Graduate School

Our Integrated Research Training Group (IRTG) offers interdisciplinary training on molecular and cellular mechanisms of neural homeostasis in molecular biology, cell biology, histology, immunohistochemistry, genetics, electrophysiology, behavioral analyses, imaging techniques, computational neurosciences and clinical methods. It is offered to MD-PhD and PhD students, who are funded within the subprojects of the CRC and by the present IRTG. The core curriculum of the qualification program is comprised of lectures, seminars, and lab courses. Lectures are offered via the Focus Program Translational Neurosciences (FTN) and the Institute of Molecular Biology (IMB) in Mainz, and via 12 different lecture series at the Interdisciplinary Center for Neuroscience (ICNF) in Frankfurt. Students also participate in selected series of lectures on modern concepts in neurosciences and novel techniques at the International Max Planck Research School (IMPRS) for Neural Circuits in Frankfurt (joint graduate program of the MPI for Brain Research, MPI of Biophysics, the Goethe University, the Frankfurt Institute of Advanced Studies and the Ernst Strüngmann Institute for Neuroscience). Journal Clubs cover new publications within the topic of the CRC and are being held locally at the research departments of the PIs. In addition, comprehensive soft skills training programs are being made available to the students through the Brain center of the Goethe Research Academy for Early Career Resesarchers (GRADE) in Frankfurt and the MDPhD/ PhD-program TransMed in Mainz, which cover aspects such as paper and grant writing skills, management training, ethics, and good scientific practice. Students receive credit points for participation in all courses including soft skill training courses. Central funds from the Z project are dedicated to support Cooperation Programs to teach the students how to engage in collaborative projects and manage their own budgets. The IRTG program is highly flexible and customized to each student’s needs.

It is the aim of this IRTG to put emphasis on the main topic of our CRC initiative, and to advance students’ knowledge of nervous system development, function, and pathology in view of homeostatic mechanisms. In addition to PhD students funded in the CRC individual projects and from core support of the participating PIs, stipends given in this IRTG will target particularly selected highly qualified MD students aiming for a MD-PhD degree. We have successfully supported medical students in the last two funding periods. Moreover, in the last 8 years we have also given special attention to identify in early stages motivated life science students and attract them to become regular members of the CRC1080 (including students channeled through a “fast track” system that has been implemented at both locations, Frankfurt and Mainz). Therefore, it is our main aim is to continue recruiting early talents and train them to become competitive players in the future research.

Qualification program

All students in the program are required to obtain 180 credit points in total in line with the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS points). The work on the research project corresponds to about 85% of the time invested in the doctoral studies (150 credit points). The structured core curriculum (see below) is offered by the sum of all rmn2 teaching activities and involves all the principal investigators in the FTN and the ICNF in Mainz and Frankfurt, respectively (30 CP). 20 credit points are offered for technical training and interdisciplinary education and 10 credit points for multidisciplinary skills. To allow an optimal education that takes into account the different levels and expertise of each student, the curriculum is tailored to each student and the education elements can be chosen individually. The students are mentored in their selections by their thesis advisory committees. The MD students in the IRTG of the CRC1080 obtain their MD-PhD title though the MD-PhD/PhD-program “TransMed” in Mainz. The life science PhD students in the IRTG obtain their titles (Dr. phil. nat. and Dr. rer. nat.) from “TransMed” and from the different faculties at the JGU and GU.

The IRTG-Curriculum

The teaching program is comprised of lectures, seminars, and lab courses that are offered by faculty members of different institutions both in Mainz and in Frankfurt. The program covers a broad range of approaches used to study molecular, cellular, developmental, structural, functional, evolutionary, computational, and medical aspects of the nervous system. The program also includes seminars from external speakers, master classes offered by external speakers visiting Mainz and Frankfurt, weekend meetings with faculty members, retreats, internal symposia and international symposia.

The curriculum offers lectures/seminars and lab courses and workshops in the following fields of neuroscience research:

      1. Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

      2. Developmental Neurobiology

      3. Plasticity

      4. Systems Neuroscience

      5. Cognitive Neuroscience

      6. Computational Neuroscience

      7. Neurobiology of Disease

      8. Clinical Neurosciences

The Graduate School Team

For more information about the IRTG and/or to apply, please contact the Graduate School Team.

Thomas Mittmann

Prof. Dr. rer. nat.
Institut für PhysiologieUniversitätsmedizin der Johannes Gutenberg-UniversitätDuesbergweg 6, 55128 Mainz
Tel. 06131 39-27261Fax 06131

Gabi Lahner

Campus NiederradNeuro Science Center (Blauer Turm)Heinrich-Hoffmann-Str. 7, 60528 Frankfurt-am-Main
Tel. 069-6301-6021Fax.

Daniela Liegel-Seitz

Fellowship Coordinator
Institut für Mikro' Anatomie und NeurobiologieUniversitätsmedizin der Johannes Gutenberg-UniversitätJohann-Joachim-Becherweg 13, 55128 Mainz
Tel. 06131 39-22365 Fax. 06131 39-22167

Heidrun Rumpel

Fellowship Coordinator
Institut für PhysiologieUniversitätsmedizin der Johannes Gutenberg-UniversitätDuesbergweg 6, 55128 Mainz