Doctoral programmes


1) Doctoral programmes at the University of Innsbruck

2) Shared doctoral programmes


1) Doctoral programmes at the University of Innsbruck

DP Ageing and Regeneration

Due to a steady increase in life expectancy, the segment of the population aged 60 or over is rapidly increasing worldwide. [more...]

The number of persons aged 60+ is expected to more than double, from 841 million in 2013 to more than 2 billion in 2050. There is a requirement to quickly develop better prevention and treatments for many of the ailments associated with old age and regeneration deficiency. To cope with these challenges, trained academics and other experts across a wide range of professional occupations will team up in the doctoral programme "Lifespan regulation by ageing and regeneration (DK AGE_REG)" founded in 2013. AGE_REG was established at the University of Innsbruck within the framework of the research areas plant metabolomics, ageing research and stem cell biology. Its purpose is to provide an excellent environment of educational training for talented PhD students in the field of interdisciplinary cell biology utilizing state-of-the art omics and cell culture technology. The overall scientific aims of the AGE_REG DK are i) to unravel molecular mechanisms and networks implicated in ageing in selected model systems ranging from plants, nematodes, cnidarians and ascidians to mice and human cell cultures, and ii) contribute work towards developing new concepts of regenerative strategies to repair and replace damaged cells and/or tissues for future therapeutic use. The main aim for teaching is to supervise and train 14 PhD students in a multi- and interdisciplinary programmeme of excellence with strong coherence and collaboration between the individual Faculty Members involved.

DP Alpine Biology and Global Change

DP Atoms, Light, and Molecules (DK-ALM)

The doctoral programme Atoms, Light, and Molecules, DK-ALM, is a collaborative programme that provides a research and training environment for excellent national and international students. [more...]

The programme combines fore-front research in several scientific fields within the framework of atomic, molecular and optical physics with high-level education. The doctoral programme is built from members of the four Physics Institutes at the University of Innsbruck and is related to the Innsbruck Physics Research Center, one of the five Research Focal Points of the University. The doctoral programme is funded by the Austrian Science Fund (FWF) and supported by the University of Innsbruck and the Province of Tyrol.

DP Austrian Studies

DP Biointeractions from Basics to application (Biobapp)

DP Computational Interdisciplinary Modelling (CIM)

The doctoral programme Computational Interdisciplinary Modelling (DK CIM) was established at the University of Innsbruck in 2010 in the context of the Research Area Scientific Computing. [more...]

Its main aim is to provide brilliant junior scientists from home and abroad with a platform for excellent postgraduate studies in combination with cutting-edge research on current topics in the fields of natural and engineering sciences. By pooling highly qualified scientists from various fields the DK junior scientists are offered an environment in which they are embedded into world-class research and into the scientific community. The Ph.D. students are given the opportunity of close interdisciplinary cooperation in developing new methods of computer-aided modelling, as well as in applied research in the fields of study such as Atmospheric Sciences, Chemistry, Computer Sciences, Biomedical Informatics, Engineering Sciences, Mathematics and Physics. The junior scientists can publish their research results internationally and present the results to the international scientific community at conferences.

DP Dynamics of Inequality and Difference in the Age of Globalization

Inequality and difference are social realities in all societies, yet they shape the act of living together to varying degrees. [more...]

Inequality and difference are the result of social processes of negotiation in which access to and ownership over material and immaterial resources are distributed, wherein vertical and horizontal disparities intersect with each other.

Migration and mobility constitute significant contexts for socially produced and reproduced inequality and difference. The social and economic development of nation states as well as the everyday experiences of people are influenced thereby. Border and migration regimes define crossovers and conditions of acceptance and as such are the point of origin of social plurality. In the age of globalization, such plurality is not an exceptional situation per se but also post-migration normality. Migration thus becomes an important perspective of social change both in a global and a regional context.

Inequality and difference are a multifaceted phenomenon and are therefore approached in the doctoral programme from a multi- and interdisciplinary perspective. A range of disciplines from five faculties of the University of Innsbruck are involved.

DP Geschlecht und Geschlechterverhältnisse in Transformation

DP Mountain Climate and Environment (DP MCE)

DP Natural Hazards in Mountain Regions

DP Political Institutions and Leadership in a Contingent World

The growing contingency of real-world politics marks a major challenge to the Political and Social Sciences when it comes to making sense of, and explaining, complex political and social phenomena. [more...]

In this wider context, the programme focuses on the systematic and cross-disciplinary inquiry into political institutions and political leadership, which constitute particular forms of institutions and agency, and are widely considered as near-synonyms for stability and change. Key items on the programme’s research agenda include: the evolution of formal and informal political institutions, the legitimation and de-legitimation of political orders, as well as the conditions, manifestations and effects of political leadership in different areas and at different levels.

