You are here: Home Training Profile Study Program

Study Program


Structure of the PhD program

The regular duration of thesis is three years which guarantees a fast and research-oriented qualification of the doctoral researchers. The graduate program of the RTG is a supportive scaffold for them to facilitate their interdisciplinary education and to ensure the organization and monitoring of this challenging agenda. It promotes early scientific independence of the doctoral researchers and prohibits a prolonged duration of the thesis work. The major amount of time will be dedicated to laboratory work (85-90%), during the remaining time, the doctoral researchers will attend to lectures and a variety of different courses offering the possibility to form their individual profile as a researcher:

    • Courses of the RTG - Lectures, Seminars, Method Courses, Summer Schools, Symposia, Retreats
    • Courses in cooperation with joint projects
    • Soft Skill Courses  


Please find our current course portfolio and information about upcoming events here


Course program

The educational activities during the thesis term sum up to about 450h in total (3,5h/per week). This ensures that the doctoral researchers will not be overburdened and be able to complete their thesis within three years.

Educational activity Frequency
Lecture series "Transport across and into membranes" summer term, once a week
Lecture series "Career & Development" winter term, once a week
Seminar once a month
Method Courses every term
Autumn School winter term
Symposium every two years
Retreat every summer term
Soft skills one- or two-day courses


Lecture series "Transport across and into membranes"

The lecture series deals with the properties of membranes, structure/function relationships of transport proteins, modification and regulation of transport proteins, protein/lipid interactions and visualization of transport and transport proteins. Besides theoretical education, a broad range of experimental approaches is introduced. 

Lecture series "Career & Development"

The lecture series focusses on career orientation and development. Speakers from national and international universities and from industry give insights into the daily work as Post-Doc/scientist in academia and describe career opportunities in industry. 


In the framework of the monthly seminar series, the doctoral researchers present and defend their scientific work and discuss actual papers from the most recent literature on transport.  

Method Courses

In order to gain specific practical experience, method courses for the doctoral researchers are provided by each individual research group. The doctoral researchers become familiar with various state-of-the-art techniques, far beyond the boundaries of the individual faculties. 

Autumn School

Once a year, elected principal investigators together with advanced doctoral researchers organize a lecture and method course on techniques and concepts related to "Transport across and into membranes" (one-week autumn school). The program is partly provided by the principal investigators of the RTG and partly from international experts who will be invited to stay in Freiburg for the entire week. The autumn school is open to doctoral researchers and PostDocs from other faculties and universities to gain international visibility and integrate the doctoral researchers into the scientific community. 


The doctoral researchers organize an international two-day meeting on "Transport across and into membranes" every two years. Doctoral researchers near the end of their work present their own data and leading international scientists are invited to talk about actual problems and new insights.  


Retreats with a mandatory overnight stay are organized every summer term and take place in the black forest. The function of the retreats is not only to discuss the scientific work in a relaxed atmosphere but also to better interlink all participating persons and establish direct personal contacts. 

Soft Skills

The doctoral researchers achieve additional qualifications and form their individual profile by choosing from a  large range of courses for individual needs. They may attend to courses on soft skills and key competences, such as personal presentation, communication skills, language, Good scientific practice and others more.

    • The International Graduate Academy offers up to 40 workshops per semester in German and English to provide  transdisciplinary further qualifications to the doctoral candidates. The courses teach core competencies and transferable skills in six areas: Management and Communication, Media and Data Processing, Career Planning and Career Entry, Higher Education Teaching and Learning, Practical Orientation, and Languages.
    • Language courses are offered by Sprachlehrinstitut (SLI) and also the International Graduate Academy.


 Please find our current course portfolio and information about upcoming events here


Additional qualification measures / Stays abroad

The doctoral researchers are highly encouraged and financially supported by the RTG to visit international courses, summer schools and conferences held on related topics. Furthermore, they are enlivened to spend some time in a laboratory abroad. For organizational questions, especially regarding childcare during the stays abroad, the doctoral researchers get support from the RTG. It is also possible to perform experimental laboratory research in industry if a technique required to address a scientific problem in question is not available in one of the laboratories of the consortium.  


Visiting researchers

Visiting researchers are invited to contribute to the summer school and symposia. Also guest scientists are invited for a 3-month period to extend and to supplement the spectrum of methods and research by their own experience. Besides lectures, the guest scientists also provide workshops at which the doctoral researchers attend to learn new techniques. 

^ top