in the heart (Sedej)
  • Bioinformatics and computational medicine (Thallinger)
  • Metabolomic Phenotyping (Madl)

or equivalent, practical courses of the PhD Program MolMed (MUG), the DK-MOLIN (MUG) or the BioTechMed-Graz PhD Program. Courses from other universities require recognition by the Studies Rector.

Literature Clubs I – III, V-VI: consisting each semester of:

  • Journal clubs (incl. own presentation)
  • Guest lectures

Public Presentations

During the course of the program, three public presentations shall be prepared and presented for
example at the Doctoral Day of the MUG or at national or international conferences.
Conference presentations must be recognized by the Studies Rector (application via the One-Stop-Shop).

2. Reports

  • Dissertation Agreement (1st semester)

  • Presentation of the Dissertation Topic and the Working Plan (1st semester)

  • 1st and 2nd Progress Report (3rd and 5th semester)

3. Publication

At least one publication has to be accepted in an internationally approved „peer-reviewed“ journal (SCI listed) with the student as first author.

4. Approbation of the Dissertation

Please see the Guidelines for the Preparation of a Dissertation as well as the Checklist for PhD Theses at the MUG.

Prerequisites for submission of the thesis:

  • successful completion of all courses according to the curriculum (incl. recognition of external courses and/or public presentations if required; timely confirmation with the studies department is recommended)
  • at least one paper arising from the research published, or accepted for publication, in an SCI-listed journal with the candidate as first author
  • valid enrollment to the PhD studies (enrollment always applies until the end of the extended registration deadline of the following next semester (April 30 or November 30)

Submission of the thesis:

  • in pdf/a format via MEDonline (no bound copy required)
  • abstracts in English and German are required to be filled into the online form
  • Assessor A/internal in the form corresponds to the supervisor; assessors A/external and B/external are the two suggested (!) evaluators.
  • Eligible as reviewers are scientists who hold a teaching qualification (venia legendi) or a comparable qualification within the field of the dissertation, if they are not subject to any kind of conflict of interest, and if they are affiliated to a university other than the Medical University of Graz. The supervisor and members of the Dissertation Committee must not serve as reviewers of the dissertation. We recommend seeking their agreement to act as evaluators and confirm their availability at the proposed time of submission beforehand.

  • Submission of the form sheets “Consent for publication” and “Assessment of the Completed Dissertation” via STUDMAIL: The thesis will not be processed unless the form sheets have been send.
    Along with these forms, the published paper or acceptance letter plus manuscript must be submitted. If the thesis contains figures taken from publications (also your own!), the permission of the respective publisher(s) must be obtained and also send along with the forms.
  • Restriction of Use: If required, the student can apply to the Study Rector for exclusion of the thesisfrom publication for 2 years if important legal or economic interests apply.
  • Subsequently, the thesis is checked for fulfillment of prerequisites for submission, formal requirements and plagiarism.
  • The reviewers are appointed by the Study Rector and receive the thesis for assessment by the Studies department. The assessment of the dissertation must be completed within two months and the thesis be graded as "successfully completed" or "unsuccessfully completed" (with minor or major revision possible).

5. Final Comprehensive Oral Examination

You may begin planning your final comprehensive oral examination after submitting your dissertation to the Studies Department.

  • For the three examiners the same criteria apply as for the reviewers of the thesis with the exception that one of them has to be affiliated to the Medical University of Graz. This internal examiner is also the head of the examination committee (filled in and signing twice in the form sheet).
    The 2 external examiner can be the evaluators of the thesis but it is not mandatory.
    The proposed Examination Board will be approved and nominated by the Studies Rector.
  • Submission of the competely filled registration form for the PhD final comprehensive oral examination: at least 2 weeks before the proposed exam date; can initially be send via STUDMAIL but the original (incl. all signatures and seals!) must also be submitted before graduation.
  • It is the duty of the student to agree with the examination board on the date and time of the exam and organize a suitable seminar room.
  • Please note that it is only possible to take the final comprehensive oral examination after the positive assessment of all course examinations as well as the dissertation have been submitted in MEDonline. The exam date will only be approved if both reviewers have positively evaluated the thesis and send their assessments.
  • For the examination regulations, please see the Curriculum of PhD Studies.

6. Completion of the course of study

Your graduation documents (diploma, notification of the award of an academic degree, diploma supplement and transcript of records) will be issued after successfully completing the final comprehensive oral examination and after the original examination protocol has been submitted to the Studies Department.
To apply for your graduation documents you need to submit:

  • Application form for graduation
  • Registration form for the PhD final comprehensive oral examination (if it has only be send by e-mail before)
  • Confirmation of no outstanding books or fines from the library of the MUG
  • Declaration of confidentiality
  • Statistical survey (to be filled online)