This doctoral programme offers young researchers from Austria and abroad the opportunity to pursue a focused PhD education firmly committed to international standards of excellence. Close cooperation between participants in the programme, such as co-authored publications, are complemented by invited guest lectures by leading scholars and international research workshops and conferences, designed to foster mutual inspiration and exchange. The programme also offers encouragement and support for PhD candidates willing to spend some time as a visit PhD student at other academic institutions with particular relevance to the research areas covered.

DP Reactivity and Catalysis

The aim of the planned special doctoral programme is the excellence education of qualified students from within and outside Austria in recent and relevant research topics covering different aspects of reactivity in materials- and nanoscience. [more...]

The joint forces of three faculties (Chemistry and Pharmacy, Geo- and Atmospheric Sciences and Mathematics, Informatics and Physics) and five Institutes allow students to appreciate reactivity from different important viewpoints, ranging from homogeneous and heterogeneous catalysis, reactivity of surfaces and interfaces over activation mechanisms of molecules and biomolecules, reactivity of metals, oxides, metal-oxides and intermetallic compounds to gas phase molecules. The resulting input from several different scientific approaches yields a much more in-depth assessment of reactivity as compared to usual and conventional doctoral education, both from a theory and experimental viewpoint. Scientific exchange on all levels will be particularly promoted. The participants of the special doctoral programme will additionally benefit from an interdisciplinary access to national and international research groups and contact to potential employers from scientific and industrial Partners.

DP Sports and Law

DP Tourism and Leisure in Mountain Regions (TLMR)

ITN EJD-EDiTE - European Joint Doctorate in Teacher Education

The European Doctorate in Teacher Education (EDiTE) is a four-year project supported by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme, Marie-Sklodowska-Curie grant agreement number 676452. [more...]

The project takes place over a period of four years (October 2015 – September 2019). Under the project, fifteen Early Stage Researchers from nine countries (Czech Republic, Ecuador, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Nepal, Poland, Serbia, Syria) are employed by five partner universities, where they work closely with supervisors and pursue individual research projects in the framework of the EDiTE joint research Programme.

Stipendienfinanzierte kooperative Doktoratsschule öffentliches Recht der Universitäten Graz, Innsbruck und Salzburg

2) Shared doctoral programme

DP HOROS - Host responsive and opportunistic infections

Scientists and physicians of the Innsbruck campus, working in the related fields of Infection, Immunity, Transplantation and/or Biogerontology, decided to join forces and created a structured and multidisciplinary research and training programme of excellence. [more...]

Their intention is to cooperatively and synergistically investigate genetic and environmental parameters which destroy the immune homeostasis during host-pathogen interaction, thereby leading to opportunistic infections. All 7 faculty members contribute to various aspects of host-pathogen interaction, comprising inherited and acquired immunity. Bacteria, fungi and viruses are employed as model organisms to study evasion and dysregulation of the host's immune Response.

All Faculty members have strong collaborations among each other and also cooperate with prominent international partners. The Faculty members have highly complementary portfolios of technical skills and practical experiences, and will provide important core facilities to the members of the consortium. The doctoral programme HOROS has an stimulating academic environment and infrastructure. It offers an introducing Ring lecture, plenty of training courses and organizes regular scientific meetings for the students. Furthermore, the Comprehensive Center of Infection, Immunity and Transplantation (CIIT), established in 2010, has been shown to promote and optimize interdisciplinary collaboration in science and clinical practice.

DP Molecular Cell Biology and Molecular Oncology (MCBO)

The doctoral programme “Molecular Cell Biology and Molecular Oncology“ is a highly competitive PhD programme, financed by the Austrian Science Fund and run by leading scientists of the doctoral programmes in Molecular Cell Biology and Molecular Oncology at the Innsbruck Medical University.

DP Signal Processing in Neurons (SPIN)

The PhD programme “Signal Processing in Neurons“ is an initiative of Innsbruck Medical University and the University of Innsbruck. [more...]

SPIN is an international, interdisciplinary programme for the training of an elite of young researchers. It leads to an EU conform Phd degree in Neuroscience.

ITN ColOpt - Collective effects and optomechanics in ultra-cold matter

The network “Collective effects and optomechanics in ultra-cold matter” (ColOpt) will train early-stage researchers (ESR) in fundamental science and applications in the areas of cold atom and quantum physics, optical technologies and complexity science to promote European competiveness in emergent quantum technologies. [more...]

It consists of nine academic nodes and three companies from six European countries, supported by two partners in Brazil and the USA, five further non-academic partners and one public-private partnership.

Collective, nonlinear dynamics and spontaneous self-organization are abundant in nature, sciences and technology and of central importance. Building on this interdisciplinary relevance, a particular novelty of ColOpt is the integration of classical and quantum self-organization. The research program focuses on collective interactions of light with laser-cooled cold and quantum-degenerate matter. We will explore innovative control of matter through optomechanical effects, identify novel quantum phases, enhance knowledge of long-range coupled systems and advance the associated trapping, laser and optical technologies, establishing new concepts in quantum information and simulation.

