Info for Students

Additional Rules for Laboratory Rotations, Project Proposal and Master Thesis

Here are some additional rules for the BMB Master's program that have been approved by the Board of Examiners (2012 and 2022) and are consistent with the Examination Regulations.

In order to support a scientifically broad education in the BMB Master's program, the modules mentioned above (Laboratory Rotation, Project Proposal, Master Thesis) should be done in different working groups.

In exceptional cases, a student can apply for an exemption of this rule, but only when the scientific topics are sufficiently different from each other. This application should contain a detailed justification, and if possible Lab rotation reports and Project proposal attached, as well as the plan for the Master thesis and a supporting signature by the supervisor(s). This will be reviewed by two professors of the examination board.

Examination and Admission Board

Prof. Barbara Reinhold-Hurek
Chairperson Prof. Barbara Reinhold-Hurek

Chairperson: Prof. Dr. Barbara Reinhold-Hurek

Laboratory Rotations

  • Laboratory rotations have to be done under the supervision of a faculty member of the BMB program (all scientists who offer courses in the BMB curriculum are considered as faculty members).
  • Exceptions from this rule are possible, but require the approval of the head of the examination board. In such a case, the external supervisor has to be appointed as temporary examiner for the module laboratory rotations.
  • For an external Laboratory rotation, an application has to be sent to the Head of the Examination Board. The application has to contain a brief description of the project, information on the scientific merits and qualifications of the external supervisor (CV with a statement on teaching assignments), and an acceptance letter from the host stating that the external supervisor is aware that the laboratory rotation lasts no more than 9 weeks.
  • At least one of the two lab rotations has to be done at the University of Bremen.
  • Two lab rotations of 9 weeks each, including 6 weeks practical work each, have to be performed. They have to be done in two independent laboratories.
  • There is no obligation to the students to work more than the 6 weeks (practical work) required for completion of the lab rotation.
  • The two lab rotations cannot be done in parallel. The report of the first lab rotation has to be submitted to the supervisor, before the student is allowed to start the second lab rotation.
  • After the end of the practical work, the report on the lab rotation performed has to be submitted to the supervisor within 4 weeks. After submission, the supervisor should grade the student within additional 4 weeks.
  • If a student does not submit the report within 4 weeks after completion of the lab work, the student will be graded as “Failed” for this lab rotation. The student has then to repeat this lab rotation either in the same lab or in another lab. In justified special cases (for example severe health problems of the student), the head of the examination board can allow exceptions from these rules.

Master Thesis

  • The Master thesis accounts for 40% of the overall grade.
  • The Master thesis has to be finished and delivered within 24 weeks after the official starting day of the thesis.
  • The Master thesis has to be supervised by a principal investigator (PI, professors or Privatdozenten/ Privatdozentinnen) who is actively involved in teaching by giving a course in the BMB program. An updated list of possible supervisors is available (see below).
  • A Master thesis that is performed in an external lab as part of a collaboration with a supervising BMB-PI is not considered as external Master thesis, if the BMB-PI  acts as principal first supervisor of the Master thesis.
  • Only in rare cases, a Master thesis can be performed under the principal supervision of a scientist who is not a BMB-PI (external Master thesis, regulations see below).
  • The student has to apply to the examination board at least 3 months before the potential start of an external Master thesis.
  • The examination board decides on application for external Master thesis on a case by case base.
  • The applicant has to explain in detail why he/she cannot do a Master thesis in the group of a BMB faculty member and has to state very good reasons why the desired external Master thesis was considered and suggested. The application has to contain a detailed description of the proposed Master project, information on the scientific merits and qualifications of the potential external supervisor (CV, Publication list, teaching assignments etc.), and an acceptance letter for the student from the potential external supervisor. In addition, the written statement of an eligible 2nd BMB examiner/ reviewer who is based at the University of Bremen (list 2) to act as internal second examiner is required.
  • The potential external supervisor will have to be appointed as temporary examiner by the examination board and has to provide written confirmation that he/ she will attend the thesis defense in Bremen and act as examiner without any financial reimbursement from the University of Bremen.
  • The defense of the Master thesis will always be held at the University of Bremen.
  • Travel and other expenses related to the external Master thesis will not be covered by the University of Bremen.

Lists of Supervisors and Examiners for a BMB Master Thesis and Defense

All principal investigators (PIs) including professors and Privatdozenten/ Privatdozentinnen (PDs) who are actively involved in teaching by giving a course in the BMB program.

This list includes all potential supervisors (list 1) plus all PIs of the Faculty 02 Biology/ Chemistry of the University Bremen who have an expertise fitting to the topic of the submitted thesis.

This list includes all examiners listed on list 2 plus postdocs with at least 5 years of postdoc experience (at least in part at the University of Bremen), who are involved for at least 5 years in the teaching of bachelor or master students in biochemistry and molecular biology. Each person who would like to serve as an examiner in list 3 has to apply to the examination board and justify the request with documentation of scientific achievements and a list of publications. The board may approve the request and include the successful applicant onto list 3.

The three lists are available in the offices of Mrs. Ernst (fernstprotect me ?!uni-bremenprotect me ?!.de), Mr. Neumann (ineumannprotect me ?!uni-bremenprotect me ?!.de) and Prof. Reinhold-Hurek (reinholprotect me ?!uni-bremenprotect me ?!.de).