Graduate School Life Science Munich

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Frequently asked questions (FAQs):

What is the LSM?
It's the Graduate School Life Science Munich, an institution of the LMU.

What does the LSM have to offer?
The LSM (Life Science Munich Graduate School ) offers an international doctoral programme in life sciences covering areas of Anthropology and Human Biology, Biochemistry, Biophysics, Chemical Biology, Cell and Developmental Biology, Ecology, Evolutionary Biology, Genetics, Microbiology, Pharmacology, Plant Sciences, Systematic Botany and Mycology, Systematic Zoology and Zoology to outstanding motivated and qualified researchers. Within an environment of scientific excellence and collaboration, the programme exposes students to a wide range of scientific questions and methods covering the disciplines mentioned above. We welcome applicants from outside of the Faculty of Biology, namely applicants interested in our LSM members research from neighbouring Faculty of Chemistry and Pharmacy. The LSM programme is highly multidisciplinary, as its members represent the entire spectrum of research and teaching carried out in the Faculty of Biology (with the exception of neurosciences) plus aspects in pharmaceutical sciences and chemistry.

What are the requirements for applying to the LSM?
We welcome applications from students with a Master of Science Degree or equivalent and in special cases with a Bachelor with honours (4-year degree/with 240 ECTS points). Please note that you need to have completed your degree by the time you start the LSM programme, but not at the time of application. The programme is taught entirely in English, therefore candidates are also expected to be proficient in the language. 

Does the LSM awards an PhD title?

For simplification, the Graduate School of Life Science Munich uses the abbreviation term “PhD”. However, the Graduate School of Life Science Munich awards doctoral candidate who successfully completed the proceeding of a doctoral thesis study with a German degree "Dr. rer. nat.". This title is equivalent to a Ph.D. but legally not identical.

How can I apply?

Applications for the LSM graduate programme have to be submitted online through the LSM [Online Application Tool] which will open on October 1st! Applications submitted by mail, email or outside of the application window will not be considered.

When can I apply?
The application window will open on the 1st of October 2022. Please note, the LSM can only accept applications submitted through the LSM [Online Application Tool] Applications submitted by mail, email or outside of this application tool will not be considered.

Are there any tuition fees associated with the participation in the LSM doctoral programme?
No, there are no tuition fees for participating in the LSM Graduate School. The LSM does not charge tuition fees for attending the doctoral programme, but one must be matriculated at the LMU within the LSM, for this you will need to pay ca. 144 € per semester.

Are the LSM students supported financially?
Successful applicants of the LSM will receive a doctoral position, which is generally funded by third party funds of the supervisor. In addition, the programme provides financial support for educational and scientific activities such as conference fees, transferable skills, methods courses and social events.

Where do I find a full list of LSM faculty members?
The full list of the LSM faculty members can be accessed here. Please note the model organism of each supervisor.

I am currently studying abroad and cannot access some of the documents required for the application process. May I hand in the missing documents at a later stage?
Late document submissions can only be accepted in exceptional cases. Please contact the LSM-office to discuss the matter.

What information should I provide for the first essay of the online application (letter of motivation for your application)?
Please describe in a written essay: why you chose to apply to the LSM doctoral programme in particular; and how will you benefit from it; how LSM will benefit from having you and why you want to continue your studies in the form of a doctoral thesis in the selected research group (short mention).

What information should I provide for the second essay of the online application (letter of motivation for your selected research project, section Doctoral Projects)?
Please describe in a written essay (not a resume in the style of a CV) your scientific skills, taking into account methodologies, techniques and subjects and how they match with your selected project.

I am interested in the research of a particular group at LSM, but the group doesn´t have an advertised position for this application round, may I still apply?  No, you may not apply. Unfortunately, not all members of the LSM can have open positions on a yearly basis. Please visit the LSM member's direct website to see if they are offering a position independently, if that is the case you may contact the LSM office to discuss your options further.

