Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht, 2017-06-22

The Graduate School


Macromolecular Biosciences is an important interdisciplinary field for graduate training and an important basis for understanding complex processes at the biomaterial-biology interface. This interdisciplinary topic requires skills in core subjects: polymer biomaterials, synthesis, biophysics, physical chemistry, nanotechnology, macromolecular and surface chemistry, biochemistry, chemical biology, and physiology. Aims of the Helmholtz Graduate School Macromolecular Bioscience are the training of graduate students in these core skills and to foster the understanding of interlinks between the fields as well as their participation in the interdisciplinary "soft skills" program of the partner universities.


The Helmholtz Graduate School Macromolecular Bioscience aims to improve the qualification of the participating PhD students and provide an optimal research environment towards their doctoral degree as the optimal start of the following career in science, industry or science administration. To achieve these principle objectives the Graduate School provides:
  • Interdisciplinary work and knowledge in Biomaterial Science and Macromolecular Bioscience to become second generation of biomaterial scientist
  • Access to interdisciplinary research infrastructure, (e.g. characterisation methods, funds for research)
  • Transfer gained knowledge to research activities
  • Build a strong personal career profile by defining professional goals and obtaining a broad range of soft skills
  • Develop and support national and international networking
  • Preparation for specialist and management positions in the job market


PhD students who have strong records of academic performance as graduate students in one of the fields related to polymer biomaterials, synthesis, biophysics, physical chemistry, nanotechnology, macromolecular and surface chemistry, biochemistry chemical biology, and physiology and previous laboratory experience.

In case of formal criteria for the admission to the Helmholtz Graduate School generally a diploma or master's degree (or equivalent) is required, with special skills in the central field of the related research project.
Besides the completion of your disciplinary graduate degree we especially seek for students, who are keen to face the challenge of a highly interdisciplinary education and scientific career.

In general, all PhD students at the Helmholtz Institute of Biomaterial Science and their partners participate in the Graduate School Macromolecular Bioscience regardless of the type of funding they obtained (basic or third-party).
Macromolecular Bioscience scholarship recipients are required to participate. The graduate programme is also open for PhD students from the partner universities and non-university institutions, provided their fields of specialization fits one or more fields of research addressed in Macromolecular Bioscience or they are in a cooperation with one of the PIs of the Graduate School Macromolecular Bioscience.


The Helmholtz Graduate School Macromolecular Bioscience provides an excellent state of the art research infrastructure and a supportive environment for PhD students towards their doctor's degree. The Graduate School Macromolecular Bioscience will support candidates in the development of a strong personal career profile and to establish a strong network of young researchers in order to enhance the scientific output at the PhD level. Integration in internationally high-rated research groups will give you a broad experience in research to develop and improve your own skills. Opportunities of participation in expeditions on board the various research vessels or at research stations are only one of the options within Macromolecular Bioscience.


  • Doctoral work in interdisciplinary research teams at one of the leading centres of biomaterial research
  • Intensive scientific training in the scientific topics of the Graduate School Macromolecular Bioscience
  • Translational projects with close links between basic and applied research in Macromolecular Bioscience
  • Access to state-of-the-art platforms and training in the latest technologies
  • Networking on an international scale, with financial support for attending conferences and for research stays at other outstanding institutions to promote knowledge exchange with colleagues, peers and leading international scientists
  • Promotion of independence and self-management
  • Intensive guidance and mentoring by a personal Thesis Committee
  • Design of an individual curriculum
  • Career promotion and training in management, leadership and communication through a broad range of transferable skill ("soft skill") courses
  • Networking with alumnis from science and industry
  • Conferral of a doctorate from either Freie University Berlin (winner in both periods of Germany‚Äôs Excellence Initiative competition) or University Potsdam
All these features of the structured PhD programme will prepare the PhD students for successful careers in academia, industry and scientific management.

Research Areas/ Scientific Subjects