Frequently Asked Questions


I would like to apply to the GTC doctoral program. What do I have to do?

The Graduate Training Centre does not offer PhD-positions; we are offering a doctoral program with mentoring and courses for which you could apply for once you have found a supervisor and a suitable research project in one of the labs in the Neuroscience community of Tübingen.

This link might help you to find the perfect institute and department:

If you have found a supervisor and a research project, you may apply throughout the year to the doctoral program. The application procedure is described here.

Do I need to take the TOEFL?

If you are not a native English speaker, you are recommended to submit proof of English proficiency. Applicants who have been taught the majority of their courses in English do not need to submit results from a standardized test such as TOEFL or IELTS. However, it is recommended that they attach an official statement (signed by an official of the college or university, e.g. the dean's or registrar's office) which indicates that English was the medium of instruction. We also accept outdated test results.

When do I get admission to the doctoral program?

After submission of your application documents and the successful admission interview (1st Advisory Board Meeting), an admission letter will be issued for you. You must enrol at the student administration of the University of Tübingen. Find more information here.

I need an admission letter to apply for my visa. What shall I do?

Please contact us. We can provide a preliminary admission letter, (which is usually sufficient for the embassies), if you have submitted all neccesary application documents.


How many ECTS Points do I have? How many ECTS Points do I have to earn?

You need to earn 18 ECTS points for your doctoral studies. See also the Core curriculum. You can submit your course list with the associated confirmations to the doctoral coordination office ( to get your actual status of your ECTS Points.

How do I register for the courses?
Credit Points will only be acknowledged for the doctoral studies, when you have been admitted to the GTC doctoral program.

The doctoral course program offers various courses from various hosts. Registration information to the individual courses can be found on the course home page

Since March 2018, all PhD students must enrol at the University. So you should be enrolled or requested exemption from mandatory enrollment since you have a contract with the University. If you plan to take Mastercourses from the GTC Program, there are two cases how you can register.

Case 1: You are enrolled at the Uni You should have received login details from the University. To register for the course, you need to register in ALMA and ILIAS. The course coordinator will give you access to ILIAS, when there are free spots and you can participate.

Case 2: You requested exemption for the mandatory enrollment. As a employee from the University, you should received login details anyway. To register for the course, you need to register only in ILIAS and write an email to the course coordinator ( The course coordinator will give you access to ILIAS, when there are free spots and you can participate.

Preparing the thesis

What format should I choose for the thesis?

After your AB approved in your third AB Meeting that your work can be submitted within the next six month, please get in contact with Dr. Monika Lam regarding the format of your thesis.

Is there a specific font, font size, borders etc. I should use?

No, there is not a specific layout, you need to follow except of three first pages of thesis. You will receive the draft from Dr. Monika Lam, when you submitted your form from your 3rd AB meeting.

How many copies do I have to print? Are there any specification for the printing?

Before printing, you should send your quasi-final draft to Dr. Monika Lam. When the GTC approves the thesis, you can print five copies in A4 format, ringbound, double-sided printed. These copies will be send to your examination board for the evaluation and your defense.

Submission of the thesis/Application to the doctorate process

I have finalized my thesis and would like to submit my thesis. What do I have to do?

The next step is to apply for admission to the doctorate process. The application must be submitted to the GTC and must include the following document:

  • Cover letter (Please request the draft from Dr. Monika Lam)
  • 5 copies of your thesis (A4-format, ring-bound, printed double-sided)
  • CV
  • proof of your successfully completed doctoral studies (confirmation that you have earned the required 18 ECTS Credit points)
  • Advisory Board Meeting Forms
  • Statement of Contributions
  • Set of Declarations (Please request the draft from Dr. Monika Lam)
  • Police Clearance Certificate (not older than six months)

What happens after the submission of my thesis?

In consideration of your proposal of the examination board, the doctorate board will appoint two reviewers to evaluate your thesis within two month. After we have received your evaluation of both reviewers, we will display your thesis and the evaluations for 2-4 weeks to the professors and habilitated researchers of the faculty of science and of medicine for inspection. The duration of the display depends on, if the display is during the lecture period or not. Your dissertation is accepted when there is no objection during the display period. Then you can defend your thesis earliest one day after the display period. The exact time period of the thesis display will be communicated to you, which allows you to start with organizing day, time and location of the thesis defense.

What do I have to prepare for my defense?

When your examination board is approved and appointed by the doctorate board/GTC, you can contact your board and schedule a date and location for your defense. Please let us know the details of the defense at least two weeks in advance. We will prepare the invitations and examinations documents for your defense.

What do I have to do after my defense?

When we have received the examination documents from your board, you will get a 'Letter of Confirmation' stating that you have completed the doctoral procedure successfully and that you have been conferred a Dr. rer. nat.-degree. In addition, you need to submit your depositary copies to the GTC.

  • If you have chosen the monographic format, you have to submit 3 copies and publication contracts for the library to the GTC and you have to upload your thesis on the University's library server.
  • If you have chosen the cumulative format, you have to submit 5 copies to the GTC.

Afterwards, your certificate will be issued.

How long does it take until I get my certificates? Can I already use my title Dr. rer. nat?

You are not allowed to use your title as long as you have not received your certificates. It will take several weeks until your certificate is ready, since it will be signed by the deans of the science and medical faculty, the rector and the IMPRS speaker.