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DAAD – A) International Postgraduate Programme meeting; B) “RISE” programme attracts North American scientists; C) More news from DAAD

A) Innovative structures for internationally competitive doctoral studies at German universities
At the end of May? the coordinators of 50 International Postgraduate Programmes (IPP) gathered at the Humboldt University in Berlin for their fourth annual meeting. These pilot programmes that are united in a network called „IPP made in Germany“ offer an attractive alternative to the classical German PhD education. 52% of the PhD candidates are doctoral students from abroad.

In the centre of this initiative are intensive counselling, interdisciplinary and international exchange as well as seminars that are organized according to the students´ needs. The use of English is clear. PhD candidates with little knowledge of German are in the position to finish their degree within three years´ time. These innovative models of postgraduate education are supported within the framework of the initiative „Doctorates at universities in Germany“. The programme was launched in 2001 and is financed by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research with more than € 6 million annually. It is jointly implemented by the German Research Foundation (DFG) and the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD).       

B) RISE: DAAD programme attracts young scientists from North America
RISE (Research Internships in Science and Engineering) is a programme that is supposed to increase the interest of North American postgraduates in Germany as a place to study and do research. The scholarship holders from abroad are hosted by German doctorate students. The programme is very popular. About 370 German PhD students handed in suggestions for projects. 383 North American students applied for a scholarship. 99 American and Canadian RISE scholarship holders were selected to do research at German higher education or research institutes. 83 of them are from the United States, 16 from Canada. Favourite academic fields are biology and chemistry as well as engineering and physics. The scholarship holders´ average time of stay in Germany is two and a half months. The first meeting of RISE scholarship holders will take place in Heidelberg in July.

C) Other news from DAAD:

Willy-Brandt Centre at the University of Wroclaw received award
The Willy-Brandt Centre at the University of Wroclaw in Poland, that has been existing since June 2002, received an award of special support from the German National Foundation (Deutsche Nationalstiftung). It was selected thanks to the American historian Prof. Dr. Fritz Stern and will receive € 25.000 for its activities. The centre is a joint project of the DAAD and the University of Wroclaw. It is the biggest institution of its kind in Middle and Eastern Europe. The DAAD supports centres for German and European studies in several partner countries worldwide.    

Initiative of excellence and pact for research and innovation
In June, the German Federal Government and the „Länder“ have finally decided in Berlin on an initiative of excellence for higher education institutions and on the pact for research and innovation.

The initiative of excellence is intended to reach into the year 2011 and is supposed to receive € 1,9 billion. The federal government finances 75% of it, the „Länder“ 25%. There will be a scientific competition to select up to ten universities which will receice an average of € 21 million per year.

The pact for research and innovation supports the bigger research organisations with a yearly financial plus of 3% until 2010. This means that already in the first year about € 150 million will be mobilized additionally for research. The aim is to open up career opportunities for young scientists, react flexibly on new unconventional research methods, improve networking and create excellence by fostering competition.

See the June ACA Newsletter - A “rising light”? Funds for “German Ivy League” finally approved for more details on this story RISE - Research Internships in Science and Engineering