University of Freiburg: Boost for training for Freiburg doctoral students

The German Research Foundation (DFG) is boosting the training of Freiburg PhD students and extending funding for two research training groups (RTG) at the University of Freiburg: the two development programs ‘MeInBio – BioInMe: Exploration of spatio-temporal dynamics of gene regulation using high-throughput and high-resolution methods’ and ‘Statistical Modeling in Psychology (SMiP)’ will receive a total of roughly 12.3 million euros for the next four and a half years. This is a result of the progress made by the two research training groups in the first funding phase (2017 – 2021).

In the first funding phase of the ‘MeInBio – BioInMe: Exploration of spatio-temporal dynamics of gene regulation using high-throughput and high-resolution methods’ RTG, 41 doctoral students received training in molecular biology laboratory methods and bioinformatics, with 26 of them being directly funded by the RTG. The doctoral students study how genetic information is translated and made usable in different cell systems, and identify the guiding principles behind this genetic expression. Modern high-resolution technologies that automatically process several thousand analyses simultaneously allow the doctoral students to observe cellular processes at high temporal and cell-specific resolution. This makes it possible to track genetic activity in small cell counts and even individual cells. The interdisciplinary RTG blends methods and research questions from medicine, computer science and biology, and trains doctoral students in two essential areas of life sciences. The results of the RTG’s research have been circulated in more than 40 scientific publications. Its coordinator is Prof. Dr. Tanja Vogel from the Institute of Anatomy and Cell Biology.

The ‘Statistical Modeling in Psychology (SMiP)’ RTG bridges two fields of psychology that have traditionally only been loosely related: research into the principles and applications of psychology on the one hand and new developments in specialist methods and statistical modeling on the other. To achieve this, the group has developed statistical models to formalize psychological theories and research questions and joined forces with researchers from five sites: as well as the University of Freiburg, the Universities of Mannheim, Heidelberg, Koblenz-Landau and Tübingen are all involved with the research training group. The group’s coordinator is Prof. Dr. Thorsten Meiser from the University of Mannheim; the contacts for Freiburg are Prof. Dr. Karl Christoph Klauer and Prof. Dr. Andrea Kiesel from the Institute of Psychology.

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