Physics of Biological & Complex Systems, PhD

  • Application Deadline
  • 36 months
    Duration
  • Tuition
    Free
    Tuition (Year)
  • English (take IELTS)
    Language
Georg-August-Universität Göttingen ,
The doctoral programme 'Physics of Biological and Complex Systems' is offered by the Göttingen Graduate School for Neurosciences and Molecular Biosciences (GGNB), funded by the DFG within the framework of the German Federal and State Governments' Excellence Initiative to promote science and research at German universities. The programme is also recognised and funded as an International Max Planck Research School.
  • Overview
  • Programme outline
  • Key facts
  • Admission requirements
  • Fees and funding

About

The GGNB doctoral program / International Max Planck Research School "Physics of Biological and Complex Systems" is a member of the Göttingen Graduate School for Neurosciences and Molecular Biosciences (GGNB). The graduate school offers a joint modular training program to which the twelve doctoral programs of GGNB contribute and that is open to all GGNB students.

In addition to a lecture and seminar program, training consists of (1) individual counselling by thesis committees, (2) intensive methods courses of 1-3 weeks in special training labs, (3) 2-3-day methods courses in the laboratories of the participating faculty, (4) professional skills courses such as scientific writing, presentation skills, intercultural communication, project management, team-leadership skills, conflict resolution, ethics, and career development, and (5) student-organized scientific meetings, industry excursions, and intercultural events. Students are able to tailor their individual curriculum by choosing from a large number of courses and events.

The program teaches, on the one hand, the development of new cutting-edge techniques that are essential for studying life processes, on the other hand the application of new technologies to solve biological question. The program will furthermore teach quantitative physical approaches.

An important aim is to overcome traditional barriers between the disciplines and expose graduate students to enough physics, chemistry and biology, so that they can reach a deeper understanding of language, priorities and scientific culture in all areas, with the long-term goal of preparing students for increasingly interdisciplinary, but also increasingly quantitative research in the life sciences. In addition, the program will play a leading role in the establishement of an extended course in advanced microscopy.

Experimental research constitutes the major component of the doctoral studies and is conducted in the laboratory of a faculty member of the doctoral program. Doctoral research projects are complemented by a school-wide training program, offered to all GGNB students, who are members of a vibrant international research community. The language of the doctoral program is English.

Detailed Programme Facts

  • Full-time duration 36 months
  • Study intensity Full-time
  • Languages
    • English
  • Delivery mode
    On Campus
  • Project Type Predefined
  • Educational Form Academic

Programme Structure

Short methods courses are taught in 2-3 day units in the participating laboratories. These methods are selected from current research projects. Group size is typically limited to five participants. In 2007, approximately 30 short methods courses were offered, covering a broad range of techniques.

This catalogue is continuously extended and forms one of the main pillars of the advanced research training.Extended methods courses with lectures constitute a new feature in GGNB predoctoral education which shall be implemented in 2008. They will each last several weeks, provide intense training for 5-15 students. They will be offered once per year, with repeated sessions possible on demand.

Courses planned at present include advanced training in (1) electrophysiology, (2) light microscopy and imaging techniques, (3) protein analysis, proteomics, and physical biochemistry, and (4) mathematical biosciences. Specific training labs are planned to be installed in 2008. The training lab in advanced light microscopy is already established. Colloquia and research lectures with both invited and internal speakers have a long tradition at all of the participating institutions. Examples include the three colloquia of the Göttingen Center for Molecular Biosciences – GZMB (Biochemistry, Developmental Biology,

Microbiology/Molecular Biology), the lecture series of the DFG Research Center Molecular Physiology of the Brain (CMPB), several lecture and seminar series of the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry (Karl Friedrich Bonhoeffer Lecture, MPI-bpc Seminar, PhD Student Seminar), the colloquia of the Bernstein Center for Computational Neuroscience and the Center for Systems Neuroscience, and the lecture series of the German Primate Center (DPZ).

Academic Requirements

I. Complete the online registration

II. Send the application packageThe application package consists of:
  • our cover sheet (pdf),
  • transcripts / academic records (Studienbuch) of your studies,
  • all academic degree diplomas (only university degrees, no secondary education degrees!),
  • certificates of other relevant examinations (e.g. GRE, if available),
  • English proficiency certificates,
  • statement by (prospective) supervisor (incl. details on funding, preliminary title and starting date of PhD project),
  • optionally: max. two reference letters,
  • optionally: 1 (one) passport photograph.
III. The GGNB office will check the formal requirements for admission upon receipt of the application package:
  • Master's degree with very good grades in the natural sciences or mathematics, including a Master's thesis with a minimum duration of six months.
Please note that due to the peculiarities of the German university system, medical degrees are not considered as equivalent to an MSc in the natural sciences. In case of MSc degrees from abroad, it may be that the faculty requests the fulfillment of additional requirements before the admission to doctoral studies (e.g. an oral exam, a written progress report after 6 months, etc.).
  • English proficiency / language requirements: Candidates have to be fluent in written and spoken English. Candidates whose mother tongue is not English can demonstrate sufficient knowledge of English e.g. by having completed MSc studies in English and also by internationally recognized tests such as TOEFL or IELTS or equivalent achievements. During online application, applicants can indicate proven higher education in English or a reasonably long stay in an English-speaking country, if applicable. Knowledge of the German language is not required, but international students will be offered opportunities to take German courses.

Tuition Fee Per Year

  • Free EU/EEA

Students enrolled with the exclusive aim of obtaining a doctoral degree are not required to pay tuition fees unless they are enrolled in another degree programme as well.

Funding

StudyPortals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.

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