Welcome to the International Max Planck Research School for Immunobiology, Epigenetics, and Metabolism (IMPRS-IEM) – a joint international PhD program of the Max Planck Institute of Immunobiology and Epigenetics and the University of Freiburg. The research carried out at IMPRS-IEM focuses on diverse questions in the fields of:
IMPRS-IEM is the successor program to IMPRS-MCB established in 2006. The new name and program structure reflects strengthening of the scientific research done by our faculty as a joint initiative of scientists from the University of Freiburg, the Max Planck Institute of Immunobiology and Epigenetics, and the Institute for Systems Immunology in Würzburg.
We offer talented doctoral researchers excellent training opportunities in the fields of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Immunobiology, Epigenetics and Metabolism. Scientific education in a first-class environment supports their development into outstanding young scientists.
Our doctoral researchers receive employment contracts according to the guidelines by the Max Planck Society for the duration of their PhD research. The payment is sufficient to cover the monthly living costs in Freiburg. There are no tuition fees.
The IMPRS program is managed by the IMPRS office in collaboration with the two IMPRS Spokespersons and the members of the Graduate Committee. We currently have 53 students from 22 countries, and 30 faculty members (19 from MPI-IE and 12 from the University of Freiburg and 2 from the Max Planck Research Department of Systems Immunology in Würzburg). We are also very proud of our growing alumni group, which comprises more than 95 graduates.
What we offer
One of the distinctive aspects of our program is a rotation period. Doctoral researchers spend one month each in three different laboratories before starting their PhD project. This is an important step towards identifying a suitable laboratory for their PhD thesis, as it allows them to experience three distinct lab environments and provides further insight into particular research topics. The rotations are also a chance for group leaders to ascertain which doctoral researcher will be the best fit for their groups. Finally, this rotation phase enhances communication and networking within the Institute.
After the rotation period, doctoral researchers join the lab in which they will carry out their PhD work. The PhD project constitutes the core of the scientific training. IMPRS doctoral researches benefit from the supervision of the respective group leader, interactions within the laboratory and collaborations within and outside the MPI-IE. The progress of all IMPRS doctoral researchers is regularly monitored by their thesis advisory committees (TACs).
A broad curriculum complements the laboratory training. This additional training program covers three major aspects - advanced scientific training, transferable career-critical skills and networking. In particular, we offer courses that relate to:
- Advanced scientific methods e.g. bioinformatics, statistics, imaging
- Critical analysis of scientific literature
- Scientific Writing
- Scientific Presentation
- Good Scientific Practice
- Career Development
- Funding Opportunities
We strongly encourage participation in the annual PhD retreat organized by the PhD representatives. Furthermore, we support doctoral researchers' attendance at regional symposia and international scientific conferences and provide advice for future career planning.