Non-medical PhD Programme

The PhD programme for non-medical students at the Medical Faculty emphasizes a strong research-oriented and interdisciplinary education within transparent institutional structures. Young scientists are thereby offered a motivating research environment which allows them to build up professional scientific expertise and to acquire subject-specific knowledge.
During the programme students will be supervised by an interdisciplinary thesis committee which consists of several experienced scientists. Besides their practical research project students have to participate in the accompanying PhD curriculum. Aim of the curriculum is to provide students with important key skills like project management skills as well as methodogical capabilities. Integration in a faculty-wide PhD network fosters the dialogue and exchange among the PhD students. Upon successful completion participants of the programme receive the titel "PhD" or alternatively "Dr. rer. biol. hum." (as German equivalent). This website should provide interested parties with all necessary information about the programme. In case of questions not being answered here, please contact us directly (see "Contacts").

  • The Non-medical PhD programme is adjusted to applicants with a degree in biomecial science (Biology, Human Biology, Biochemistry, Life Sciences, Molecular Science, Pharmacy), Psychology and Public Health.
    Other degrees can be admitted under specific conditions (§ 3 Abs. 4 PhD degree regulation).
    Applicants have to complete the application form and submit an abstract of their planned research project which has to be supported by a university professor of the UKE or a habilitated adjunct professor along with the confirmation of academic supervision. Before you can apply to the programme, you therefore need to find a supervisor for your research project.

    Continous application to the programme is possible.

    Applicants from EU-member state

    All documents have to be in English. If your certificates are in another language, please include an official translation and explain the grading system.
    Please fill out the application form as well as the CV form and send it via email to the Office for Medical Doctorate and PhD students ( promotion@uke.de ) together with:

    • copy of your high school degree
    • copy of your university degrees
    • further documentation of your research activities

    Applicants from non-EU member states

    Applicants who are interested in the Non-medical PhD programme and have finished their studies in a non-EU country, need to hold a degree deemed to be equivalent by the Standing Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs of the Länder in Germany.
    All documents have to be in English. If your certificates are in another language, please include an official translation and explain the grading system.
    Please fill out the application form as well as the CV form and send it via email to the Office for Medical Doctorate and PhD students (promotion@uk.de) ) together with:

    • copy of your high school degree
    • copy of your university degrees
    • a summary of the subjects taken showing the obtained credits
    • further documentation of your research activities
    Please note that for Non-EU members admission to the programme or obtaining the PhD degree does not have any consequences in respect of the practitioner's approbation.

    Acceptance to the programme

    The Admission Committee will carefully review every application and decide based on the previous study achievements and the scientific quality of the suggested project.
    If you are accepted to the programme, you need to enrol at the University of Hamburg (information). Please note that the inscriptions is mandatory and needs to be achieved within 4-6 weeks after the start of your non-medical PhD programme.
    Further you have to acknowledge the non-medical PhD degree regulations ("PhD Ordnung").

  • The accompanying curriculum aims to support the subject-specific education of the PhD students.
    In the course of the three-year programme, PhD students have to obtain 180 credit points: 150 credit points for the dissertation and 30 credit points for the coursework. The 30 credit points are aligned to the European Credit Point system, therefore these are assigned based on the work effort related to a specific course. Coursework of the PhD programme consists of three different types of courses: key skill courses, interdisciplinary seminars and research method courses. You can find a detailed description for all courses in the Study Book of the PhD programme.
    Students have obtain a certain number of credit points in each of the different course types.

    Key skills:

    • Good Scientific Practice
    • Advanced Writing Skills for Science and Research
    • Presentation Skills for Science and Research
    • Project management

    Interdisciplinary courses:

    • Seminar: Statistics
    • Seminar: Publication process
    • Colloquium of doctoral candidates
    • Conference participation

    Since the programme tends to support the participation of the PhD students, they can select all other classes based on their interests and after consultation with their thesis committee. The Career Center of the University of Hamburg offers a range of suitable key skills classes.
    Since the PhD Programme cooperates with the UKE graduate schools and programmes, PhD students can also attend their workshops and classes, if capacity is available. Information about courses will be either announced at the websites of the programmes or can be received from the programme managers. Interested PhD-students should contact latter ones directly for free capacity in the classes.

    The Admission Committee decides whether credit points can be assigned for classes/workshops/participation at conferences. Requests can be submitted at the Office for Medical Doctorate and PhD students.

  • Admission Committee

    The Admission Committee for the PhD programme is responsible for the organisation and realization of the programme at the Medical Faculty. Tasks include:

    • Decision about admission to the programme
    • Appointment and confirmation of the supervision group (=thesis committee)
    • Decision about admission to the examination and appointment of the graduation committee

    Members of the Admission Committte are:

    Thesis Committee

    Each candidate is supervised by his/her own Thesis Committee. Members of the Thesis Committee are the official supervisor of the thesis and two other professors or habilitated adjunct professors. PhD candidates have the right to propose members for their Thesis Committee, which are appointed by the Admission Committee. Tasks include:

    • Individual supervision and counseling during the whole non-medical PhD programme
    • Biannual evaluation of work progress (information session with non-medical PhD candidates)
    • Suggestions for optimal personal and scientific development of the non-medical PhD candidates

    Graduation Committee

    The Admission Committee appoints an individual Graduation Committee for each PhD student. Additional details are available in the non-medical PhD regulations.