Eight Million Euros for the Education and Training of Doctoral Candidates


The German Research Foundation (DFG) has approved two RWTH proposals for research training groups.


The German Research Foundation (DFG) has approved two proposals submitted by RWTH Aachen. The university can now go ahead and launch the research training group "Mechanobiology of epithelial 3D tissue structures" and also continue the research training group "Quantum Many-Body Methods in Condensed Matter Systems."

The aim of research training groups is to educate and promote highly qualified doctoral candidates. In the next four and a half years RWTH will receive approximately eight million euros for this purpose.

Mechanobiology of epithelial 3D tissue structures (MEƎT)

At the core of the research training goup "Mechanobiology of epithelial 3D tissue structures" (MEƎT)“ are the two research disciplines of mechanobiology and tissue engineering. The goal is to steer processes in oder to prevent pathological changes in body tissues and to create functional tissue replacement materials. For this purpose, biomaterial-based 3D cell culture systems with mechanical properties are to be constructed that can be controlled in space and time. The key focus of research is on epithelial cell formations that are located at mechanophysical border regions and are therefore exposed to considerable mechanical forces.

To succeed in this endeavor, scientists from the disciplines of cell biology, biophysics, and bioengineering will have to work closely together. MEƎT will benfit from the interdisciplinary research culture found at RWTH Aachen and Forschungszentrum Jülich, as well as at Erlangen University and Cornell University, by bringing together engineers and life science scholars from eleven different disciplines to collaborate in this field of research.

DFG is supporting the education and training of 13 doctoral candidates with 4.4 million euros. The team's work will be supervised by nine RWTH professors, one professor from Forschungszentrum Jülich, and one professor from Erlangen University who has the support of ten experienced early career researchers. The research training group will be headed by Professor Rudolf Leube from RWTH (spokesperson) and Professor Rudolf Merkel from Forschungszentrum Jülich (vice spokesperson).

Further Information

Univ.-Prof. Dr. med.
Institute of Molecular and Cellular Anatomy
Telephone: +49 241 80 89107

Quantum Many-Body Methods in Condensed Matter Systems

The research training group "Quantum Many-Body Methods in Condensed Matter Systems" will continue to receive funding for another four and a half years. The amount of about 3.8 million euros will provide financing for the twelve doctoral candidates, currently from six different nations, until 2023.

Under the direction of Professor Volker Meden, the research training group is supported jointly by RWTH and Forschungszentrum Jülich. The researchers’ goal is to gain a deeper understanding of the collective behavior of interacting many-body systems of quantum-mechanical nature.

The team of the research training group uses theoretical methods to examine the collective phenomena in extended condensed matter systems resulting from the many-body effects of quantum-mechanical nature, such as superconductivity and magnetism. The researchers aim to provide a precise description of interacting many-body systems via different methods and to gain a better understanding of correlation effects. The results will allow them to draw conclusions regarding the properties and possible applications of certain materials, among others in nanoelectronics. This should also allow for predictions on new functional materials, which could be more sustainable, or resource-conserving, due to their high conductivity, their large storage capacity, or because they are otherwise specially suited for applications in "Quantum computing."

The project will acquire added value from the combination and development of different complementary methods with which to research many-body systems. It will successfully power the research in this subarea of theoretical physics even beyond the scope of the second research training group funding period. The Aachen-Jülich area with its many professorships and young investigator groups in the field of quantum many-body methods constitutes an ideal environment to bring this project to fruition.

Further Information

Univ.-Prof. Dr.rer.nat.
Institute for Theory of Statistical Physics
Telephone: +49 241 80 27018

Source: Press and Communications