The Vienna Graduate School of Population Genetics aims to train young researchers at the highest scientific level, providing them with excellent perspectives on the international job market. The provided interdisciplinary training does not only train scientific rigor, but also the ability to work in a team of researchers with different scientific backgrounds.

Overview of population genetics seminars and JCs in the Vienna area

Introductory course

To make all new PhD students familiar with the diverse topics that they will meet during the coming three years, a one-month intensive training course will be offered. The topics covered include: speciation, statistics, programming, genome evolution, population genetics and functional genetics. 10 ECTS

Journal club

Every week the students meet to discuss recent scientific publications with relevance to all students. The journal club will enhance the students' skills in literature mining, presentation skills and scientific discussion. 12 ECTS


A weekly lecture series is hosted by the Vienna Graduate School of Population Genetics addressing specific scientific topics relevant for the PhD students. We invite guest speakers from around the world, national researchers from related disciplines as well as senior students and PopGen Vienna faculty. The lecture day is organized such that the PhD students have opportunities for one on one discussion with the speakers as well as for round table discussions. 6 ECTS


In their third year all students are expected to participate in teaching. The course taught is selected together with their PhD committee. 2 ECTS


To enhance contacts among peers, supervisors and associated members, we organise a retreat every year. This workshop takes place outside of Vienna and lasts for two days, typically spanning a weekend. At least one external speaker is invited for this event, and students are encouraged to present their research results. 1.5 ECTS

PhD symposium

The students organize an annual workshop or conference, which aims to cover modern research topics that are linked to population genetics to foster interdisciplinary thinking. A symposium typically lasts one day and includes 4-6 external speakers. 1.5 ECTS

Specialized courses

In addition to the above mentioned core training, the PhD committee will discuss with the students, in which subject(s) they could benefit from an advanced course. These courses could be either taught by the faculty or offered from any other university in Vienna. At least one advanced course needs to be taken by each student. For examples of offered courses in the Vienna region, see here 2-5 ECTS

Complementary skills

In addition to the scientific courses, several soft skill courses are offered (4 ECTS):

Research skills and management:

  • Experimental design
  • Project management
  • Scientific literature - how to mine and cite

Communication skills:
• Presentation techniques
• Paper and grant writing

Social awareness:
• Ethics
• Intellectual property rights
• Good scientific practice
• Gender issues

International exposure and mobility

Students receive financial support to attend international courses aimed at complementing the local course program. Also, students are encouraged to present their research at international conferences.

Joint exchange program with other universities & graduate programs

The program aims to establish close ties with other graduate programs to increase the international visibility and facilitate scientific collaboration.


The progress of the student's research is ensured by a PhD committee comprising the main supervisor and two additional faculty members with complementing expertise. The thesis committee also serves a central role in helping the student to formulate a personal career development plan, which specifies the training needs, complementary skills and the scientific objectives of the thesis.

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