Visual Universitätsmedizin Mainz

Medical fellowship/visiting trainee scholarship/PhD an MD student

We cordially welcome national and international guests for fellowships and PhD/MD programs at the Department of Ophthalmology, Mainz University Medical Center, Germany!

Who we are:

The Department of Ophthalmology in Mainz is one of the largest University Eye Hospitals in Germany and Europe with a broad clinical and scientific spectrum. It is a center of excellence for both ophthalmic research and education, with a reputation for providing high quality of ophthalmic care. Our staff is committed to sustaining and building on our pioneering legacy and ensures that we remain at the cutting edge of developments in ophthalmology. We treat patients with a wide range of eye diseases, from common complaints to rare conditions. Our clinicians have a unique and wide range of skills and knowledge and we offer the latest surgical approaches in almost all fields of ophthalmology. We are a national and international centre for research into eye diseases and their treatments. Our research facilities include the Center of Experimental Ophthalmology, the certified Clinical Ophthalmological Study Center and the Center for Epidemiologic and Health services research. We have one of the highest scores of scientific productivity and impact in Germany for eye research activities.

We are a major force in teaching the eye specialists and researchers of the future.  Our experts provide teaching and training for a wide range of eye health professionals, including clinicians as well as researchers from around the world who come to learn and work with us. One of our aims is to build up long lasting cooperations and to share our experience.

What we offer:

We offer opportunities for clinical as well as scientific fellows to postgraduate doctors in the following clinical sub-specialty services:
Medical retina
Vitreo-retinal services,
Neuro-ophthalmology, Strabismus and Pediatrics and
Corneal diseases. 

Moreover, we supervise scholars and trainees in all fields of ophthalmology. We also offer PhD/MD programs for medical students or students from the different areas of life sciences from all around the world.

How are fellowships financed?

By far the majority of fellows have already found support when they apply for our fellowship-program. However, fellowships may be applied for at various institutions such as country-specific fellowships (e.g. China Scholarship), German fellowships for national/international applicants (e.g. DAAD, DFG), European fellowships of different societies (e.g. European Glaucoma Society, EGS) and others. Possible funding opportunities are listed below.

The Mission of our fellowship-programs

Generally, the mission of the clinical and/or scientific Fellowship/Scholarship-program are to support trainees with a fundamental understanding of diagnosis and management of ophthalmological physiology and disease and to promote intellectual curiosity in the chosen field of Ophthalmology and ophthalmological or basic research. We are dedicated to ensure that research into disease mechanisms, patient care, and new technologies is mandatory to improve outcomes in patients. The width and depth of clinical and research experience available for the Fellowships provide trainees with the tools to succeed in a diverse array of careers in ophthalmological care.

The clinical fellow-/scholarship may last from some months to two years, with the majority of the time devoted to patient care and clinical education for a clinical scientist. However we expect participants to dedicate approximately 20 percent of the fellow’s effort to research pursuits . However, the other way round (80 percent research, 20 percent clinical education) is very welcome as well, if somebody focusses on working as a physican-scientist. We also offer purely scientific scholarships in clinical and experimental fields of research. We are glad to give you some advise on how to texture your stay. A research schedule will be planned for you before you come to Mainz.

Clinical Training

Fellows care for patients with a wide range of pathology.  Fellows see patients in an out-patient setting in our Eye Center clinics and as in-patients in the hospital. They attend retina, glaucoma, cornea, neuro-ophthalmology and vitreo-retinal surgery clinics under supervision of a board certified ophthalmologist specializing in the field. The surgical experience includes in observation of the most recent surgical skills and techniques in the field.

Educational Conferences

Fellows participate in a variety of scientific conferences hosted by the Eye Center. International Symposia attract leaders in the fields. Twice to three times a week there are interactive conferences in which we discuss major concepts in ophthalmology, experimental research and epidemiologic health care. Fellows also are expected to actively participate in teaching activities in the Department of Ophthalmology. The fellow will work closely with the residents assigned to the ophthalmology service. In addition to clinical and surgical experiences, all Fellows are expected to participate in clinical or basic science research and to present findings at local, regional and national meetings. Excellent support with clinical trials and laboratory science, as well as biostatistics, are available.


The faculty has research interests ranging from basic science through clinical trials and health services research. The faculty, both clinical and research, are dedicated to mentoring the individual scientific endeavors of each fellow. The combined resources of the faculty,  the Center of Experimental Ophthalmology, the Clinical study center, the Centre for epidemiologic and health services research as well as the eye bank for corneal transplantation enable fellows to complete research projects and present their work in forums and PhD and MD students to work on their thesis. 
You will be guided through your fellowship/PhD/MD program by a mentor according to a well planned curriculum keeping in mind your interests and skills.

How to apply:

If you are interested please send us your letter of motivation together with your CV, your certificates and list of publications by e-mail. Applications should be sent to the Program coordinator and Director of Fellowship program, PD Dr. med. Verena Prokosch-Willing: We will contact you to plan your stay.


We look forward to your application!




Prof. Dr. Norbert Pfeiffer, MD, PhD
Head of Department for Ophthalmology
PD Dr. Verena Prokosch-Willing
Director of the Fellowship program

Possible funding opportunities:

Master in Epidemiology
China Scholarship Council
Deutsche Ophthalmologische Gesellschaft (DOG)
Deutscher Akademischer Austausch Dienst (DAAD)
Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG)
European Glaucoma Society (EGS) Fellowship
European Glaucoma Society Travel Grant
Fellowship for Russian ophthalmologists
International Council of Ophthalmology
Intern research scholarship
Transmed Program of the University of Mainz
Unrestricted grants from Industry



Further questions? Please do not hesitate to contact us. The more you ask, the more you get! For more information contact the Program coordinator and Director of the Fellowship program Verena Prokosch-Willing, E-Mail: