International Programmes 2023/2024

Atherosclerosis - Mechanisms and Networks of Novel Therapeutic Targets (CRC1123) Focus on Atherosclerosis - CRC1123

Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München • München

PhD "Medical Research", Dr rer nat, Dr rer biol hum, Dr med
Teaching language
  • English

Courses and lectures are held in English.

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

Open application rounds:

  • 1 December - 31 January
  • 1 June - 15 July

Link will be available on our website:

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

The main focus of the Collaborative Research Centre (CRC) 1123 Atherosclerosis – Mechanisms and Networks of Novel Therapeutic Targets is to study in depth the molecular networks in atherogenesis, atheroprogression and atherothrombosis as the pathological sequence underlying coronary artery disease, in order to identify and verify novel targets for treating atherosclerosis. With this aim in mind, our CRC brings together researchers of different disciplines, institutions, and universities in Munich.

Within this interdisciplinary research, doctoral researchers enrolled in our CRC programme will be offered a three-year structured PhD programme, allowing the students to collect the necessary European Credit Transfer System (ECTS) points to obtain their PhD in Medical Research. MD students are welcome to join the study programme for the duration of their medical thesis research projects in the lab.

The fundamental goal of our qualification programme is to provide training specifically tailored to the needs and topic of our CRC. The training programme consists of the following:

  • Basic principle seminars focusing on atherosclerosis and related innate and adaptive immunity
  • Advanced methodological courses with an emphasis on in vivo assays, animal models and state-of-the-art imaging tools
  • Soft skills seminars on communication, presentation and other topics equally relevant for achieving success in both a scientific career and a non-scientific career
  • Scientific education provided by lecture series (by national and international renowned speakers in the field), annual retreats, workshops and an international summer school

A thesis advisory committee is assigned to each PhD student. This committee supervises the scientific work, its feasibility and its milestones. The committee also advises the student in his/her career planning and the cultivation of a scientific network.

Additional support is offered by the GraduateCenter.

Course organisation

The three-year programme consists of the following:

A. Lecture series (one-time 45-60 minutes)

B. Basic Principles seminars (one-time 45-60 minutes) and respective Advanced Method courses (hands-on; one- to two-day courses) such as:

  • Static and perfusion-based ex vivo adhesion and migration assays
  • Imaging leukocyte recruitment in vivo – introduction to intravital microscopy
  • Models of plaque destabilisation
  • Atherothrombosis models
  • Confocal and STED microscopy
  • Whole mounted organ imaging using two-photon laser scanning microscopy
  • Laser microdissection and gene expression analysis of isolated plaque cells
  • Advanced flow cytometry methods
  • In vitro assessment of intracellular signalling, protein interaction and metabolism
  • Big data analysis

C. Soft skills

D. Annual retreat

E. Thesis advisory committee

F. Organisation of lecture series and meetings

A Diploma supplement will be issued
International elements
  • Courses are led with foreign partners
Teaching/work obligations or opportunities

Teaching is not mandatory, but teaching opportunities can be offered upon request.

Course-specific, integrated German language courses
Course-specific, integrated English language courses
Tuition fees per semester in EUR
Semester contribution

Basic fee of 75 EUR + additional fee for the Deutschlandticket

Costs of living

Living costs (including accommodation and health insurance) in Munich range from 800 to 1,000 EUR per month.

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

A three-year PhD study position is generally financed by third-party funds or stipends. Additionally available to you are: LMU Travel Grant, LMU Completion Grant.

Academic admission requirements

Formal requirements for doctoral students:

1. University degree

If the applicant is presenting degrees from outside of Germany or a non-English speaking country, the degree has to be translated to German or English.

The applicant's Master's (or equivalent) programme needs to be completed before the beginning of the CRC1123 programme.

All degrees have to be approved by the admissions and registration office at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität. For applicants from non-EU countries, a GRE subject test is recommended. For applicants originating from India, GATE is an alternative to the GRE.

2. Language skills

Applicants are required to fully understand and fluently communicate in written and spoken English. For language requirements, see below.

Mandatory documents for application:

  • Curriculum Vitae (CV)
  • Motivation letter
  • Transcript (record of study) and degree certificate of Master's degree, "Diplom", "Staatsexamen" or equivalent degree (when applicable in German or English). If the degree is not completed at the time of application, please provide temporary transcripts.
  • Two letters of recommendation (German or English)
  • High school degree transcripts or university entry qualifications (German or English)

Recommended documents:

  • Certificate of proficiency in English (applicable to non-English native speakers, or applicants whose education was not in English)
  • Certificates of scholarships, prizes and awards (when applicable)
  • GRE subject test (for applicants from a non-EU country)
  • GATE scores (for applicants from India)
Language requirements

Applicants are required to fully understand and fluently communicate in written as well as spoken English. The following is required:

  • EU level of B2, or
  • IELTS score 5.0 or more, or
  • TOEFL score 87 or more

English native speakers or those who have completed a degree in English are not required to submit this confirmation.

Application deadline

Open application rounds:

  • 1 December - 31 January
  • 1 June - 15 July

Link will be available on our website:

Submit application to

Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München
Prof Dr rer nat Sabine Steffens
Institute for Cardiovascular Prevention (IPEK)
Pettenkoferstraße 8
80336 München




The International Office helps visiting academics, PhD students, and postdocs who are travelling to Munich for a set period of time to find accommodation.

For further information, please visit the following link:

Rooms in shared flats are popular on the private market and reasonably priced at 400-600 EUR per month if located in central parts of Munich.

Structured research and supervision
Research training / discussion
Support for international students and doctoral candidates
  • Welcome event

Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München

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