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The structured Ph.D. in Medical Research


At the LMU Munich's Medical Faculty, students now have the opportunity of carrying out a 3-year structured Ph.D. in Medical Research. Objective of the program is a structured research training program which focuses on current content of medical research, in particular of biomedical experimental, clinical or translational research, or public health research, in particular the fields of epidemiology or public health.

In order to give Ph.D. students a structured training environment, lecturers from different fields of the Medical Faculty have come together and defined core areas, in which they have committed themselves to the framework (recruitment, supervision, qualification and examination) defined in the Ph.D.'s Examination Regulations. This involves that a thematic core area offers respective courses (workshops, seminars, etc.) are offered collectively. If needed and appropriate, Ph.D. students from other research areas are allowed to take part in these courses, thereby creating networks and synergies.

The concept of individual Ph.D. projects in the different research areas, coupled with a structured and partly integrative training program has proved successful over the past years.

All documents required during the course of your Ph.D. can be found under the Download section.

Structure of the Ph.D. Medical Research

Scope of the Ph.D.

Within the framework of the structured Ph.D. program, you need to obtain a total of 180 ECTS:

  • 30 ECTS within the curriculum
    • 17 ECTS for methods & co
    • 8 ECTS for conferences, retreats, etc
    • 5 ECTS for skills
  • 140 ECTS within the scope of the research work, including the dissertation
  • 10 ECTS for the oral defence

 Application and selection procedure

The Ph.D. Medical Research has an application and selection procedure. For more information on the process and application deadlines, please click on the respective research area, where you would like to carry out a Ph.D. (core area, research training groups, individual Ph.D.).

Minimum requirements / Documents

In order to apply to and be accepted for the Ph.D. Medical Research, the following minimum requirements must be fulfilled and documents submitted:

  • a degree in medicine, veterinary medicine, life sciences, pharmacy, health sciences or related field, encompassing a minimum of 8 semesters
  • confirmation of English language proficiency with a minimum of
    • EU level of B2, or
    • IELTS score between 5.0 to 6.5 (whereas 5.0 is the border between EU level B1 and B2), or
    • TOEFL score between 87 and 109.
    • The confirmation may be submitted up a maximum of one year upon acceptance into the Ph.D., should you not have completed a a language proficiency test before. Students with native speaker competency or those who have completed a degree in English, need to not submit this confirmation.
  • a CV
  • a letter of motivation / research proposal encompassing a maximum of 1500 words

For whom?

The Ph.D. in Medical Research is open to all doctoral candidates with a qualifying degree (Master, Diploma, or similar) in medicine, veterinary medicine, life sciences, pharmacy, public health or a related discipline.



The doctoral candidate is supervised by an authorized person (supervisor), who can be a member of the Medical Faculty, or from another faculty at the LMU or can belong to an external institution.

Thesis Advisory Committee (TAC)

During the first semester of the doctoral research project, each Ph.D. candidate must have a Thesis Advisory Committee (TAC). The TAC is comprised of the supervisor, a second reviewer and a third person. All areas of the research project should be appropriately covered. At least two members of the TAC must be members of the LMU's Medical Faculty.

Target Agreements & Target Amendments

Target Agreement ("Zielvereinbarung")

Together with his/her TAC, the Ph.D. candidate signs a target agreement, which not only reflects the supervision, but also gives information on the planned research project, milestones, curricular elements, etc. The target agreements is signed by all TAC members and the Ph.D. candidate. It must be handed in by the end of the second semester the very latest, otherwise the Ph.D. candidate will be exmatriculated from the program.

Target Amendments ("Zwischenevaluierungen")

The Ph.D. candidate should meet with his/her TAC in regular intervals and discuss the progress of the Ph.D. project and to determine whether the Ph.D. candidate is adhering to the original target agreement. These meetings should be during the 3rd and 5th semester the very latest. Should the outcome of these meetings be in accordance with the target agreement, the research project can carry on as planned. If there are differences to the original target agreement, a target amendment needs to be recorded. If the TAC determines that certain elements have not been fulfilled by the candidate, it can decide that these need to be repeated. If the elements are not fulfilled within a retry, the TAC is safe to assume that the candidate will not be able to fulfil the other requirements from the target agreement for completion of the dissertation and the oral defence. In this case, the TAC is terminated, the Ph.D. project is ended and the student is exmatriculated from the program.

Ph.D. Examination Procedure

I. Submission of the thesis and the application for admission to the oral defence

Once all requirements within the framework of the target agreement have been fulfilled, the TAC can initiate the scientific assessment of the thesis. You need to hand in the following information to the Doctoral Office, either personally or via post:

I.1. Application form

The application form must be completely filled out and signed.

