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Scientific Program

Our program is based on 3 main pillars


  • scientific professional exchange
  • good scientific practice
  • courses on scientific and transferable skills


Covering 50% of the overall curriculum, scientific professional exchange between doctoral candidates and experienced scientists makes up the major part of the program.



Qualification Units

To provide a fair system of assessment, the time spent on scientifically relevant content in courses or other activities is converted into qualification units (“Qualifizierungseinheiten”, QE). One QE corresponds to half a day of scientific content. Detailed information on qualification units is available here.

Scientific Professional Exchange

The MEDISS Doctoral Program is focused on scientific professional exchange between doctoral candidates and other junior and senior scientists.


The following activities can be accepted as QE for the MEDISS program:


  • Presenting a progress report of your own work at least once and attending at least four additional lab meetings (3 QE)
  • Presenting your work (poster presentation or talk) at a national or international conference. First authorship is not required.  (3 QE)


Before you register with the Office of Doctoral Affairs, you should discuss the courses and activities most suitable for your project with your supervisor. Keep a record of this in your “Promotionsvereinbarung”.



Good scientific practice

Another major focus of the MEDISS Doctoral Program is raising awareness of good scientific practice. A two-day course on good scientific practice (4 QE) will be mandatory  for all doctoral students who register as of December 1st, 2017. Since January 2018, the MEDISS Doctoral Program provides these courses regularly in German. English courses are available at the Graduate Academy. They consist of the modules "Good Scientific Practice: Introduction" and "Publishing Papers in the Natural Sciences".



Scientific and transferable skills

Courses on scientific training are part of the MEDISS Doctoral Program. Participants can choose from a wide varity of courses, such as laboratory methods, biometry, scientific writing techniques and presentation of research data, some of which are offered in English. Furthermore, additional activities in scientific exchange can be accepted as QE, e.g. one additional contribution at a conference, contribution to a local symposium or attending additional scientific talks (restricted to 1additional QE).


A list of courses and events that are immediately or retroactively accepted as QE is available here. Please submit a certificate of attendance at the Office (“Geschäftsstelle”) of the MEDISS Doctoral Program. Other courses and events can be accredited on request. Please submit a certificate of attendance and this form (Link).


For courses not on the list please keep in mind the following criteria:


  • in order to be accepted for the MEDISS Doctoral Program, a course has to provide scientific content
  • for allocating QE, the duration of the course and the share of its scientific content is considered


If the above criteria are fulfilled, the MEDISS Doctoral Program can also accept courses that were either completed before your doctoral studies or at other institutions. The Program Commission will decide on the accreditation.

Courses on transferable skills, such as communication training or project management, are accepted for the MEDISS Doctoral Program at a maximum of 2 QE. A selection of these courses can be found in this list. Please also refer to the program of the Graduate Academy for courses offered in English (Link).


We recommend that you discuss your prospective activities and courses which will support your research with your supervisor and keep a record of this in your “Promotionsvereinbarung”.