IMPRS - Biological Intelligence PhD students are usually enrolled as doctoral candidates at the Ludwig-Maximillians University (LMU) or the Technical University of Munich (TUM). The LMU or the TUM award the degree title “Dr. rer. nat.” (the German doctorate which corresponds to the American PhD) or “Ph.D”. The graduation criteria of LMU and TUM are laid down in the regulation for Doctoral Studies (Promotionsordnung) of the respective departments (Faculty of Biology or Medicine). In justified cases, students may also earn their degrees from other universities. As a general rule, the doctoral work should be completed within four years. All scientific work in the program is guided by the Max Planck Society's Rules of Good Scientific Practice.

First and foremost, IMPRS-BI students work toward their doctoral degrees. Therefore their research projects take center stage. To help improve the quality of scientific research and their future career prospects, IMPRS-BI students are offered an additional training program tailored to each student’s individual needs.

Thesis and Supervision

The IMPRS-BI program consists of the doctoral thesis and an additional curriculum. The thesis is conducted under the guidance of the direct advisor and a thesis advisory committee (TAC).
The Doctoral thesis is the scientific output of the doctoral work. It is composed in English. Content and form of the dissertation follow the university regulations.
Direct advisor. Any IMPRS-BI faculty member may serve as thesis advisor.
The TAC is composed of at least three senior scientists, including the direct supervisor. The TAC guides the doctoral candidate in all aspects of their work. Annual meetings with the TAC are mandatory.

Additional Curriculum

The core curriculum is composed of three major pillars: Mandatory Elements, Scientific Training, and Transferable Skills.
IMPRS-BI students are required to collect a minimum of 25 credit points (equivalent to ECTS) through curricular activities. Relevant courses and workshops are offered by IMPRS-BI. In addition, students are encouraged to participate in training activities offered by our partner universities. Students are eligible to receive an IMPRS-BI travel allowance to fund external training activities and participation in international conferences.
Mandatory Elements: Regular (annual) TAC meetings, Orientation Days, Scientific ethics, IMPRS-Lecture Series, IMPRS student seminar.
Scientific Training: Training in techniques and methods that are relevant for the research project, scientific courses, lectures, seminars, conference attendance.
Transferable Skills: Workshops, which improve the fellow’s employment opportunities and future career prospects in academia and elsewhere, e.g. writing and presentation skills, career workshops, management and leadership skills.

IMPRS-BI certificate: Upon successful completion of their thesis and the additional curriculum, students receive an IMPRS certificate, including a transcript of records in addition to their doctoral certificate.

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