International Max Planck Research School for Molecular Cell Biology and Bioengineering, Germany

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The International Max Planck Research School for Molecular Cell Biology and Bioengineering (IMPRS-MCBB) is a joint program of the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics (MPI-CBG) and the Technische Universität Dresden (TUD), and was established as one of the first International Max Planck Research Schools by the Max Planck Society in 2001.

The IMPRS-MCBB provides interdisciplinary training in cooperation with the DIGS-BB. Program-specific training is offered in the following three interconnected research areas:

Molecular Cell and Developmental Biology (CellDevo Program)
The CellDevo program will provide interdisciplinary training and research opportunities for University graduates who wish to work towards a PhD in the fields of Molecular Cell Biology, Developmental Biology, Genetics, and Neurobiology, and focuses on cell organization, differentiation and tissue formation. Students will be trained to investigate developmental processes by cell biological approaches, and to place cellular processes into an organismic context.

Regenerative Medicine (RegMed Program)
The RegMed Program will provide training and translational research towards a career in research in biomedical sciences. The RegMed Program is open for medical graduates with the opportunity to carry out a full-time doctoral thesis at the end of which they will receive an MD/PhD, and to students of natural sciences who wish to enter medically-oriented research towards a PhD.

Nanobiotechnology, Biophysics and Bioengineering (NanoBio Program)
The NanoBio Program will provide interdisciplinary training and research opportunities for University graduates who wish to work towards a PhD in the fields of Biophysics, Nanotechnology, Bioengineering, Polymer Science, Systems Biology, Bioinformatics or Biomaterials. The underlying concept is to combine a molecular approach towards biology with cutting edge nanotechnology. One strategy is to make use of the wide variety of molecular functions provided by nature’s “nanomachines” such as proteins and enzymes, as a basis for an innovative and new molecular-based nanobiotechnology. While the extent and structure of the training is the same in each of the three programs, the contents are defined according to the research area and specific methods relevant to this field, and the individual needs of each student.

Admission procedure
Admission to the IMPRS-MCBB is competitive, and solely carried out through a central selection procedure, which is jointly conducted with the Dresden International Graduate School for Biomedicine and Bioengineering (DIGS-BB). Please note that applications can only be accepted via the online application system within the publicized deadlines. Late or incomplete applications are not accepted. The participation in the interview week in Dresden is indispensable if you wish to be considered for admission to the IMPRS-MCBB.

Financial support
PhD students of the International PhD Program will receive financial support for the duration of their thesis. Financial support is granted via one of two types of funding, (i) fellowships or (ii) working contracts. The type of funding a student receives is dependent upon the specific source of funding for each student, and is defined by the available resources of the hosting group leader and the hosting organization. Due to the availability of resources, the type of funding may change during the course of the PhD thesis. Fellowships are tax free and do not include any contributions to social insurances. Health insurance is compulsory and individual arrangements are to be made by the fellow (with the help of the PhD program office). Individual arrangements for pension schemes are optional. Contracts are taxed, and contributions to health insurance, pension scheme and social benefits are included and automatically deducted from the income. The current monthly fellowship rate is to 1150 Euro and raises to 1300 Euro over time. Contracts are according to 50% TV-L E13 or 50% TvöD E13 (German tariff for employees in civil service). Irrespective of the source of funding, the initial net income (after deduction of compulsory insurances respectively tax and contribution to social insurances) is approximately 1000 Euro per month. As a rule, financial support within the International PhD Program terminates with the final exam of the doctorate proceedings.

Application requirements
We welcome applications from ambitious, highly qualified and motivated students of all nationalities. We expect outstanding academic performance and prior research experience along with the potential and enthusiasm to conduct challenging, top-class research towards a PhD.

Academic requirements: Applicants must hold, or anticipate receiving before taking up thesis work, an undergraduate degree in life sciences, natural sciences, engineering or medicine that allows them to enter doctoral programs in their home country. In general, a Master degree or equivalent is required. Applicants holding an excellent BSc degree are also welcome to apply, given that independent research and a written thesis is part of the course of study. In that case, additional requirements to be completed during PhD thesis work will be defined on a case-to-case basis. Candidates holding a medical degree must have completed the course of study, including the exam equivalent to the German 2nd State Exam, before starting their PhD thesis.

Formal requirements: Applicants are required to provide relevant transcripts including the marks and degree certificates with the application. In case the course of study is ongoing, an official up-to-date preliminary transcript, including the marks obtained so far, is to be included.

Language requirements
The language of the Dresden International PhD Program is English is English. Proficiency in English is therefore required for participation, and applicants might be contacted by phone for assessment. However, formal proof of English proficiency (TOEFL, IELTS) is not requested.

Application deadline: 5 July 2011


For further information, please contact the PhD Program office:

Dr. Birgit Knepper-Nicolai (PhD Program Coordinator)
Denise Faustmann (PhD Program Assistant)

International PhD Program
Max-Planck-Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics
Pfotenhauerstr. 108
01307 Dresden
phone: +49-351-210 2697
fax: +49-351-210 1089


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