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Department-wide Graduate Schools of the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences

The Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences currently has five department-wide graduate schools that are open for all doctoral candidates striving for a Dr. rer. nat. (Doctor rerum naturalium).
The main objectives of the Graduate Schools are:
1. Promoting (interdisciplinary) exchange within the departments of the Faculty
2. Ensuring appropriate organizational structures and procedures for structured doctorates
3. Providing adequate courses for doctoral candidates

Below, you find brief summaries describing the different graduate schools, which also serve as umbrella structures for third party funded graduate programmes.


The Executive Commitee

The executive committee is elected for one year. Its major task is safeguarding good standards of graduate education in all Graduate Schools of the Mathematics and Natural Sciences Faculty. Chairs and Representatives of the Executive Committee serve as contact persons for the deanery, the faculty and the rectorate.

Boris Braun (Chair; GSGS)
Johannes Berg (Vice Chair; BCGS)
Niels Gehring (GSfBS)
Jan Riemer (CGSC)
George Marinescu (Mathematics)

Graduate School Managers
Isabell Witt (Representative; GSfBS)
Heike Henneken (Deputy Representative; CGSC)
Karin Boessenkool (GSGS)
Petra Neubauer-Guenther (BCGS)

Susanne Crewell (Vice Dean for Research)
Sigrun Korsching (Vice Dean for Gender, Diversity and Young Researchers)
Karin Schnetz (Commissary of the Doctoral Board - Promotionsausschuss)

Other groups, in particular doctoral representatives and the employees of the dean's office responsible for doctoral degrees, will be invited to the executive committee meetings.



The GSfBS is the international, broadly based umbrella graduate school in the department of biology. Excellent students with a Bachelors degree can in the first Master semester qualify for the Research Track Masters/Doctoral programme. The doctorate programme reflects the increasing importance of interdisciplinarity in biological research and provides comprehensive training for scientific, methodological and "soft" skills. Each student is individually guided by his/her thesis committee, allowing the successful completion of a demanding research project. Group identity is fostered by soft skills courses, symposia organised by doctoral candidates, career days and PhD days. Alumni days foster a lively Alumni network.

The CGSC provides the framework for doctoral candidates to work on a structured and research-based thesis project. It strengthens the scientific background of the candidates beyond their own subject and encourages them to take advantage of a broad range of courses in soft skills. Supervision by an individual Thesis Committee enables the PhD candidates to complete their doctoral projects within the shortest possible time (max. four years). The CGSC fosters the scientific exchange within the Department of Chemistry and beyond. It allows the co-membership in other (third-party funded) graduate programmes in the fields of Chemistry, Biochemistry and Energy Sciences.

The GSGS offers a structured research and learning environment for doctoral candidates in any of the geosciences at the University of Cologne. It fosters interdisciplinarity in geoscience research and strengthens the relations between the participating disciplines. Its goals are to
- expand its framework for structured graduate education within the Department of Geosciences
- secure and foster 3rd party funding, and to attract external scholarships;
- establish regional and international cooperation in graduate education and research;
- develop and foster excellent doctoral research by offering special benefits to its members and through attracting promising candidates from abroad

The Graduate School of Mathematics / Computer Science combines the activities of the Mathematical Institute and the Institute for Computer Science as well as the cooperation in the area of ​​graduate education. The Graduate School provides information about special lecture series and lectures, summer schools, seminars, guests as well as links to other interesting activities and transferable skills workshops, lists of graduates and much more.

The Bonn-Cologne Graduate School for Physics and Astronomy (BCGS) is a joint programme of graduate studies between the universities of Bonn and Cologne. Since 2007, the BCGS has been funded through the Excellence Initiative of the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research and the German Research Foundation. The programme leads students with a bachelor's degree through an MSc phase to doctoral studies. Students with MSc degrees are admitted directly to the PhD stage. It provides mentoring and research internships, scholarships and travel funds, and a vibrant research environment at the forefront of modern physics. Research areas at the two departments of Bonn and Cologne span almost the entire range of current physics; from astrophysics, biophysics and condensed matter research to particle physics, quantum optics and string theory.