In May 2006, the University of Cologne established an international, broadly based graduate school in the biological sciences providing students with opportunities for training in fields ranging from molecular biology, biochemistry, genetics, ecology and evolution, and including all the major microbial, plant and animal model organisms. Based on a phase of systematic experimentation in earlier, small-scale graduate programmes in which we have developed and tested methods for an improved graduate training, we developed a structured programme for the graduate school of the department for biology. A large variety of specialized graduate programmes is partly unified under the GSfBS umbrella and a core programme is available for all graduate students in all areas of biology.
The School supports a selective, international English language Research Track Masters/Doctoral Programme, which is in place since winter semester 2006/07. It fosters the excellent scientific connections between research groups in the basic science and medical research institutes in the University and the Max Planck Institutes for Plant Breeding Research, for Biology of Ageing, for Metabolism Research and exploits them for the benefit of the graduates.