A guide to a PhD in Life Sciences in Europe : Part 3 – A list of some universities and institutes in western Europe

There are hundreds of universities
and institutes in western Europe that are offering a PhD in life sciences. At
times, it can get overwhelming to select the one that is ‘good’ and fits your
area of interest. Here is a list of some well-known universities and institutes
in Germany, Switzerland, and Austria. The links in this post will take you
directly to the page of the PhD program offered by the university. This list is
not exhaustive. You are requested to search more thoroughly and select the

Universities and institutes in Germany

Deutsches Krebforschungszentrum (DKFZ) (German Cancer Research Center)
A leading institute for studying
cancer biology. Located in the beautiful historic city of Heidelberg. It
conducts an interdisciplinary
PhD program in cancer biology.
DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service)
The DAAD is a funding organization for
the international exchange of students and researchers. It has a vast database
of PhD positions available in Germany.
European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL)
EMBL is a publicly-funded
intergovernmental organization that is equipped with state-of-the-art research
facilities. It has five campuses located in England, France, Germany, and
Italy. The main campus is located in the beautiful city of Heidelberg. EMBL
conducts a highly competitive international
PhD program.
Frie Universität
One of the top ranking universities
in Germany, located in Berlin. It offers a graduate program in
Macromolecular Biosciences.
Highly prestigious university in
Germany, located in
Göttingen. The university offers a graduate program through
Graduate School for Neurosciences, Biophysics, and Molecular Biosciences (
Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München (LMU)
One of the top ranking universities
located in the happening city of Munich. It offers several graduate programs in
the field of life sciences through the Graduate school of Quantitative
Biosciences Munich (
QBM), Graduate school of Systemic
Neurosciences (
GSN) and also a PhD program offered by Gene Center Munich.
Max Planck
The Max Planck Society is Germany’s
most successful research organization. It involves 83 institutes engaged in
fundamental research in natural sciences and social sciences. Some of the
well-known MPI’s working in the field of life sciences are listed below. These
institutes offer PhD positions through programs offered by International Max
Planck Research School (
IMPRS). Every institute conducts its own
IMPRS-based PhD admissions.
Ø  MPI of Biochemistry – Martinsried
Ø  MPI for
Infection Biology
– Berlin
Ø  MPI of Biophysics
– Frankfurt am Main
Ø  MPI for
Biophysical Chemistry
– Göttingen
Ø  MPI for
Medical Research
– Heidelberg
Ø  MPI of
Molecular Physiology
– Dortmund
Ø  MPI for
Developmental Biology
– Tübingen
One of the oldest and top-ranking
university in Germany. Located in the beautiful historic city of Heidelberg. The
university conducts admissions to various research groups working in the field
of life sciences through its graduate school called the Hartmunt-Hoffman
Berling International Graduate School (

Universities and institutes in Switzerland

ETH Zürich
One of the leading universities in
science and technology, located in the picturesque city of Z
ürich. It is well known for its
excellent education, ground-breaking fundamental research, and for implementing
research directly into practice. It offers a competitive program for admitting
PhD students, through the
Life Science Zürich Graduate School.
École Polytechnique Fédérale de Laussanne (EPFL)
One of the top-ranking universities
in the world. It has a beautiful campus on the shore of a lake in Laussanne, a
major city in the French-speaking of part of Switzerland. It offers graduate
programs in
Biotechnology and
, Molecular Life Sciences (Cancer), and Neuroscience.
Universität Basel
A well-known university located in
Basel, a city that sits on the borders of Germany, France, and Switzerland. The
biology center of the university (Biozentrum) offers an interdisciplinary
PhD program. Apart from this, the university
also offers PhD programs in Biomedicine, Infection Biology, and Plant sciences.
Universities and institutes in Austria

Vienna Biocenter
It is one of the most outstanding
life sciences hub in the central European region. It offers a competitive
PhD program in collaboration with Universität
Wien (Vienna University).
It is a center established by
University of Vienna and Medical University of Vienna to foster excellence in
research and teaching in the field of molecular biology. It offers a
PhD program in disciplines such as RNA biology,
chromosome dynamics, integrative structural biology, and molecular mechanisms
of cell signaling.
It is a young international
institute dedicated to basic research and graduate education in natural and
mathematical sciences. It is located on the outskirts of Vienna. It accepts PhD
students through a program named as

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