Knowledge in addition to one's own field of research
Training Program

PhD Training Program

BIGS DrugS provides an interdisciplinary and structured three-year PhD program in addition to your individual PhD project. You will obtain your PhD degree in the Faculty of
Mathematics & Natural Sciences of Bonn University. Scientific exchange beyond your own field will broaden your horizon and open up your mind for other scientific perspectives. From the very beginning you are not on your own - you are part of the BIGS DrugS community!

© D. Müssemeier

Program Overview

Our program offers a wide range of different scientific and soft-skill workshops as well as lectures and meetings. You will have the possibility to get insights into pharmaceutical industry and health administration. Visit the labs of your colleagues and learn about their techniques and methods. You are supposed to actively participate in conferences. Last but not least you can apply for a research stay to get to know national or international labs.


As a BIGS DrugS PhD student you will participate in scientific workshops. Courses on different soft skills for PhD students complement the training program.

You have to participate in at least 3 workshops. Two of them should be scientific workshops and one should be a soft skill workshop.

  • Scientific workshops: offered by BIGS DrugS members or other institutions, annual program 2024
  • Soft skill workshops: offered by the Bonn Graduate Center (BGZ) We will regularly inform you about upcoming workshops
  • use the offers of the Career Service to plan your own career!
Eine Wissenschaftlerin und ein Wissenschaftler arbeiten hinter einer Glasfassade und mischen Chemikalien mit Großgeräten.
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Lecture series on Drug Development
Lecture by Prof. Cinti © Dorothee Müssemeier


 Pharmaceutical Colloqium

  • presents excellent lectures on current scientific topics in all fields of science related to drug research
  • BIGS DrugS PhD students may invite guest speakers
  • Semester Program

 Lecture Series on Drug Developmeent

  • covers all basic aspects of drug development, drug approval & drug research
  • this unique lecture series will take place once every 3 years
  • next lecture series will take part in the summer term 2025
  • FYI: Program 2022

 TüCAD2 Lecture Series

  • in cooperation with Tübingen Center for Academic Drug Discovery & Development TüCAD2, University of Tuebingen
  • we will inform you about the upcoming TüCAD2 lectures (via zoom)

Kick-Off Meeting

  • first meeting with your class
  • learn more about our program
  • get to know BIGS DrugS students from other working groups and faculties
  • introduction of the Principal Investigators
  • lectures and posters by BIGS DrugS PhD students
  • our highlight: lectures by top-class speakers from science and industry!
  • get-together in a relaxed atmosphere!
Eine Wissenschaftlerin und ein Wissenschaftler arbeiten hinter einer Glasfassade und mischen Chemikalien mit Großgeräten.
Kick-off-meeting class 2018- PhD studens & PI's © Dorothee Müssemeier

Retreat class 2018 - poster session
Retreat class 2018 - poster session © Dorothee Müssemeier

Internal Retreat

BIGS DrugS classes organize their own retreat with:

  • poster presentations
  • scientific talks
  • lectures by guest speakers
  • get-together

The 2-day event with an overnight stay will enable discussions and networking among the PhD students of a class. It will pave the way for scientific collaboration and builds long-lasting relationships and networks.

Lab Visits and Insights

Lab visit

  • get to know the labs of your colleagues
  • learn about their methods and techniques
  • afterwards, mutual support and cooperation will be very easy!

Insight into Industry and Health Administration

  • visit our partners Bayer AG Wuppertal & Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices (BfArM)
  • get insight into their work & gain valuable experience
Gruppenfoto - Besuch bei Bayer.jpg
Class 2021 visit Bayer AG © Bayer AG
BIGS DrugS colloquium
BIGS DrugS Colloquium May 6th , 2024 © D. Müssemeier

BIGS Drugs Colloquium

Present and discuss your research results to your BIGS DrugS class colleagues:

  • presenting research results to the scientific community is an essential activity of researchers
  • practice this skill within your class
  • presentations provide an overview of your research
  • they ensure that you are up to date with the latest relevant research results
  • presentations assist you in further project planning

Conference/Research Stays

  • you should actively participate in at least one national or international conference
  • present your research results by a talk or poster
  • get to know another national or international lab during a research stay
Doktoranden auf der Toll 2024 Konferenz.jpg
BIGS DrugS Phd students participate in the Toll 2024 conference in Rotterdam © T. Maziol

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  • within the BIGS DrugS budget, BIGS DrugS PhD students can get funding for national or international conferences and research stays
  • a maximum of three conferences/trips will be funded or supported. The timing is up to you
  • the funding (full or partial) will depend on the availability of central funds, which will be announced annually
  • ask us for further information


  • the main supervisor and the co-supervisor will supervise the PhD student for the period of the PhD studies. Both should be members of BIGS DrugS. At least one should be a member of the Faculty of Mathematics & Natural Sciences. In annual meetings they will discuss, together with the PhD student, their progress, providing an assessment, suggestions, and advice.
  • each BIGS DrugS class has two chairs, one from each faculty. They take care of the realization of the BIGS DrugS training program of their class.
  • all BIGS DrugS classes have two student representatives. These students take care of the needs and interests of all BIGS DrugS students.
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Many good reasons for becoming a member of BIGS DrugS


Principal Investigartors


Start of BIGS DrugS


PhD students

Additional programs to your scientific research and training

bn_vl_Sternwarte_120315_06.jpg, Argelander Kompenzcenter, Bonn Graduate Center
© V. Lannert, Uni Bonn

Argelander Competence Center

The Argelander Competence Center is an umbrella structure comprising all the structures that support early-career researcher. Together, the various institutions of the Competence Center offer the Argelander Program for Early-Career Researchers, which adresses e.g. PhD students

© V. Lannert/HCM

Bonn Graduate Center

The Bonn Graduate Center (BGZ) offers the “Doctorate Plus” program. This is a general and broad program accessible by all PhD students at Bonn University. The PhD students can enhance their academic and interdisciplinary skills through this program. 

Urheberrecht passt zu enaCom
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Transfer Center enaCom

Intellectual property (IP) protection, patenting, translational drug development, and founding of a company are further important topics. The Transfer Center enaCom of Bonn University offers information and training for our PhD students.

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Sustainable University

Sustainability is becoming increasingly important in all aspects of life including research. The University of Bonn offers information, lectures and programs on this significant topic.

Reisen, Research stay.jpg
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A Doctorate Abroad

A stay abroad during your doctoral studies can be a great advantage for your research project. You will  gain valuable personal experience and a network of contacts that can be of great use  in the future.

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Conflict Management

And last but not least: During the doctorate, conflicts can arise between doctoral students and supervisors or other parties for a variety of reasons. The Faculty of Mathematics & Natural Sciences provides a contact person for help.


If you have any questions about the program, please do not hesitate to contact us, preferably by e-mail. We are happy to schedule a phone call, a zoom or a personal meeting.

Avatar Fiene

Dr. rer. nat. Amelie Fiene

Avatar Müssemeier

Dorothee Müssemeier


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