The PIER Helmholtz Graduate School ensures that doctoral candidates receive an internationally recognized and optimally supervised education in their respective fields. The graduate school promotes research and networking within an interdisciplinary framework and provides various interdisciplinary events for a lively scientific discourse. DESY and Universität Hamburg are very international, with scientists and students from more than 40 countries.
The "Partnership for Innovation, Education and Research" (PIER) stands for the strong cooperation between Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron (DESY) and Universität Hamburg. DESY is a member of the Helmholtz Association and one of the world's leading accelerator centres. DESY's combination of accelerator development, research with photons and particle physics is unique in Europe. With its more than 40,000 students, Universität Hamburg is Germany's third-largest university. Its diverse curriculum combined with outstanding research in biology, chemistry, physics, and medicine at the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, is key to enabling doctoral candidates to obtain a first-rate education within the PIER network.
Focus on key skills and career planning
Our training programme focuses on teaching students key skills that will prepare them for their subsequent careers in science, research, industry and business. The graduate school offers doctoral candidates numerous career development opportunities that range from individual career advice to a great variety of career workshops. With a high-profile mentoring progamme for female researchers, we offer the best career opportunities for women.
Service-oriented and strongly supportive
The graduate school offers their doctoral candidates a wide range of scientific support activities and attractive services, all with an international focus. This includes financing possibilities for research trips and discussions in small groups with renowned scientists from all over the world.
Because good living conditions are also essential for obtaining a PhD, a wide range of services and support measures is offered to the doctoral candidates at the PIER Helmholtz Graduate School: Language courses, assistance with obtaining a residence permit or finding accommodation, leisure activities that enable students to jointly discover the beautiful and lively port city of Hamburg.
The graduate school welcomes applications from highly motivated graduates two times a year in spring and autumn. Our next call for applications will open in October 2016. Don't delay - become part of the unique PIER network!
Pioneering research fields & interdisciplinary networks
PIER concentrates on four pioneering research fields and two areas of expertise that form interdisciplinary networks between the research fields: Particle and Astroparticle Physics, Nanoscience, Photon Science, Infection and Structural Biology, Accelerator Research and Theoretical Physics.
Particle and Astroparticle Physics
Thanks to the collaboration between Universität Hamburg (UHH) and DESY research centre, Hamburg is internationally recognised as one of the most powerful and highly regarded sites for high-energy physics.
Hamburg is an internationally recognized location for research into nanomaterials. This research focuses on both the synthesis and the non-destructive analysis and study of new kinds of functional materials and their molecular processes under conditions of environmental, technological and industrial relevance.
As a research location, Hamburg boasts a globally unique constellation of complementary expertise in the following closely interrelated fields: laser physics, quantum optics, short-time physics, X-ray physics and atomic and molecular physics. All of these fields are heavily involved in photon research.
Infection and Structural Biology
Universität Hamburg and the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf (UKE) are currently establishing an interdisciplinary research area whose focus is on "global and newly occurring infections".
The DESY research centre is one of the world's leading institutes when it comes to building and operating large particle accelerators. DESY and Universität Hamburg have been closely collaborating on accelerator research for decades. Together, the two partners develop new technologies and study accelerator physics at existing facilities.
The Wolfgang Pauli Centre (WPC) unites the various theoretical physics research groups that are working on particle and astroparticle physics, cosmology, mathematical physics, condensed matter, quantum optics and chemical physics at Universität Hamburg and DESY.
Training programme at the PIER Helmholtz Graduate School
The training programme encompases three areas of qualification. Doctoral students who successfully complete the study programme of the PIER Helmholtz Graduate School receive a certificate and a transcript of records.
A: Project-related group seminars and workshops in the main research field
Research training groups, work groups or institute seminars
Participation in workshops and conferences in or outside Hamburg
B: Professional qualification in the PIER research fields
PIER PhD seminar
Annual PIER Graduate Week with interdisciplinary lectures and workshops for PhD students
Subject-specific courses from the curricula of Universität Hamburg's master's programmes
Participation in workshops, winter or summer schools and lecture weeks
C: Obtaining key skills
Workshops, courses, vocational training on career orientation
Language courses and courses on academic writing or good academic practice
Apply for a PhD position
PhD within three years with regular feedback from your scientific advisory team. PhD positions are paid with minimum 50% of TVL 13 (at least 1.600 Euro). No tution fees. Language of instruction is English.
Excellent reasons to study with us:
Academic training provided by international experts
Access to unique technologies such as the world's brightest storage ring PETRA III, the free-electron laser FLASH and FLASH II, and the superlative X-ray laser source XFEL
PhD within three years with regular feedback from your scientific advisory team
Contract as a research assistant at Universität Hamburg or DESY (salary approx. 1.800€ pre-tax per month) including health care and social insurance coverage
Financial support for research trips, conferences and childcare
Interdisciplinary research and work in a cosmopolitan environment
Acquisition of key competences for your future career in science, business or industry
Comprehensive student support service including leisure activities and language courses
Hamburg is one of Europe's most livable cities with a rich academic, cultural and artistic life
We are especially pleased to receive applications from female scientists: with a high-profile mentoring progamme we offer the best career opportunities for women. We see diversity as an asset, applications from disabled persons are welcomed. Severely disabled applicants with equal qualification will be given particular consideration.
What you need if you want to study with us:
Master's degree (or equivalent) in physics, chemistry, biology, mathematics, medicine or related fields. Applications from students who are nearing graduation are also welcome
Get in touch with the research teams you're interested in and discuss your projects with your potential supervisor before you submit your application. In Germany, supervisors usually are happy to receive and answer targeted job applications from master students
Master's degree or diploma certificate with transcript of records
Motivation letter including a description of your own research interests and experience, if possible with respect to your planned PhD project (max. two pages)
A Graduate Education Program of Universität Hamburg in Cooperation with DESY
PIER (Partnership for Innovation, Education and Research) ist eine Kooperation zwischen der Universität Hamburg und DESY. PIER ist keine eigenständige Rechtsperson und handelt im Sinne der PIER Partner, Universität Hamburg oder DESY. Das Deutsche Elektronen-Synchrotron (DESY) ist eine Stiftung bürgerlichen Rechts. DESY ist Mitglied der Hermann von Helmholtz-Gemeinschaft Deutscher Forschungszentren (HGF). DESY wird gesetzlich vertreten durch das Direktorium, dieses wiederum wird vertreten durch den Vorsitzenden, Herrn Prof. Dr. Helmut Dosch, und den kaufmännischen Direktor, Herrn Christian Harringa (komm.)