International Graduate School in Molecular Medicine: Success in German Excellence Initiative

Today, the German Research Foundation (DFG) has announced in Bonn that the Graduate School will be supported with 1.8 million Euros annually. The deciding conference of the jury consisting of DFG-representatives, officers from the German Council of Science and Humanities (Wissenschaftsrat) as well as from the Federal Republic and the 16 states had preceded the announcement. The University of Ulm was competing with 38 graduate schools already supported by the Excellence Initiative and 25 new applicants. “Over the last years, the Graduate School has considerably contributed to the profile of the University of Ulm and will continue to do so in the future. The same holds true for the national and international visibility of our University”, says Professor Karl Joachim Ebeling, President of the University of Ulm. He believes that the institution will continue to have positive effects on scientific accomplishments that are already remarkable in biomedical research.

Professor Thomas Wirth, Dean of the Medical Faculty, stresses comparable aspects in his reaction to the good news: “The funding by the Excellence Initiative has already contributed to the increased quality of our scientific training program as well as the capability of biomedical research at the University of Ulm. Thanks to the re-approved funding, we are glad to continue on this road to success.” The Graduate School’s spokesman, Professor Michael Kühl, underlines that the institution has considerably contributed to the internationalization of the University of Ulm. In this context, Kühl mentions international supervisors of the PhD-students, annual international Spring and Fall Meetings, a global network of partner-universities and the introduction of international double-degrees. “We will continue to pursue internationalization”, promises the institution’s director. “The recent decision is a milestone for the Graduate School and the University of Ulm”, says the managing director, Dr. Dieter Brockmann. “We are glad that our concepts have convinced the international top-class jury.”

Not only the concept but also facts and figures of the institution are quite impressive: 126 current PhD-students come from 22 countries. The percentage of women is 67. What is more, about three dozen young researchers pass the extremely demanding PhD-program in Experimental Medicine for the best medical students. In this group, the percentage of women is 43.
Focuses are on developmental biology, aging and regeneration, cancer as well as dysfunctions of the cardiovascular system and infectious diseases. 70 young researchers have, according to Brockmann, successfully graduated from the institution – with excellent career options. Many graduates stay in touch with their Alma Mater and attend Alumni-meetings in Ulm and occasionally in the United States. The number and quality of partner-universities further documents the Graduate School’s international orientation: the universities of Oxford, Barcelona, Rome as well as top-ranked institutions in the US, China and Italy. Additionally, there are double-degree-PhD-programs with the University of Padua and the BioCenter in Oulu (Finland).

Further Information:

Prof. Dr. Michael Kühl
Spokesman of the Graduate School
Tel.: 0731-500-23283

PD Dr. Dieter Brockmann
Managing director
Tel.: 0731-500-22026

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