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Integrated Research Training Group IRTG “Dynamic Hydrogels at Biointerfaces”

The integrated research training group (IRTG) will be the knowledge platform that connects the PIs with PhD, MD students, postdocs and junior researchers by lectures, seminars and method training.
The IRTG in the CRC provides individual support of all doctoral candidates (DVM, MD, PhD) throughout their studies and prepares them optimally for their future career in academia or industry. Both, doctoral students directly funded by the CRC and associated doctoral candidates, who work in CRC scientific areas, will be involved in the activities of the graduate program. The IRTG brings together doctoral students of basic (PhD) and (veterinary) medical sciences (DVM, MD) within a single structured program, thereby allowing the students to develop a common language and knowledge base across different disciplines. This is, on one side, a requirement to ensure efficient collaborations within this highly interdisciplinary CRC and will, on the other side, significantly broaden the employability of the students after successful graduation.

All IRTG support measures can be assigned to the following areas:

  • Scientific Qualification: All students will be trained in hydrogel analytics, hydrogel preparation, biological activity/application, medical conditions that are relevant to hydrogels at biointerfaces, and rational design of biologically active compounds, thereby reflecting the CRC’s research focus. Our aim is that all doctoral candidates become experts regarding physicochemical properties and medical aspects of biohydrogels with a broad overview of dynamic hydrogels at biointerfaces. Therefore, a major emphasis is put on methodological exchange between the different disciplines.
  • Communication and Presentation Training: All doctoral students are trained to document, present, and communicate their scientific results in agreement with the rules of good scientific practice. This requires good skills and experience in (i) academic writing (publications and grant applications) in German and English, (ii) the preparation and presentation of posters, talks, lectures and courses; and (iii) discussing their own projects and results with colleagues, including scientific communication for the broader public outreach. This will not only enhance the students’ capabilities to communicate science with peers in their fields but also across different disciplines, promoting interdisciplinary collaborations within the CRC and putting their doctoral studies in a broader context.
  • Career Development: All doctoral students will be supported in planning their careers in or outside of science, especially when approaching the end of their doctoral studies. This includes job application training, mentoring programs, and counseling services for the preparation of scientific applications. These measures shall enhance the employability of our doctoral students. The IRTG offers, in close collaboration with the programs “Natural Sciences” and “Biomedical Sciences” of the Dahlem Research School (DRS) as well as with the Humboldt Graduate School (HGS), training courses in any of the above mentioned areas for all doctoral candidates and, where appropriate, also for junior postdoc researchers of the CRC in earlier career stages. Furthermore, these offers are complemented by established rules and quality standards in the individual supervision of each doctoral candidate