12 Funded PhD Positions at Cologne Graduate School for Ageing Research, Germany

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Cologne Graduate School for Ageing Research, Germany invites online application for up to 12 fully funded PhD positions in various research areas. Candidates interested in fully funded PhD positions can check the details and may apply as soon as possible. All PhD students receive a work contract including social benefits for a period of 3 years. Payment is based on the German TVL-13 scale, 65% (monthly gross salary approx. €2,750 in the first year)

About PhD Programme 

Our aim is to provide comprehensive training in the field of ageing research. We offer a unique curriculum with an emphasis on basic scientific logic, critical thinking, but centred on the exciting current research into the biology of ageing and age-related disease, combined with an individual career mentoring programme.

During a yearly Recruitment Week in Cologne, our faculty offers an intensive introductory overview of the proposed research projects. Thereafter, candidates can visit the laboratories of their choice. Up to 12 candidates are selected for the 3-year programme that starts individually between July 1 and October 1.

In October there is a common Welcome Week for the new CGA PhD students. We have put together a structured PhD programme conducted in English.

The graduate school’s coursework includes a method and logic training through a journal club, a comprehensive lecture series on ageing research, as well as seminars, courses and training in specialized methods, scientific soft skills, and career mentoring. A thesis advisory committee monitors students’ research progress through regular reports and meetings.

PhD Programme Application

We offer an international research environment, characterized by outstanding ageing research, excellent supervision, early independence in research and state-of-the-art facilities. We are dedicated to providing first-class conditions for young scientists in a cutting edge and inspiring environment.

Our competitive PhD programme provides a world-class starting platform for a successful career in science. The programme is highly selective and invites outstanding university graduates wishing to work towards a PhD in the fields of ageing and age-related diseases to become part of the vibrant and international research scene in the Cologne/Bonn area.

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PhD Programme Requirement

Our international and interdisciplinary faculty offers positions in the areas of cell or molecular biology, biochemistry, biophysics, bioinformatics, bioengineering, pharmacology, neuroscience medical biology, translated medicine or related fields. We invite applicants with a Master’s or equivalent degree of the above mentioned or related fields.

Applicants with a degree in medicine are equally welcome to apply provided they have sufficient relevant research experience. Furthermore, candidates require excellent written and spoken English skills (C1 level).

PhD Programme Selection Procedure

Candidates are selected based on their academic qualifications, research accomplishments and motivation. After the online application, up to 40 candidates will be invited to our online panel interviews taking place in December and up to 25 candidates will be invited to our recruitment week taking place from February 6 – 10, 2023.

If the recruitment week will take place onsite or online will be decided based on the development of the pandemic and communicated in due time.

In case of an online recruitment week, admitted candidates will be offered individual visits to our partner institutes and host labs after the recruitment week. A PhD position can be started between July and October 2023. All accepted students will be enrolled through the University of Cologne.


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PhD Programme Application Deadline

The application call for PhD projects starting between July and October 2023 is open now until November 7, 2022. Further information about our program can be found in our FAQs.



You have to hold a degree in fields such as biology, biochemistry, biophysics, bioinformatics, bioengineering, pharmacology, neuroscience, medical biology or a related area. Furthermore, you must have gained sufficient research experience during your studies. Individual applications will be examined for eligibility on a case-to-case basis.


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The next call for applications will be open from August 15, 2022 until November 07, 2022 with a programme start between July and October 2023.

Online submission: Only complete applications submitted via our online application portal will be accepted and further processed. It is possible to access your individual application form in order to add or change data, until you have submitted your data in the last step of the application. Please note that it is not possible to change your data after submission.

The completed form will not be sent back to you, therefore please take screenshots for your own records before submitting it. Make sure your email address and the contact details of your referees are correct.

Academic details and degrees: In the application form, section “Academic Details”, you have to indicate all your previous and current degrees, e.g. BSc and MSc degrees. If you have a combined degree, e.g. a diploma or an integrated BSc/MSc degree, you can also indicate this.

Host laboratories and application routes: Carefully check the available host laboratories. In the application form, section “Host Groups”, you have to first specify, whether you wish apply via the internal or external applicants’ route.

The internal route is open for internal applicants, who are currently pursuing or will pursue the MSc thesis project or an internship (3 months or longer) in a lab of one of the host groups and wish to continue in this lab for their PhD thesis. Internal applicants applying via this route will be informed about their admission to the CGA after the online panel interviews in December.

The external route is open for both, internal or and external applicants. All applicants applying via this route indicate three host labs during the online application. Internal applicants choosing this route have to indicate host groups other than the lab of their MSc thesis/internship.

Applicants applying via this route will be informed about their invitation to the CGA recruitment week after the online panel interviews in December. During the recruitment week, lab visits in the three chosen labs and up to two further labs will be performed. Hence, all recruitment week candidates can make an informed decision about their their preferred host group from these up to 5 lab visits.


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Documents: Start compiling your documents (CV, transcripts, certificates etc.) and approach possible referees early. Allow your 2 referees sufficient time to compose their letters of recommendations.

Referees: After you have specified referees in the respective section, your referees will automatically receive an email linking them to the recommendation form. You can see the submission status of the recommendation letters in your application profile.

It is your responsibility to contact your referees and make sure that they submit the form until the indicated deadline at the latest (referee deadline = one week after the application deadline). Reference letters received after this date will not be taken into consideration. It is not possible that applicants submit the letters of recommendation on behalf of the referees.


PhD projects will start between July and October each year on an individual basis. The structured CGA programme will start in October with the “CGA Welcome Days”.

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