& Application Details for Ph.D. Students
Who can apply for a Ph.D. student position within the SFB LIPOTOX or
the other projects advertised?
Any student who has the equivalent of a
masters degree in any subject from chemistry to biology, including
biochemistry, microbiology, molecular biology, pharmacology etc. can
apply for the vacant positions. The criterion for being eligible is
that the degree should permit the student to enter Ph.D. education in
the country where the degree was obtained (typically his/her home
When should one
The call for applications starts February
14, 2007 and ends March 18, 2007.
Thus, if you are interested you should submit
your application as soon as possible.
Where and how should
Please send your application by email to
Caroline Schober, the project manager of the SFB LIPOTOX (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Do NOT send the
application to the PIs directly! Type the following text into the
subject line of your email in order to
circumvent our spam filter: "LIPOTOX:
Your email should contain one attachment (if possible a .pdf
file) with the following items:
It would be appreciated if the whole
attachment were not longer than 5-7 pages.
- your Curriculum
- a description of your previous studies
- a letter describing your scientific
interests, preferably in terms of the projects offering Ph.D. positions
(indicate the name(s) of the PIs of the projects that interest you most)
- names and email-addresses of at least two
scientists who know you well enough to write a recommendation letter
- any other information which you feel
could improve your chance of acceptance
What are the
criteria for hiring Ph.D. students for the SFB LIPOTOX?
The SFB LIPOTOX is a highly competitive
joint research project that is seeking for excellent team members. We
try to get the most interested, ambitious and intelligent students to
educate them for a carreer as scientist on an international level. This
is basically the only criterion, we have no quota with regard to sex,
race or nationality. However, we may have a problem if several highly
qualified applicants all want to work with the same supervisor.
How will applicants
be selected for admission?
There will be a two-stage procedure to fill the available Ph.D.
positions. In a first round, all applications will be screened and
about 24 applicants will be selected for interviews. Preference will be
given to students who studied quickly and obtained excellent grades.
Applicants selected for interviews will be invited to come to Graz
(their travel and housing expenses will be covered by the SFB LIPOTOX)
and to give a short presentation of their previous research (typically
during the masters thesis). There will also be interviews with all
candidates invited to Graz. During that visit, they will have an
opportunity to meet the scientists involved in the SFB LIPOTOX and the
other projects advertised and to talk to Ph.D. students in the LIPOTOX
laboratories. After these interviews, the panel of principle
investigators will decide about admission.
Is it necessary to
know German to be eligible?
No, it is not. However, students are expected to be fluent in
Can I apply if I
have not yet finished my masters degree?
Yes, given that you will graduate within the next three months. The
masters supervisor will have to attest this in his/her letter of
If accepted, what
are the benefits?
Ph.D. students will be fully employed during their Ph.D. thesis. There
will be funding made available for research-motivated visits to
laboratories outside of Austria, to specific training courses and to
conferences. The Ph.D. students will be fully integrated within the
teaching activities of the international Ph.D. excellence programm DK Molecular Enzymology in Graz.
There will be a thesis committee for all Ph.D. students hired via this
is a thesis committee?
progress of each student’s thesis research throughout his/her
graduate work. Apart from the student and the thesis supervisor(s),
each committee consists of at least two additional senior scientists.
Members of a thesis committee can be either principle investigators of
other LIPOTOX projects, other professors from one of the three
universities that are part of the SFB LIPOTOX, or experts from outside.
The student chooses one of the additional members of the thesis
committee as her/his mentor. The mentor is the person who the student
can approach confidentially if he/she feels that there is a problem
with the progress of the thesis.The committee meets at least once each
year for extensive discussion following a formal presentation made by
the student. The student, the supervisor or the mentor can ask for
additional committee meetings during the year to discuss new
developments or problems related to the progress of the student’s
What is the salary
which Ph.D. students can expect within the SFB LIPOTOX?
Students will receive the regular FWF salary for Ph.D. students, which
amounts to a net annual income (after deduction of taxes, health and
pension insurance) of approximately EUR 17,400. Given the cost of
living in Graz, this is not extravagant but sufficient for a decent
How long does it
take to obtain a Ph.D. in the advertised projects?
The typical duration of a Ph.D. thesis is three years. When necessary a fourth year can be added with approval
of the thesis committee. These four years should
be the maximum duration, three years are more like a typical duration.
Of course, the initial acceptance is not a
blank check for three years of salary, there is a constant monitoring
of the performance of the student. In case the Ph.D. thesis committee
is dissatisfied with a student's performance, it is obliged to take
actions which - in extreme cases - may include a premature termination
of the employment contract.
What are the formal
requirements a student has to fulfill in order to obtain a
Successful candidates are enrolled at the University of Graz (KFUG), at the Medical University of Graz (MUG)
or at the Graz University of Technology
(TUG) as Ph.D. students, and they have to conform to the requirements
of these universities. Basically, the university curricula require
participation in a number of lecture courses (in fact, rather few,
typically 2 hours per week) during the Ph.D. work. At the end, the
student has to submit a written thesis. After its approval, there is a
Ph.D. exam, which consists of a presentation of the thesis results by
the student, followed by questions from two examinors. These questions
almost always relate to the thesis work and its scientific background.
Of course, our expectations towards our LIPOTOX Ph.D. students go
considerably beyond this "legal minimum" imposed by the university
laws. Students have to participate in additional seminars and training
activities and a strong emphasis will be put on the dissemination of
scientific results obtained in the course of the Ph.D. research
(publications in international journals). However, these are not formal
requirements an individual student has to fulfill in order to obtain a
degree, but rather an aim which is in the joint interest of the
student, the supervisor and the SFB LIPOTOX.
by the Austrian Science