Helmholtz Institute



The curriculum is subdivided into four categories

  1. The common and obligatory part.
    1. Attendance of the PhD student days (‘AIO-days’), which will be held two or three times a year at different locations, and will consist of an introductory lecture by a senior scientist, a lab tour and an afternoon of PhD student presentations;
    2. Participation in the bi-annual Helmholtz Retraite;
    3. Regular attendance of the Helmholtz lectures, where guest researchers will present their work. A small number of PhD students can actively participate during the ‘PhD student lunch’ with these researchers;
    4. Regular attendance of at least one of the seminar-series, held by most of the participant research groups.
  2. Courses.
    1. General methodological courses (e.g. English writing, presenting, statistics, lab animals etc.);
    2. Specialised courses (e.g. Special Helmholtz Courses or Master Courses, listed elsewhere on the website). Courses that are not listed on the website can be included in concurrence with the supervisor if the Educational Committee approves;
  3. Attendance of Winter- or Summerschools and Workshops
    In concurrence with the supervisor, PhD’s can attend Winter- or Summerschools as part of their curriculum;
  4. Conference attendance
    In concurrence with the supervisor, each PhD student is supposed to participate actively in one or more international conferences in the relevant fields of science


The different categories of the curriculum will be rewarded with European Credit Transfer System (ECTS) marks. One ECTS is equivalent with 28 hours of study. The Educational Committee establishes the number of ECTS for each individual course.

The number of ECTS per category:

  1. The obligatory curriculum yields 6 ECTS.
  2. Study marks for courses that are given within the Helmholtz School are indicated with the individual course descriptions. The number of ECTS for courses that are given outside the Helmholtz School will be established by the Educational Committee. To ensure a minimal amount of diversity there is a maximum amount of 7.5 ECTS per course.
  3. Attendance of a Winter- or Summerschool can yield 3 ECTS for a one-week attendance, with a maximum of 12 ECTS in this category.
  4. Posters and oral presentations at an international conference are rewarded by 1.5 ECTS per conference (average duration of one week) with a maximum of 4.5 ECTS in this category.

The extent of the curriculum (for 4-year PhD students) is 30 ECTS. These can be obtained in both external and internal courses. The number of ECTS stated for any part of the curriculum will be awarded on the condition that performance of the student is judged at least “satisfactory” by the corresponding teacher.

Starting September 2003 we have converted the curriculum to the Bachelor Master (ECTS) system. PhD students that started before this date are allowed to use the old study-marks system (although this is equivalent). This can be viewed here.

Students that have already participated in any course as part of their Masters (or drs., or any other) degree CANNOT use that course again as part of the Helmholtz Curriculum.