National and international doctoral training

November 18, 2008

The Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) is intensifying the international training of doctoral researchers. At its autumn meeting in Bonn the Grants Committee responsible for Research Training agreed to the establishment of 13 additional Research Training Groups, 7 of which are International Research Training Groups. These enable doctoral researchers to cooperate closely with foreign universities. "We are particularly pleased about the first International Research Training Group involving an Indian university. This means that our young researchers will come into even closer contact with this fast devel-oping scientific country," said DFG President Professor Matthias Kleiner. Apart from this milestone, there are other new International Research Training Groups that build upon exist-ing cooperation arrangements with the USA, Japan, Russia, Spain and South Korea within this funding programme.

The new Research Training Groups offer large numbers of doctoral researchers the opportu-nity to obtain a doctorate in a structured research and qualification programme at a technically advanced level. They will therefore play a crucial role, especially in view of the current debate about the quality of doctorates awarded at German universities. The 13 newly ap-proved Research Training Groups will each receive project funding of between approximately 344,000 euros to 1,123,000 euros annually. They involve such topics as novel connections between quantum and gravitational field theories, new ideas for the bionic implementation of concepts derived from nature in modern technology, and work on better treatments for ischemic heart disease. Other topics deal with changes in the clerically based social system in the wake of European unification and the development of a self-organised mobile communi-cation system in disaster scenarios.

In the Grants Committee meeting it became clear that the DFG's increased commitment to promoting equal opportunities in science has already been put into practice. All those in-volved - from the applicants and the reviewers to the members of the Grants Committee - are increasingly aware of this issue and consider it important to implement concrete measures. "It is pleasing to see how many convincing strategies, in some cases based on the DFG's new research-oriented standards on gender equality, already exist," underlined DFG President Kleiner.

In addition to the 13 new institutions, which will initially be funded for four and a half years, the Grants Committee also approved the renewal of 17 Research Training Groups for a further period. This brings the number of Research Training Groups currently funded by the DFG to a total of 247, 64 of which are International Research Training Groups.

The new Research Training Groups in detail:
(listed in alphabetical order by host university)
-end-
Further Information

Further information on the DFG's Research Training Groups can be found at: www.dfg.de/gk

Contact at the DFG Head Office: Dr. Annette Schmidtmann, Head of the Research Careers Division, Tel. +49 228 885-2424, Annette.Schmidtmann@dfg.de

Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft

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