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Study Program


The program of the Integrated Research Training Group (RTG) aims at educating doctoral students in a multidisciplinary approach combining cell and molecular biology, biochemistry, structural biology and optical (bio)physics. In particular the study program introduces students trained in molecular biology to protein structural and biophysical methods. Conversely, students with a strong background in biophysics are exposed to basic methods and concepts in molecular cell biology.

The study program of the RTG consists of scientific lectures, seminars and courses (mostly in block format), and also provides several opportunities for students to acquire soft skills.

The RTG study program (overview) consists of the following obligatory parts:

CRC Colloquia

The SFB/CRC 958 colloquium features scientific lectures from project leaders as well as lectures by guest speakers and visiting scientists hosted by the SFB. Students are encouraged to suggest guest speakers or visiting scientists. The lectures also provide insights into current methodology or experimental model systems as well as recent technical advances in the relevant fields. Here, the participants of the RTG have the possibilities to get in contact with invited guests. In particular, they are invited to fix a meeting in advance for the day/s of the visit. Moreover, the PhD students can organize a ‘meet the speaker’ part without the PIs to talk about scientifictopics related to the guest speaker´s expertise, career options or scientific advice for their individual PhD project.

Lab Report

In their lab reports, doctoral students present their scientific progress to members of the labs they are affiliated with. It is held in the format of an oral presentation with the aim of exchanging ideas and methodologies, and also of regularly discussing the progress of their research. This ensures a close supervision of students to allow for continuous support during their training. In addition, these lab reports help the students to acquire skills in scientific presentation and troubleshooting.

Progress Report / Mentoring Meeting

For the progress report / mentoring meeting, the doctoral students have to prepare a written report about the status of their doctoral research, and give an outlook on future experiments. This report should be sent to the committee (supervisor, second supervisor and, if applicable, mentor) before the mentoring meeting. During the meeting itself, the mentoring committee discusses the report with the PhD student and provides advice for future directions.

Summer School

The yearly summer school spans two to three full days and is planned, and partly organized, by the participating PhD students with help of the coordinator and the project leader.
The course program encompasses a theoretical part, which is dedicated to convey insights into the biological background of all SFB 958 projects. In addition, the students themselves organize a Mini-Symposium, during which all students present their own research projects, either as oral or as poster presentations. The summer school is complemented by soft skill training courses focusing on particular needs and wishes of our graduate students.

Interdisciplinary Lecture Series (ILS)

The interdisciplinary lecture series cover methods and systems as well as their limitations. These lectures are designed to introduce doctoral students from different backgrounds and disciplines into the scientific areas represented within the SFB/CRC 958. In addition, we included trainings that related to all methods of the CRC, such as statistics. The series is organized as a block event comprising two to three days per year.

Good Scientific Practice

Events on good scientific practice are intended to educate students about scientific misconduct and to raise young scientists' awareness of this part of their work.
At least once during the doctorate a course on good scientific practice is obligatory.


To join the integrated Research Training Group of the CRC 958 as a doctoral (or postdoctoral) researchers, you have to register with this form.

Biomedical Sciences - the PhD Program

The RTG is embedded into the existing structured PhD program Biomedical Sciences within the framework of the Dahlem Research School (DRS) of the Freie Universität Berlin.

Some doctoral candidates may choose a different structured PhD program for enrolment with a stronger focus on molecular biology and biochemistry. Since 2018 they can alternatively apply for the DRS PhD program Molecular Science.

Please contact our coordinator Sandra Keiper for details.