IZKF Research Training Group

IZKF Research Training Group

The IZKF Research Training Group provides doctoral candidates working at IZKF with a structured training programme and promotes networking among them in various different ways.

Participation is mandatory for all doctoral candidates in sciences (in IZKF Projects) who are not involved in an alternative structured training programme run by the Faculty/University and also for doctoral candidates who receive funding as part of an IZKF MD-Thesis Scholarship. Other students may associate with the research training group being open for all PhD students of the Faculty of Medicine and for PhD students who are associated to the projects of the IZKF.

The IZKF Research Training Group aims to promote networking among doctoral candidates, teach them basic methods and soft skills and how to organise their academic work, and offer insights into other scientific fields. The research training group’s activities include a monthly seminar with presentations by the doctoral candidates and courses in basic methods by the IZKF sub-project co-ordinators. Representatives of the research training group participate in the IZKF General Assembly and research training group members attend courses offered by the FAU Graduate School (statistics, communication, leadership seminars) and courses offered by IZKF itself as required.

The IZKF Research Training Group is part of Life@FAU (Graduate School of Life Sciences at FAU). That is way the training modules of Life@FAU  have to be fulfilled.


Programme of the IZKF Research Training Group

The programme is structured as follows:

The doctoral student is supervised by a mentoring committe, consisting of 3 supervisors. (Of which at least one is habilitated, medical students need two habilitated mentors from different institutions ). One member of the mentoring committee is to belong to another chair. The Mentoring Committee must be named at the latest until the beginning of the experimental work. A supervision agreement between the doctoral candidate and the members is therefore necessary. Regular meetings of the mentoring committee with the doctoral student are to be carried out according to the following schedule:
  • Dr. med.: at the beginning of the experimental work (full-time research /scholarship), after completion of the experimental works (full-time research /scholarship) and afterwards annually until the doctorate is submitted
  • Dr. rer. nat. / Dr. rer. biol.hum.: initial meeting, then annual meetings and at the end of the works

A protocol of the meetings of the supervision committee is necessary. In addition, a short written report of the doctoral student about the state of the research is to be attached. This report should also contain own publications and third-party funding raised in connection with the doctorate.

Doctoral candidates are required to provide evidence of having given at least one presentation (poster or talk) at a national symposium.

Specified number of external congresses:
Dr. med.: at least one in total
Dr. rer. nat. / Dr. rer. biol. hum.: at least two in total

A seminar organized by doctoral students is to be held at least once a month during the semester. Participation is mandatory. Doctoral candidates are responsible for defining the subject matter of jour fixe meetings. This should be based on relevant training modules and can take the form of a journal club, progress reports, presentations by guest speakers and other educational matters.

Specified number of participation:
Dr. med.: at least six in total
Dr. rer. nat. / Dr. rer. biol. hum.: at least six of eight p.a. during the doctoral thesis (3 years)

You have to present your project once a year.

Doctoral candidates are required to attend locally organised guest speaker seminars. Doctoral candidates are free to choose the seminars they wish to attend from the local programme of guest speaker seminars. Participation must be proven by a signature of the host or lecturer on the invitation.

Specified number of guest speaker seminars:
Dr. med.: at least ten in total
Dr. rer. nat. / Dr. rer. biol. hum.: at least ten p.a. during the doctoral thesis (3 years)

The Steering Committee defines the number of specialist or interdisciplinary training modules that must be successfully completed during each study period. Completion of ‘Good Scientific Practice’ training modules is also required. Other modules offered by FAU (especially  Life@FAU and the Graduate Centre) and  Universitätsklinikum Erlangen are elective and include:
  • Skill courses (scientific writing, communication, etc.)
  • Practical courses for training in laboratory methods
  • Attendance of lectures and seminars (in consultation with the Supervision Committee)

Specified number of training modules:
Dr. med.: at least two courses in total
Dr. rer. nat. / Dr. rer. biol. hum.: at least three courses in total

Doctoral candidates are expected to participate in an annual retreat. During the retreat they will present and discuss their research. Participation in the retreat of the IZKF Research Training Group is possible.

Specified number of annual retreats:
Dr. med.: at least one in total
Dr. rer. nat. / Dr. rer. biol. hum.: at least one participation p.a.

Doctoral candidates are to actively participate in public relations activities. There must be some form of active participation at least once; they can, for example, participate in the Long Night of Science, a school project, prepare an online contribution or a contribution for the general public.

At the end of the doctoral degree programme, doctoral candidates are expected to provide evidence of having published, as lead author, at least one article in a leading specialist journal.