Vienna Biocenter PhD Programme

What is happening on campus?

Empowering Curious Researchers

At the Vienna Biocenter (VBC), we want to foster a world-class scientific environment where PhD students develop and excel. The purpose of the VBC PhD Program is to train rigorous, independent scientists through a comprehensive training program.

The VBC PhD program encourages students to positively contribute to the advancement of science by making and publishing important scientific discoveries. The training program will allow students to acquire scientific skills, which are important for a career in science, but also for other career paths.

By the end of their PhD training VBC PhD students should be able to

  • Understand a scientific problem, define specific questions, and by scientific reasoning develop an (experimental) approach to address it. In particular, the following scientific practices should have been acquired:
    • to independently and critically evaluate the current state of a research field regarding the chosen scientific problem and approach
    • to formulate testable hypotheses
    • to design experiments to test hypotheses, to define a realistic time plan for them, and to define their logical outcomes
    • to plan and implement projects rigorously, and be able to revise them when necessary
    • to interpret experimental outcomes and to reach sound conclusions based on the results
    • to propose an follow up experiments
  • Have demonstrated the ability to be intellectually independent and to take project ownership
  • Be critical thinkers and proficient in scientific reasoning
  • Be experts with regard to their topic, and knowledgeable in science and the scientific method in general
  • Have advanced science communication skills in
    • Writing (for publications/fellowships and grant applications)
    • Presenting to specialised and interdisciplinary audiences

Fundamental requirements to achieving these goals are:

- willingness and capability to learn and/or expand technical skills

- proficiency in keeping thorough research records

- practicing high standards of professionalism and collegiality

- cultivating professional networks and collaborations

Ultimately it is the responsibility of all participants in the VBC PhD Program to foster and promote the development of the PhD candidates. 

There are three main levels, in which the parties involved have important roles and responsibilities.

(i) Student self-assessment: 

The student is responsible to check his/her progress, to take the initiative, and to look for support in order to reach the learning outcomes

(ii) Supervisor: 

The supervisor has to evaluate the student’s progress and provide the necessary mentoring and support for the student to reach the above learning outcomes and the agreed scientific goals

(iii) Thesis Advisory Committee: 

The TAC is responsible for monitoring the student’s progress and giving external advice and support to the student and supervisor.

Checklist for Progress Review

The Vienna Biocenter in the third district of Vienna has established itself as the premier location for life sciences in Central Europe and is a world-leading international bio-medical research center.


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