Advanced Training for Young Scientists in Lower Saxony

The Helmholtz International Research School for Infection Biology in Braunschweig and Hanover starts a new PhD program

12.01.2007

The goal of the Helmholtz International Research School for Infection Biology  is training top-notch young scientists for cutting-edge biomedical infection research. A PhD program open to young talented early stage researchers from all over the world is scheduled to start in Braunschweig and Hannover this year. Students of medicine and the life sciences may apply for the program until the end of March 2007.

 

Of the 20 participants to be selected by the institutions involved in the program, at least 10 will be from abroad. This challenging program for young academics has been organized by the Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research in Braunschweig, the Hanover Medical School (MHH) and the Foundation of the Hanover Veterinary School (TiHo). The Helmholtz Association, Germany's largest research organization  is  supporting the training program with  1.8 million € over the next six years.

 

Dr. Hansjörg Hauser, spokesman of the Helmholtz International Research School, emphasizes that applicants are expected to bring with them above average qualifications and a willingness to work. In addition to laboratory training and work on their doctoral theses, students will attend a specially tailored program including symposia, lectures, the Helmholtz Summer School and weekend seminars on special topics. Furthermore, students will be given instruction on finance, patent issues and management skills pertinent to a modern scientific career. All course work will be taught in English.

 

Dr. Siegfried Weiss, co-initiator of the Helmholtz International Research School for Infection Biology and a group leader at the Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research, notes that "Today, competent infection research is more important than ever. This is especially apparent in the light of the alarming emergence of diseases such as AIDS, SARS and avian flu." Dr. Weiss points out that many of the molecular connections involved in these diseases are now known but are also very complex. The research methods used to study infections are so specialized, he says, that the curriculum of a conventional university degree program is no longer sufficient.

 

However, the scientific expertise gained by young researchers at institutions like the Helmholtz Centre, TiHo or MHH, are not the sole advantage of such a special training program. "Doctoral candidates meet on a regular basis, they form mutually helpful groups and friendships," Dr. Sabine Kirchhoff, the coordinator of the Helmholtz International Research School for Infection Biology, explains, "and this helps establish a network of good contacts that span the globe, which is very advantageous for any future scientific career."

 

Since 2004, the Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research has been training highly-qualified young infection researchers as part of the EU program "Marie Curie Actions". Twelve doctoral candidates from around the world came to Braunschweig to do research on the molecular interaction of infection processes. Their Ph.D. work will most likely be completed in the course of 2007.

Further information and contact for applications: www.helmholtz-hzi.de