The Graduate Centre Life Sciences includes all of the structured doctoral programmes that pursue interdisciplinary research on the structure and behaviour of living organisms. These doctoral programmes are integrated into the Faculties of Medicine, Life Sciences and Veterinary Medicine.
Numerous partnerships with external research institutions enrich the doctoral programmes in the Graduate Centre. The research fields cover a wide range of topics and often address issues that are of interdisciplinary interest. Research is conducted in areas such as linguistics, protein sciences, obesity research, neurosciences, evolutionary research, and environmental and biodiversity research.
Currently, about 350 doctoral researchers are enrolled in programmes in the Graduate Centre Life Sciences. And roughly one-third of those enrolled are international students. Discipline-specific training takes place directly in the respective doctoral programmes. The Graduate Centre also offers an interdisciplinary programme that allows doctoral researchers to receive additional training beyond the structure of their programmes.
Doctoral Programmes in the Graduate Centre
The research training group Interaction of Grammatical Building Blocks (IGRA) employs a number of theoretical perspectives to investigate the nature and interaction of grammatical building blocks (rules, operations, constraints, schemata and extralinguistic factors) in phonology, morphology and syntax. Based on detailed empirical studies from typologically diverse languages, the research group uses all available research methods (e.g. introspective, experimental and corpus-based).
The international research training group "TreeDì – 林地 – TreeDiversity Interactions: The Role of Tree-Tree Interactions in Local Neighbourhoods in Chinese Subtropical Forests" is a joint undertaking of the German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig and the University of Chinese Academy of Sciences (UCAS). The aim of TreeDì – 林地 is to understand how tree-tree interactions in local neighbourhoods of varying diversity translate into the observed positive effects of tree species richness on key ecosystem functions at the community scale. The international professional training programme involves an intensive Chinese-German cultural exchange during a six-month research stay in the partner country, a joint doctoral advisory committee (PAC) composed of Chinese and German project leaders, and a unique opportunity to work closely with leading experts in the field of biodiversity research.
yDiv is the graduate school for young biodiversity researchers at the German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig. Its aim is to build bridges between the many levels of biodiversity research – from theory to applied aspects of nature conservation. The approaches and methods used are similarly diverse, ranging from model tests to field experiments and from studies of single organisms to manipulated communities and entire ecosystems. yDiv’s transdisciplinary approach presents doctoral researchers and their supervisors with both opportunities and challenges. Early career researchers at yDiv acquire the ability to integrate knowledge and techniques from various disciplines in a meaningful way and to combine various research approaches in their work.
The Helmholtz Research School for Ecosystem Services under Changing Land-use and Climate (ESCALATE) is funded by the Helmholtz Association, the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research – UFZ, Leipzig University, Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU) and the German Environment Agency (UBA). An interdisciplinary group of researchers from these institutions has joined forces to provide training and conduct research in the field of ecosystem services.
The integrated research training group "Matrix Engineering" is part of the Collaborative Research Centre Transregio 67. The Group investigates the molecular mechanisms with which artificial extracellular matrices (ECMs) serving as functionalised biomaterials support the healing processes in bones and skin. Their goal is to develop biomaterials that have the capacity of self-organisation and can assist in the healing process.
This research training group is part of the Collaborative Research Centre 1052. It investigates the causal mechanisms of obesity and its sequelae as well as the development of new therapies. The 20 subprojects come under the fields of endocrinology, neurology, paediatrics, cardiology, dermatology, genetics, biochemistry, biophysics, lipidology, anatomy, physiology and structural analysis. In three central areas, researchers investigate factors of obesity and interactions with other causes.
The International Max Planck Research School on Neuroscience of Communication: Function, Structure, and Plasticity (IMPRS NeuroCom) is a graduate school based at the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences in Leipzig. Within the structured doctoral programme, doctoral researchers are trained in the multidisciplinary field of cognitive neuroscience. The focus is on the behavioural and neural basis of communication. Clinical and developmental aspects and the corresponding brain plasticity play a major role in research.
The International Max Planck Research School "The Leipzig School of Human Origins" (IMPRS LSHO) is an internal doctoral programme that focuses on the interdisciplinary study of the evolutionary history and origins of humans and other primates. Through this project organised by Leipzig University and the IMPRS LSHO at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, graduates from various disciplines work together on a number of research projects.
The doctoral programme at the Max Planck School of Cognition offers talented students the opportunity to acquire a broad understanding of the various methods and research approaches in the rapidly developing field of cognitive science.
The School includes a number of internationally renowned researchers who come from diverse scientific backgrounds but have overlapping research interests. The researchers come from Max Planck Institutes, universities, the Helmholtz Association and the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft.
The MD/PhD programme gives outstanding researchers in the fields of biochemistry, chemistry, biology and pharmacy as well as physicians and dentists the opportunity to independently pursue academic work and gain additional professional qualifications for other tasks in teaching and research. The programme leads to double doctorates as Dr. rer. nat. and Dr. med. or as Dr. rer. nat. and Dr. rer. med.