International Programmes 2021/2022

Mainz Research School of Translational Biomedicine (TransMed), International PhD Programme in Life Sciences Mainz Research School of Translational Biomedicine (TransMed)

Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz • Mainz

PhD in Translational Biomedicine
MD/PhD in Translational Biomedicine
Dr rer nat
Teaching language
  • English

Courses are held in English. The thesis should be written in English.

Programme duration
6 semesters
Only for doctoral programmes: any time
Application deadline

For PhD and MD/PhD in Translational Biomedicine, see:

For Dr rer nat:
any time

Tuition fees per semester in EUR
Combined Master's degree / PhD programme
Joint degree / double degree programme

Within the biomedical sciences in Germany, there is a striking discrepancy between internationally competitive basic research and poorly developed patient-oriented and clinical research. Thus, there is a critical need for graduate programmes that train young medical and natural sciences graduates in basic and translational research to enable them to become future leaders in the fields of biomedicine and translational research, in academia as well as in the pharmaceutical industry.

Therefore, in 2013, TransMed and its doctoral degree regulation "MD/PhD in Translational Biomedicine" were jointly established by four faculties of the Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU), the University Medical Centre, Biology, Chemistry/Pharmaceutical Sciences/Geosciences and Social Sciences/Media/Sports.

TransMed plays a multifaceted role. It serves as the graduate school of the Research Centre "Translational Medicine" with its three research areas "Immunotherapy", "Translational Neurosciences" and "Translational Vascular Biology". Beyond this, TransMed is the umbrella organisation for all training groups within the area of biomedicine at JGU.

TransMed is attractive on the student level (Pre-TransMed phase), and provides a broad supervision and mentoring network during doctoral (Core-TransMed phase) and post-doctoral training (Post-TransMed phase).

Course organisation

TransMed offers an attractive curriculum with maximum flexibility in translational research for both clinician scientists and medical scientists.

International elements
  • International guest lecturers
  • Integrated study abroad unit(s)
  • Specialist literature in other languages
  • Language training provided
  • Training in intercultural skills
  • Projects with partners in Germany and abroad
Integrated study abroad unit(s)

The doctoral programme can in part be conducted at a foreign university.

Special promotion / funding of the programme
  • Other (e.g. state level)
Course-specific, integrated German language courses
Course-specific, integrated English language courses
The course of study can be taken entirely online
Digital learning and teaching modules
  • Virtual classrooms
  • Online seminar
Description of e-learning elements

TransMed offers online seminars and virtual classrooms. In the virtual classrooms, the trainers give input and there is the possibility for questions and answers, discussions and working in smaller groups.

Participation in the e-learning course elements is compulsory
Can ECTS points be acquired by taking the online programmes?
Can the e-learning elements be taken without signing up for the course of study?
Tuition fees per semester in EUR
Semester contribution

326 EUR per semester (as of summer 2021)

Enrolment as a doctoral student at Johannes Gutenberg University is not mandatory, but it is recommended. Semester fees include a semester ticket for free public transport in the local area.

Costs of living

Approx. 850 EUR per month to cover personal expenses

Funding opportunities within the university
Description of the above-mentioned funding opportunities within the university

TransMed has a scholarship programme for excellent international doctoral students. Recipients receive approx. 1,800 EUR per month.

Academic admission requirements

For natural sciences graduates:
Master's degree or equivalent

For medical graduates:
German state examination

Language requirements

Applicants must provide proof of their English skills. The reference for the required level is a TOEFL iBT test passed with at least 60 points (or the IELTS test with level B1).
For MD/PhD candidates (working as physicians): a good command of the German language is required.

Application deadline

For PhD and MD/PhD in Translational Biomedicine, see:

For Dr rer nat:
any time

Submit application to

Application via e-mail to:


Accommodation is available in one of the student halls of residence (approx. 400 EUR/month) or on the private market.

Structured research and supervision
Research training / discussion
Specific specialist or non-specialist support for international students and doctoral candidates
  • Other
Support programmes for international students

The Welcome Centre of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz offers services and advice for international doctoral students.

Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz

With around 30,500 students from over 120 nations, Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) is one of the largest and most diverse universities in Germany. JGU unites almost all academic disciplines under one roof with its University Medical Center; its Academy of Arts and School of Music; and the Faculty of Translation Studies, Linguistics, and Cultural Studies in Germersheim. In over 100 institutes and clinics, 4,400 academics, 570 of whom are professors, teach and carry out research. With 75 fields of study and more than 290 degree courses, JGU offers an extraordinarily broad range of courses.

As the only German university of its size, nearly all of the institutions of JGU are located on one single campus near the city centre, which is also home to five partner institutes involved in top-level, non-university research: the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry (MPI-C), the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research (MPI-P), the Helmholtz Institute Mainz (HIM), the Institute of Biotechnology and Drug Research (IBWF), and the Institute of Molecular Biology (IMB). The campus of the University Medical Center is only about a kilometre away and the Mainz Leibniz Association institutions – the Institute of European History (IEG), the Leibniz Institute for Resilience Research (LIR), and the Roman-Germanic Central Museum (RGZM) – are located slightly further away in the city centre. In addition to this, many local businesses also carry out research, making Mainz a uniquely dynamic research hub.

JGU enjoys global eminence as a research-driven university. Its main core research areas are particle and hadron physics, the materials sciences, and translational medicine, while its most outstanding research achievements in the humanities have been attained in fields of American studies and historical cultural studies. JGU's success in Germany's Excellence Strategy programme has confirmed its academic status: In 2018, the research network PRISMA+ (Precision Physics, Fundamental Interactions, and Structure of Matter) was recognised as a cluster of excellence. With its forerunner, PRISMA, and the Materials Science graduate school in Mainz (MAINZ), JGU had previously been successful in the Excellence Initiative. Moreover, excellent placings in national and international rankings as well as numerous other honours and awards demonstrate just how successful Mainz-based researchers and academics are.

Another attribute of JGU is its research-oriented teaching – which incorporates research-based topics in the curricula early on. Similar emphasis is placed on promoting and mentoring young research talents. JGU also considers the exchange of knowledge with society as one of its key duties. As an open university, JGU offers the populace a unique portfolio of information dissemination concepts that extend far beyond the scope of standard popular academic formats. Through its system of university governance, JGU makes sure that its members participate in the strategic planning and that outstanding academics get involved.

Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz was originally founded in 1477 and still strives to emulate the innovative spirit of its namesake today. The underlying ambitions of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz include the promotion and introduction of new ideas and the use of knowledge to improve people’s lives and encourage them to overcome the many boundaries that they encounter daily.

University location

Mainz - At the Heart of the Rhine-Main Region

In its everyday life, the state capital of Rhineland-Palatinate proves that tradition and progress are not necessarily opposites. Looking back on a history spanning 2,000 years, Mainz has remained young. The metropolis on the Rhine, where Romans, electors, and personalities such as Barbarossa and Gutenberg have left their mark, is today a picturesque home for people and business. And in 2011 Mainz was named Germany's City of Science.

Mainz stands for conviviality and cosmopolitanism. Mainz always has an "open ear" for culture, and not only because a well-known Whitsun festival with theatre, music, seminars, and cabaret bears this name. State theatres, small stages, and other cultural centres provide a lively and varied array of offerings for all tastes. On the one hand, new and experimental forms of theatre are presented at the "studio theatre" (Kammerspiele), while the historic Moller building presents opera, theatre, and ballet. An especially dazzling facet of Mainz cultural life is the nationally known "cellar" stage. Top names feature on the placards of this "cabaret cellar": from Dieter Hildebrandt to the "Missfits" to Lars Reichow, to name only a few.

At the same time, the state capital is a vital central location for business, including many media companies - led by German Television ZDF (Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen), which promotes the image of its home town across Europe on a daily basis. Extensive wine growing areas characterise the landscape on the edge of the city, where a walk in the vineyards lets you leave your everyday cares behind at any time of the year. Other surrounding areas are also delightful, and offer a wealth of opportunities for day excursions. Whether to Europe's major flight hub, the Frankfurt airport, or to the charming Rheingau region with its famous monasteries such as Eberbach situated in the hills, or on a romantic boat trip on the Rhine or a short tour through the splendid landscapes of the Hunsrück, Odenwald, and Taunus ranges of hills (Mittelgebirge).