IMPRS - Biological Intelligence fellows are usually enrolled as doctoral candidates at the Ludwig-Maximillians University (LMU) or the Technical University of Munich (TUM). It is also the LMU or the TUM that award the degree title Dr. rer. nat. (the German doctorate which corresponds to the American PhD) or Ph.D. The graduation criteria of the LMU and TUM are laid down in the regulation for Doctoral Studies (Promotionsordnung) of the respective departments (Faculty of Biology or Medicine). Foreign students may have an opportunity to graduate at their home university. 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 expert supervision and 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.
The Doctoral thesis is an independently compiled scientific output of the doctoral work. It has to be written in English and should be composed of several single scientific manuscripts with a detailed summary.
Direct advisor. Any IMPRS-BI faculty member may serve as advisor and mentor of the student.
The thesis advisory committee (TAC) is composed of at least three senior scientists, including the direct supervisor, who will guide 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 the 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 on any personal skills which will 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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