I.2. Thesis (5 copies)

You must submit 5 bound copies of the thesis in DIN A4. The thesis must be paginated, contain a table of contents and reference list, as well as a detailed summary. It must be written in English.

A cumulative dissertation may also be submitted. It must consist of at least 2 articles, which have been published in or accepted for publication by a peer-reviewed journal. The Ph.D. candidate must be first author of at least one article.
A cumulative dissertation must contain an introductory summary, explaining the meaning of the research for the field and which details the Ph.D. candidate's contribution to content and scope.

I.3. Electronic version of the thesis (1 copy, PDF format)

An electronic version of the thesis (PDF, max. 5 MB!) must be submitted with the bound copies.

I.4. CV

I.5. List of all scientific publication (German or English)

I.6. Affidavit

The affidavit must be included in the bound versions of the thesis and be signed by the Ph.D. candidate.

I.7. Confirmation of congruency

A signed confirmation of congruency between the bound and electronic versions must be submitted.

I.8. Confirmation co-authors

Only necessary when submitting a cumulative dissertation.

I.9. Target agreement

If this has not already been submitted.

I.10. iThenticate report

As of October 2016, all theses must be submitted with the respective iThenticate verification report. For more information on the plagiarism software and the procedure at the faculty, please see "Plagiarism Check".

All required documents can be downloaded as a package!

II. Further procedure

II.1. Assessment of the submitted thesis

Once the application for admission to the oral defence has been submitted with all required documents, the chairperson of the Doctoral Committee asks the supervisor and second reviewer to submit their expert opinions.

Upon submission of these expert opinions, the dissertation and opinions are forwarded to the two other members of the Examination Committee, as well as to the Doctoral Committee for comment.

The thesis is accepted if the expert opinions and comments all grade the thesis with a "sufficient" (4.0) or better.

The thesis can be returned to the Ph.D. candidate once for revision. The revised thesis must be submitted to the Doctoral Office within one year for reevaluation.

II.2. Oral defence

Upon acceptance of the thesis the Ph.D. candidate is admitted to his/her oral defence. The candidate will receive a written invitation to the defence at least two weeks beforehand.

During the defence (which takes place in English), the candidate will present the results of his/her thesis during a 45 minute (maximum) public talk. Afterwards, there will be an oral examination (30 - 60 minutes) conducted by the Examination Committee.

The grading and communication of the grade to the candidate take place without the public.

A record of proceedings on the oral defence is written.

II.3. Publication of the thesis

Upon successful completion of the oral defence, the Ph.D. candidate must make his/her thesis available to the public. If acceptance of the thesis is dependent on imposed conditions, the revised version must be approved by the supervisor in writing.

The title page of the dissertation must state "Dissertation zum Erwerb des Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) an der Medizinischen Fakultät der Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München", as well as the name of the institute/clinic at which the research was carried out and the date on which the thesis was completed.
On the inner title page, the supervisor and second reviewer are to be named, as well as the date on which the oral defence was carried out.

III. Completion of the procedure

Within one year after the oral defence, the Ph.D. candidate must submit 6 bound copies (statutory copies), a digital copy and 2 forms for the submission of electronic theses to the university library. File format and data medium are determined by the university library. Your CV does not need to be included in the bound or electronic versions of the statutory copies.

If the statutory copies are not submitted within the year, all rights obtained by the successful completion of the thesis and the oral defence are null and void.

All information regarding the submission of statutory copies to the University Library's "Publikationsdienste Dissertationen" can be found under

Doctor's Certificate, Doctor's Degree and Transcript of Records

The Doctor's Degree ("Promotionsurkunde") is issued upon successful completion of the oral defence and submission of the statutory copies. It contains the date of the oral defence.

Simultaneously, the Doctor's Certificate ("Promotionszeugnis") is issued. It contains the same date at the Degree, as well as the title of the thesis, the individual grades (thesis and oral defence) and the overall final grade.

A transcript of records is also issued, which contains all completed courses and their respective exams, ECTS and grades (where applicable).

Within a period specified by the coordinator, the Ph.D. candidate can apply for insight into the examination records (expert opinions, comments, record of proceedings).
Full examination records are kept for at least 5 years.

Please note: Regulations and individual cirmcumstances dictate the course and length of your doctoral procedure. Please refrain from making inquiries about the course of your procedure. We cannot give out information on the expected date of the oral defence.