Is it mandatory to upload an application photo?
No, submission of an application photo is not mandatory.

May I choose a research group for my doctoral project, which has not been listed on the LSM webpage as programme participating lab?
No, only research groups participating in the LSM doctoral programme may be chosen. Please note: with the exception of the direct supervisor, members of the Thesis Advisory Committee (TAC) do not have to be affiliated with institutes participating in the LSM.

Is it mandatory to have a Thesis Advisory Committee (TAC)?
Yes! Students are expected to plan and schedule at least one TAC meeting each year. The TAC should consist of 3 to 4 experienced scientists (including the doctoral student's advisor). Other than the supervisor, 2 TAC members must come from outside of the student's research group, in order to foster interdisciplinarity. It is not a requirement that all of the members of the TAC hold the position of professor. However, it is recommended that at least two members are professors. TAC members must not necessarily be members of the LMU, Faculty of Biology. Moreover, TAC members should be willing to remain on the TAC for the duration of the student's studies, when possible, in addition to being present at each TAC meeting. An important point of consideration: TAC members are not necessarily those who will serve on the evaluation board for the thesis defense.

My latest English test as a foreign language is somewhat outdated. May I upload this as proof of proficiency in English all the same?
Yes, please upload your latest certificate, even if it is a few years old.

Do I need to upload a separate CV during the application process?
Yes, you need to upload a CV (see Profile/CV section in the online application tool).

May I apply to the programme while still in the process of finishing my master’s/bachelor’s (4-year BSc/min 240 ECTS points) with written thesis?
Yes, you may apply prior to having completed your degree. However, you need to have completed your master's/bachelor's degree by 31.07.2022 at the latest. 

How can I be sure that the referees I have indicated have been contacted?

Your referees of choice will be contacted automatically the moment you press the “save”-button at the buttom of the page. You will receive a notification once the referee has submitted a recommendation letter on your behalf.

Please pay particular attention to the spelling of the email address when providing information in the “References”- section.

I already have letters of recommendation. Since the referees in question have a very tight schedule, would it be possible for me to forward the letters of recommendation directly?
No, we will not accept letters of recommendation submitted by applicants. The LSM will ask the referees to submit their evaluation directly online through a link provided to them. Existing letters of recommendation can be uploaded by the referee in a simple manner; we also ask the referees to fill in a short evaluation form. This will take very little of the referee's time.

My official documents stating my academic records are not in English or German. Do I need to provide a translation?
Yes, translations of your documents into English or German have to be provided. Please submit translations in addition to copies of your original documents. Diplomas in Catalan, Danish, Dutch, English, French, Icelandic, Italian, Norwegian, Portuguese, Romanian, Spanish, Swedish or Latin do not need to be notarized or officially translated.

Do I need to provide copies of original documents stating my academic records, if I already uploaded translations of these documents?
Yes, please submit translations in addition to your original documents.

Do I need to provide certified translations of my academic records?
No, translations of your academic records do not have to be certified at this point. However, please be prepared to present original documents, certified copies of your academic records, as well as certified translations thereof during the personal interviews or once getting matriculated at the LMU - provided that your application is successful.

May I edit my application once I have submitted it?
No, your application cannot be changed in any way once you have submitted it.
You can edit, change uploads, and save your application as many times as you wish as long as you do not press the ‘save and submit’ button. However, once you have formally submitted your application you are no longer able to amend it.

Is it possible to attend the candidate interviews through a video-conference or call via Zoom rather than personally coming to Munich?
Normally, this is not accepted, but the decision is under the discretion of the potential supervisor! The selection process requires all selected candidates to attend the welcome event once already in Munich. Further, information will be provided to successful candidates. The graduate school will cover the accommodation costs (at youth hostel) and reimburse for travel expenses for each invited candidate (within the recommended guidelines of pre-approved airfare tickets).


Submission of application: 30 November 2022, 12:00 noon CET

Submission of letters of recommendation: 2. December 2022, 12:00 noon CET