The Research Training Group (RTG) “Targets in Toxicology” (GRK2338) implements a state-of-the-art interdisciplinary qualification program with the long-term aim to educate a new generation of highly qualified toxicologists. Constituting an associated research training group within the Munich Medical Research School (MMRS) at the Medical Faculty of the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München (LMU Munich), the RTG “Targets in Toxicology” provides a structured Ph.D. programme (Ph.D. in Medical Research) with a modular organization which requires the acquisition of 180 ECTS points in a 3-year curriculum. Medical students may also enrol in the programme for a minimum of 18 months to obtain a medical doctor (Dr. med.).
Acceptance and general procedures
You will find an information sheet on acceptance and general procedures for the academic degree Ph.D. in Medical Research here.
The doctorate procedures are managed by the doctoral examination board (Promotionsausschuss) of the Medical Faculty of LMU Munich. Accordingly, the examination regulations of the Medical Faculty of LMU Munich apply in their currently valid version.
An English version for international Ph.D. students is available here.
M1: Lung Basics and Principles of Toxicology (5 ECTS)
The introductory Module M1 takes place in the first year of the curriculum and consists of lectures on fundamentals of lung biology and physiology (“Lung Basics”), lectures on the principles of toxicology, orientation and methods courses, and seminars on key skills in project design.
M2: Ph.D. research project and dissertation (140 + 10 ECTS)
Doctoral researchers work on their research projects under supervision of the respective RTG PI at the participating institutions (140 ECTS). At the end of the Ph.D. program, graduates will defend their Ph.D. project and written thesis. The thesis defense (10 ECTS) comprises an oral presentation of the research project followed by an oral examination.
A thesis may be submitted in the form of a self-contained book or as a cumulative thesis. Regardless of submission form, one co-authorship on a peer-reviewed publication is prerequisite for thesis submission. The minimal requirements for a cumulative thesis are two peer-reviewed publications where the doctoral student is first author on at least one. In general, a cumulative thesis should be the clear objective of all doctoral students.
M3: International Lecture Series “Toxicology of the Lung” (3 ECTS)
In this module, monthly lectures are given by experienced scientists from national and international universities, research centers and biotechnology companies. The module covers latest trends in toxicology and lung research worldwide. Lecturers are basic scientists, responsible officers of regulatory institutions, clinical researchers, and representatives of the pharmaceutical industry.
M4: Status quo Seminars, Journal Clubs (3 ECTS)
In status quo seminars, the doctoral researchers present and discuss their own research projects by posters and oral presentations.
In journal clubs, doctoral candidates present and dissect research articles within the fields of toxicology and/or lung disease from renowned scientific journals. This approach intends to familiarize students with retrieval, critical assessment, and intelligible presentation of the scientific literature.
M5: Educational Courses of the German Society of Toxicology (GT) (2 x 2 = 4 ECTS)
Participation in two 5-day advanced training courses offered by the German Society of Toxicology (GT) is compulsory for all doctoral candidates. Candidates are free to choose more courses, if compatible with the progress of their Ph.D. project.
M6: Transferable Skills Training and Career Development Programme (3 ECTS)
Complementary courses are offered by LMU central services, the MMRS, or, for students enrolled at Helmholtz Zentrum München, HELENA. They cover topics such as scientific writing, communication and presentation skills, basics in project management, intellectual property rights, statistics etc.
A practical course on aspects of job applications inside and outside of academia is offered to third-year doctoral researchers. Here, the objective is to present alternative career options and confront doctoral researchers with different interview styles and cultural differences of applications. Doctoral candidates practice interviews and receive feedback about their individual performance.
Furthermore, our programme takes advantage of the fact that the Munich area is characterized by a blossoming biotech scenery, epitomized by the “Munich Biotech Cluster m4” located at the high-tech campus Martinsried. Doctoral students are offered participation in biotechnology lecture programmes organized by the BioM biotech industry networking agency and the Industrielle Biotechnologie Bayern Netwerk GmbH (IBB Network).
M7: Translational Skills (3 ECTS)
Doctoral candidates participate in clinical visits offered by three different sites within the RTG. First, the department of Clinical Toxicology of the Klinikum rechts der Isar (Technical University of Munich, TUM) will offer clinical visits of hospitalized patients suffering from intoxications and present the poison information center of the department. Second, the Department of Internal Medicine V – Pneumology at the LMU, and Asklepios Fachkliniken München-Gauting will offer visits of hospitalized patients diagnosed with common chronic lung diseases. Finally, clinical toxicology case discussion rounds are offered by the Bundeswehr Institute of Pharmacology and Toxicology.
M8: Control of Success (9 ECTS)
A written examination will take place at the end of the first year to assess the progress made by the young researchers towards attaining the skills and knowledge outlined above. This exam will assess fundamental knowledge regarding lung (patho-) physiology and toxicology, all topics within M1.
Two annual Research Retreats are organized by the doctoral candidates where all doctoral researchers present the progress of their research project. Beforehand, doctoral candidates are asked to submit an abstract summarizing their research project results. The RTG assembly will program the sessions where doctoral candidates will serve as session chairs, thus getting familiar with introducing speakers and facilitating scientific discussions at an early career stage.
Finally, doctoral candidates are expected to present and discuss their results at one national and one international scientific conference per three years.