The integrated Research Training Group “Polymers: random coils and beyond”

Obtain a doctorate in polymer science within the integrated Research Training Group “Polymers: random coils and beyond”

Since 2012, doctoral students from the fields of physics, chemistry, and materials science collaborate in active research in the interdisciplinary field of polymer science at the university cities of Halle (Saale) and Leipzig. The graduate program provides in-depth training in interdisciplinary soft matter research. This includes the design and preparation of specific materials, their characterization, and their theoretical understanding. A thorough command of the basic principles of chemistry, physics and engineering of polymers and soft matter are aims of the training within our graduate school. All students work closely with a supervisor and meet a mentor regularly. In addition to the development of a broad background in polymer science, the acquisition of transferable skills is an important goal of the course program.

Research on synthetic and biological polymers

Polymer research at the graduate school comprises aggregation MLUHW_Physik_Polymer_0171phenomena of proteins and investigations of lipid membranes in the field of biopolymers. For synthetic polymers, crystallization and self-healing concepts are in the focus. Doctoral students conduct their interdisciplinary studies and are closely connected with other groups in this wide range of polymer topics.

Scientific exchange and collaboration

More than 30 doctoral students are interconnected through our graduate school. Common projects, mutual support by, e.g., measurements in other research groups and seminars lead to active exchange. Highlights are full two-days advanced training modules giving an introduction to selected research methods. In addition, the faculty offers lectures on several polymer topics and lecture series by international guest researchers.
Besides the scientific education, doctoral students are supported in their transferable skills, such as writing publications and giving persuasive talks. The scientific progress and the current research activities are discussed regularly during meetings with supervisor and mentor. The English language is the common basis for communication within the graduate school.

A diverse research field

Our graduate school comprises the expertise of more than 15 leading scientists in polymer research in Halle (Saale) and Leipzig. This high number of working groups from the fields of Polymer and Soft Matter Physics as well as Polymer Chemistry enables a fast exchange and a highly interdisciplinary work. Research is carried out in the individual groups. Working as a doctoral student combines experimental investigations in the lab with the theoretical modeling and data analysis at the office desk. In Theoretical Physics and Chemistry the experiments are carried out on large computer clusters. Funding is mostly provided through grants by the German Research Foundation “Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft” (DFG).
The Integrated Research Training Group “Polymers: random coils and beyond” is a graduate school and part of, but in its scope not limited to, the transregional Collaborative Research Center SFB/TRR 102 funded by DFG. The graduate school is a common initiative of the Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU) and Leipzig University (UL). The Fraunhofer Institute for Microstructure of Materials and Systems (Halle), the Leibniz Institute for Surface Modification (Leipzig) and Max Planck Institute for Colloids and Interfaces (MPIKG) in Potsdam/Golm also participate in the graduate school.

The integrated Research Training Group is a member of the International Graduate Academy Halle (InGrA) and the Research Academy Leipzig (RAL).