Medical thesis ("Doktorarbeit")

Our department is not only dedicated to research, but is equally committed to teaching and training. We view the doctoral thesis performed by medical students as a great opportunity, to convey our excitement for research to students in medical and biological programs. We believe that the progress in medicine lies in their hands, and that it is our responsibility to train these hands as good as possible.


To provide every student with the best possible training experience, we started in 2007 with a biannual workshop that combines an overview in molecular biology with “hands-on” training in the lab. Over a two-week training period, all students, starting with their doctoral thesis in our laboratory, will learn the basic standard techniques, and obtain a theoretical framework to understand the ongoing research in the laboratory. PhD students of the Spemann Graduate School of Biology and Medicine will participate in this workshop and contribute to a lively discussion.


The typical medical thesis requires six to eight months of experimental work at the bench. The work will be closely supervised by an experienced postdocs or group leader. To ensure that the work can be successfully completed, we assign clearly defined work packages; all necessary methods are established in the laboratory. Students often voice their interest to continue with some part-time research after the completion of their thesis; we typically hire interested medical students as “Studentische Hilfskräfte”, and appreciate their contribution to the ongoing research projects. Several students have performed guest rotations in other laboratories in Germany or abroad. These activities are supported by either stipends or departmental funds, and provide additional experience both on a personal and scientific level.

UNI Freiburg Universitätsklinikum Freiburg DFG