“Overseas experiences and international networks are essential components of a successful career in research,” says Otmar D. Wiestler, President of the Helmholtz Association. “With this in mind, we have set up the Helmholtz International Research Schools for talented young scientists from around the world in 2017. Each School includes one Helmholtz Center, at least one German and one foreign university or research facility, and potentially other partners as well. By taking this approach, we provide the world’s most talented young scientists with the ideal conditions for completing their doctorate.”
At the Research Schools, up to 25 doctoral candidates work together as they focus on specific research topics. This gives them the opportunity to gain vital experience in working with other researchers at the international level. The young researchers also receive training that prepares them for their careers and helps them develop their personal skills.
Each of the Helmholtz International Research Schools receives a total of 1.8 million euros from the Helmholtz President’s Initiative and Networking Fund for a period of six years. The respective facilities also contribute their own resources, resulting in an overall budget of three to seven million euros for each cooperation. The following international graduate schools were selected during the latest round of calls for applications:
In the Helmholtz Association’s Research Field Earth and Environment, a consortium consisting of the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research – UFZ, TU Dresden, the German Environment Agency (UBA), the UN Environment Programme, the University of Florida, and Purdue University was selected to receive funding. The Helmholtz International Research School “Trajectories towards Water Security (TRACER)” will examine which factors influence water quality and quantity around the world. It will also develop scenarios for the sustainable use of water resources.
In the Research Field Health, funding will be jointly provided to the International Research School for Diabetes, established by the Helmholtz Zentrum München, as well as the Alberta Diabetes Institute in Canada and the Technical University of Munich. This School will provide young researchers with access to the best infrastructure in the world. It will also train them to draw purposeful links between basic research and clinical application in the field of diabetes research so they can acquire the skills they will need to conduct translational diabetes research in the future.
Finally, funding will be received by the International Helmholtz-Weizmann Research School for Multimessenger Astronomy, which is to be set up in the Research Field Matter by DESY, the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, the University of Potsdam, and the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel. The planned Research School will analyze the universe based on information from a multitude of cosmic particles. It will also give doctoral candidates the opportunity to benefit from the individual research facilities’ complementary Expertise.
“Our Research Schools offer doctoral candidates outstanding support, training, and career assistance and bring them into contact with international partners early on,” says Wiestler. “At the same time, the Schools also yield valuable scientific findings and help further expand all of the Helmholtz international collaborations.” We are therefore planning to carry out another call for applications on a similar scale next year. Applications for the funding are not made by the doctoral candidates themselves, but rather by the research and university facilities that carry out the respective work.
- German Research Center for Environmental Health, Helmholtz Zentrum München (17.12.2018): Financial boost for the International Helmholtz Research School for Diabetes