Obtain a doctorate in polymer science within the integrated Research Training Group “Polymers: random coils and beyond”
Since 2012, doctoral students from Halle and Leipzig universities have been actively collaborating in polymer research. This field is interdisciplinary and brings together students from physics, chemistry and materials science in an integrated graduate program. 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 in the graduate school investigaates the aggregation phenomena of proteins and the behavior 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 and mutual support (e.g., by having measurements made in other research groups and by seminars) lead to active exchange. Highlights are advanced training modules of two full days introducing selected research methods. In addition, the faculty offers lectures on several polymer topics and lecture series by international guest researchers.
As well as fostering scientific education, the program supports doctoral students in developing their transferable skills, such as writing publications and giving persuasive talks. Students discuss their scientific progress and current research activities during regular 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. They come from the fields of Polymer and Soft Matter Physics as well as Polymer Chemistry. This high number of working groups enables the rapid exchange of ideas and highly interdisciplinary research. Research is carried out in the individual groups. Doctoral student work combines experimental investigations in the lab with desk-based theoretical modeling and data analysis. 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.