Our Study Programme

Throughout the programme, a set of indicators will serve as benchmarks for students to monitor the progress of a particular project. Training is expected to last three years, and will finish with the final oral PhD examination. The entire programme will be conducted in English. Several extracurricular activities are offered.

Thesis committee

The student will be supervised by his/her PI and the thesis committee, consisting of the PI and two additional scientists from the same or neighbouring fields of research. They will be available for discussions between the formal meetings to give guidance and critically observe progress of the work.


Our programme includes a regular reporting system, which ensures that the student is up to date with the latest literature and developments in their field of research. Constructive criticism from the thesis committee will enable the student to step back from the work produced in order to critically review it and consider the approach taken.


Besides the usual seminars within institutes, departments or research groups, we run our own lecture series, which covers the basic science of ageing and ageing related diseases and is held by faculty members.


Our graduate school retreats take place in a conference centre outside Cologne. It gives the students an opportunity for intensive exchange with their supervisors, other group leaders and one another, and helps to optimize their presentation style and technique. Each will receive individual feedback from their peers and the coordinator on their presentation via an evaluation sheet and as personal feedback.

Complementary skills

We offer diverse soft skill seminars on writing, presentation, and other areas as well as courses on methodology on a regular basis to prepare the students for a successful scientific career. The courses will be covered by specialists in the relevant field.