Description and basic rules of ICA

The Doctoral Program "Immunity in Cancer and Allergy - ICA"” is funded by the Austrian Science Fund (FWF) and aims at educating PhD students to become independent researchers with an excellent scientific profile.

The Paris Lodron Universität of Salzburg and the University Hospital Salzburg consider allergy and tumor research with a focus on immunological aspects as their top priorities and actively support the employment of up-to-date immunological methodology. The Doctoral Program complements the existing research-oriented network and is organized as an interdisciplinary graduate training program for students in molecular biosciences. The University of Salzburg is the host institution and the students finish with a PhD degree awarded by the Faculty of Natural Sciences.

ICA offers training opportunities for students within established research groups focusing on medically-oriented basic and translational research. Their expertise covers immunological, biochemical, molecular biological, cell biological, structural biological, genetic, genomic and proteomic techniques.

The overall aim of the Doctoral Program is to create an interactive environment. The broad range of scientific, technological and methodological expertise paired with common and overlapping scientific interests of the college members builds a solid basis for solving complex questions in the field of allergy and tumor research that are beyond the capability of the individual groups.

The state-of-the-art scientific training of a young generation of researchers also strengthens the scientific profile and reputation of the University of Salzburg as an up and coming, continuously growing center of biomedical research.


Thesis committees are a central element of the DK. Their task is to comment on the submitted thesis project and to supervise the progress of each student’s thesis research throughout his/her graduate work. Each committee consists of at least two senior scientists (apart from the student and the thesis supervisor or supervisors), and each ICA student receives an internationally renowned scientists set to his/her side who takes the part of an external godfather/godmother for the student. 

Regular meetings of the committee include progress reports of the students and extensive discussion of the running projects. In addition, once every year (typically immediately before one of the two regular thesis committee meetings) the student has to submit a progress report to the committee members, which will also be filed by the ICA secretary. Thus the thesis committee offers the most intensive level of individual mentoring possible within the program. 

ICA also implemented a so-called internal seconds system, which means that each student selects two workgroups of ICA to provide active support in terms of experimental expertise and discussion of his/her thesis project. The student is invited to one of the lab meetings of the seconds group to present his/her results and to address difficulties of any kind, for which help may be provided by the seconds group. Furthermore, the students are encouraged to contact the group whenever there is need for support or expertise, which is not available in the own workgroup.

Beyond this formalized procedure of guidance and supervision, PhD students present their results in a public symposium, organized by ICA. This symposium with international speakers not only trains the ICA students with respect to their communication skills but also represents an excellent monitoring tool. The progress reports are discussed and recommendations are given by the auditorium, including the guest speakers, the ICA faculty and their workgroup members, and all master and doctoral students of the Department of Molecular Biology, who altogether represent a broad scientific expertise.

Selection procedure and admission:

Positions for ICA-funded doctoral students are advertised internationally, striving for a mixture of excellent students recruited during their study at the local Universities and students from abroad. 

Mainly four criteria are used for high rating, i.e. (1) academic excellence, based on the submitted certificates, duration of study, letters of recommendation and assessments of the interviews, (2) commitment to science, based on previous scientific experience and on the letters of recommendation and on the evaluation during the interviews, (3) communication skills as demonstrated by the oral presentation during the hearing and (4) social competence as described in the recommendation letters and as perceived during the interviews.
Additional convenient criteria for selecting candidates will be “well-fitting” of the applicant into his/her favored work group, compatibility of the scientific interest, background and skills with the topic of the selected work group.

Applications will be reviewed and ranked by a committee consisting of the ICA faculty. The short-listed candidates will receive an invitation for interviews at the University of Salzburg. Free accommodation will be provided and travel expenses will be reimbursed.

  • News
  • Eight student teachers from the University of Salzburg have received a certificate for the completion of the basic module of the study supplement "Bewegtes Lernen".
    As of Winter Semester 2016/17, Dominik van Aaken is awarded a professorship at the Department of Social and Economic Sciences at the Law Faculty of the University of Salzburg. His lectures deal with "business management theory with a focus on strategic management and organization".
    Somewhat exhausted, but extremely satisfied; Assoc.-Prof. Stephen Wickham and the two students Anita Sinner and Philipp Wenta have returned from their expedition aboard FS Meteor.
    Since the demand for linguistic support for asylum seekers continues to be high, the Sprachenzentrum, in co-operation with the ÖDaF and the Department of German Studies, is again offering a workshop series for volunteers in the Winter Semester.
    Presented to the public in the Auditorium of the Grünen Hörsaal on 17 October, the opening ceremony of the new Doctorate School PLUS course "Biomolecules: structure, function and regulation" was filled to capacity.
    Last week marked the start of the lecture series "Politics, History & Culture: Austria in the 20th and 21st Centuries" organized by the Department of History. The lectures take place on Thursdays from 17:00 to 19:00 in HS 381, GESWI, Rudolfskai 42. All who are interested are welcome! Next Date: 27 October with Stan Nadel.
    Workshop in Kunstquartier / Science & Art (Atelier, 1st floor, Bergstrasse 12a, Start time: 11.00h)
    The lecture series "Total Immersion - Spiritual Travel" by the Department of Sociology and Cultural Studies, in cooperation with the Master’s Program, Religious Studies, begins at the start of the Winter Semester. Lecture dates are on Wednesdays from 13:15 to 14:45, GESWI, Rudolfskai 42, HS 387. All interested persons are welcome!
    Memorial event on the occasion of the November pogrom in the Universitätsbibliothek.
    The IFFB Sport- & Bewegungswissenschaft / USI and the Uni 55-PLUS of the University of Salzburg have organized a series of lectures on "The Body in Postmoderne - Between Disembodiment and Body Awareness" in WS 2016/17. Lecture dates are Wednesdays from 16:15 to 17:45, at the Max-Gandolph-Library. Next lecture: 16 November, "From asceticism to orgasm constraint" with H.J. Sander, and "Kaiserwanne - body treatments in postmoderne", with K. Hahn.
  • Veranstaltungen
  • 27.10.16

    Dr. Sylke Hilberg
  • Uni-Shop
  • University of Salzburg's facebook site University of Salzburg's twitter site University of Salzburg's flickr site