Structured Doctorates in Nanostructures for German Researchers

Doctoral Researchers To Earn Doctorates in Topics such as Globalisation, Nanostructures and Civil Security Applications in Structured Programmes

To further promote young researchers in Germany, the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) is establishing 14 new Research Training Groups. This has just been approved by the responsible Grants Committee of the DFG in Bonn. The new Research Training Groups offer doctoral researchers the opportunity to earn their doctorates in a structured research and qualification programme at a high level of subject specialisation and under outstanding conditions.

The new Research Training Groups are focused on, among other topics, innovative applications for fluorine in chemistry, the institutional transition in East Asia and tensions between religious conformity and nonconformity. Other topics include frequency effects in linguistics as well as improved civil security applications and data protection. In one of the new Research Training Groups , which focuses on the development of new instruction processes in schools, teachers with practical experience and graduates of the education sciences and psychology will, for the first time, work towards their doctorates together. Four of the new institutions are International Research Training Groups in which the funding recipients work closely together with foreign universities - including, for the first time, universities in Estonia, Mexico and New Zealand. Other cooperative partners are Swedish and Czech universities.

In the first funding period, which spans four and a half years, the new doctoral programmes will be funded by the DFG with a total of approximately 39.3 million euros. In addition to the 14 new institutions, the Grants Committee also agreed to extend 23 Research Training Groups for an additional period. The DFG currently funds 229 Research Training Groups, of which 58 are international groups.

Furthermore, it was decided that Research Training Groups may, from now on, apply for start-up funding. This is intended to provide researchers who have just successfully completed their doctorate with support in defining and developing a research topic of their own that could serve as the basis for an independent project proposal. The objective of this measure is to encourage promising researchers to pursue a career in research upon completion of their doctorates.

Here are some of the research training groups:

The Research Training Group "Fluorine as a Key Element. Discovering Innovative Synthetic Concepts to Generate Novel Molecules with Unique Properties" of the Free University Berlin, in cooperation with the Humboldt University Berlin, plans to research the synthesis and characterisation of fluorinated compounds and their use in catalysts, in materials research and in pharmaceuticals and biochemistry. With this Research Training Group, the university bundles the fluorochemistry know-how present in Berlin to generally strengthen instruction and research in this area in Germany. (Host university: Free University Berlin; spokesperson: Professor Dr. Konrad Seppelt)

At the Technical University of Berlin, the Research Training Group "Nonequilibrium Collective Dynamics in Condensed Matter and Biological Systems" aspires to facilitate new, interdisciplinary perspectives in the research fields of physics and biology. The selected research topics range from the transport of interacting electrons in nonequilibrium through semiconductor quantum dots, to nanorods that swim in aqueous solutions and that are driven by shear flow, to neurons in the brain. With the description of the collective dynamics of interacting units in nonequilibrium, the Research Training Group is concentrating on basic research, but will also be motivated by possible applications in medicine or modern photonic or microfluid apparatus, for example. (Host university: Technical University of Berlin; spokesperson: Professor Dr. Holger Stark)

The measurement of flow velocities in hot and aggressive, molten metals and glasses and the detection of underlying material defects in solid bodies are the challenges to be worked on by the Research Training Group "Lorentz Force Velocimetry and Lorentz Force Eddy Current Testing" of the Technical University of Ilmenau. The researchers want to use two methods developed at their university to examine fundamental aspects of these questions and thereby lay the path for innovative applications. (Host university: Technical University of Ilmenau; spokesperson: Professor Dr. André Thess)

The Research Training Group of the University of Regensburg "Electronic Properties of Carbon-Based Nanostructures" will conduct both theoretical and experimental research, examining and manipulating those properties. Experience in the research of spin electronics, quantum information and molecular electronics will be of assistance in this endeavour. Of particular interest are systems based on graphene, nanotubes made of carbon as well as aromatic molecules. (Host university: University of Regensburg; spokesperson: Professor Dr. Milena Grifoni)

To read the full press release, click here

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