IMPRS for Biology And Computation
The International Max Planck Research School for Biology And Computation (IMPRS-BAC) provides education for students at the interface between molecular life sciences and computational sciences. This is based on perspective and supervision from both ends – experimental and computational – and suits students with degrees in molecular biology, biochemistry, mathematics, bioinformatics or any related areas. We open for applications in autumn every year.
About the IMPRS-BAC
The IMPRS-BAC offers a dual education with supervision from experimental and computational groups and the opportunity to carry out research at the interface between biology, bioinformatics, mathematics and biochemistry. Our research groups work in epigenetics, bioinformatics, developmental biology, mathematics, sequence analysis, gene regulation, RNA biology, mechanobiology, protein biochemistry, stem cells and differentiation, statistics, molecular evolution, biophysics and more.
We are a joint graduate program of the Freie Universität Berlin (FU, Department of Biology, Chemistry, Pharmacy and Department of Mathematics and Computer Science) and the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics (MPIMG).
As of November 2023
What we offer
As a doctoral student of the IMPRS-BAC, your time will mainly be devoted to your PhD thesis work in one of the research groups of the school, but the IMPRS-BAC also offers an exciting and flexible curriculum, allowing you to gain both scientific and transferable skills:
- The Welcome week lays the groundwork and introduces the breadth of our research
- University lectures in mathematics, computer science, bioinformatics, biochemistry and biology allow you to catch up with the areas unfamiliar to you
- Nanocourses push your knowledge at the cutting edge of research in biology and computation
- Summer schools provide an in-depth look
- Transferable skills complement the academic curriculum by teaching you to write, lead, publish, network, manage, present and plan your future career.
- Meetings with your Thesis Advisory Committee (TAC) and regular presentations guarantee good supervision.
All of our doctoral students receive a contract or stipend providing them with sufficient funds to live on in Berlin. The amount and type will vary depending on the funding body. Some travel funding is also provided. There are no tuition fees in Germany, there is only an administrative fee to be paid to the university of 300-350 Euro per semester.
Prerequisites and Graduation
Most of our students come into the program with a master's degree in a relevant subject (e.g. molecular biology, bioinformatics, biochemistry, mathematics, physics, biotechnology, medicine).
We do offer a preparatory program for exceptional students with a bachelor's degree in the computational / mathematical sciences only, who want to pursue a PhD in Bioinformatics, Mathematics or Computer Science. This preparatory program allows them to attend lectures for three semesters at the Freie Universität in Berlin and do some lab rotations, and then start on their PhD research after a qualifying exam, without submitting a master's thesis. Some knowledge of German may be required for the preparatory program.
Our students come from all over the world and our working language is English.
The submission and successful defense of your thesis at the end of the PhD program entitles you to the German doctoral degree "Doctor of Natural Sciences" (Dr. rer. nat.) or to the international academic degree "Doctor of Philosophy" (Ph.D.). The doctoral degree is, in most cases, awarded by the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science or the Department of Biology, Chemistry, Pharmacy of the Freie Universität Berlin.