ColOpt combines cutting-edge science with training in complex instrumentation and methods to the highest level of technical expertise, both experimentally and theoretically, and fosters the development of transferable skills and critical judgement. Each ESR will be exposed to a broad spectrum of experimental, theoretical and industrial environments, to obtain core competence in one of them and the collaborative experience and skills to thrive in a truly international and intersectorial framework. ESRs will develop the capabilities to analyse and understand complex interactions, and will gain awareness of societal and entrepreneurial needs and opportunities. Taken together, this will enable them to excel in a variety of sectors of our diverse and rapidly changing society.

ITN Comiq - Cold Molecular Ions at the Quantum Limit

COMIQ (COld Molecular Ions at the Quantum limit) will investigate how cooling, trapping, and control techniques applied to molecular ions can expand the realm of quantum technology, enhance precision measurements on molecular systems and lead to chemistry at the ultracold quantum limit. [more...]

The network is supported by the European Commission (FP7) under the sub-programme PEOPLE (Marie Curie Actions). 13 early stage researchers will obtain training in all relevant topics of the field; molecular physics, quantum optics, ion trapping and cooling, chemical reactions, spectroscopic techniques, theoretical and computational chemistry, and physical chemistry. The training will be provided by 9 universities/laboratories and 3 private companies from 6 different countries in Europe.

ITN Impact - Ion-Molecule Processes for Analytical Chemical Technologies

Soft chemical-ionization mass-spectrometry (SCIMS) is an exquisitely sensitive analytical technique with applications to health, the environment and security that are vital to the EU. [more...]

However, the recent, rapid and widespread adoption of this technique has caught Europe unprepared. The resultant shortage in analytical chemical expertise has created an urgent need for highly skilled young researchers to be trained in the wide variety of SCIMS methods. IMPACT addresses this skills’ shortage by establishing an intersectoral and multidisciplinary SCIMS training network. IMPACT also brings cohesion to the fragmented SCIMS research and development activities within the EU. To date, most SCIMS developments have been driven not by users but by manufacturers, whose main focus has been on increased sensitivity. However, just as crucial is improved selectivity. Indeed, many users consider improved selectivity to be the key to taking SCIMS technology to a whole new level. Instead of private and public sectors working independently, we need a fresh, intersectoral approach. IMPACT will achieve this through intersectoral work packages and multidisciplinary research projects. In place of major and costly changes in instrumental design, IMPACT’s projects will focus on developing new methods for improved chemical specificity by manipulating ion chemistry. Hence, IMPACT’s fresh approach will produce a step change in SCIMS instrumentation to deliver both economic and societal benefit to the EU. Specifically, IMPACT will train 10 ESRs within an integrated partnership of commercial, governmental and academic organisations, with planned secondments, 5 Advanced Training Courses, 7 interactive Complementary Skills Workshops, and 4 ESR Centred Research Meetings. IMPACT will therefore provide Europe with both a world-class capability in SCIMS technology and a cohort of highly trained researchers who will bring the benefits of that technology to citizens across the EU.

ITN MicroArctic - Microorganisms in Warming Arctic Environment

The Arctic plays a key role in the Earth’s climate system and is an area of growing strategic importance for European policy. [more...]

In this ETN, we will train the next generation of Arctic microbiology and biogeochemistry experts who, through their unique understanding of the Arctic environment and the factors that impact ecosystem and organism response to the warming Arctic, will be able to respond to the need for leadership from public, policy and commercial interests. The training and research programme of MicroArctic is made up of seven interlinked Work Packages (WP). WP1 to WP4 are research work packages at the cutting edge of Arctic microbiology and biogeochemistry and these will be supported by three overarching WPs (WP5-7) associated with the management, training and dissemination of results. WP1 will deliver information about the role of external inputs (e.g., atmospheric) of nutrients and microorganism that drive biogeochemical processes in relation to annual variation in Arctic microbial activity and biogeochemical processes. WP2 will explore ecosystem response on time scales of 100s of years to these inputs using a chrnosequence approach in the already changing Arctic. The effect of time and season and the warming of the Arctic on ecosystem functioning and natural resources will be quantified through geochemical analyses and next generation multi-omics approaches. Complementing WP1 and WP2, WP3 will focus on organism response and adaptation using a range of biochemical, molecular, experimental and culturing approaches. WP4 will address specific applied issues such as colonisation by pathogenic organisms and biotechnological exploitation of Arctic ecosystems. MicroArctic will bring together interdisciplinary experts from both the academic and non-academic sectors across Europe into a network of 20 Institutions across 11 countries.

ITN Shine - Solar Heat Integration NEtwork

Large solar heating systems are decisive to cover a major part of European low temperature heat demand by solar energy and therewith to meet European policy aims. [more...]

However, today only a negligible share of solar heating systems installed in Europe are large units due to manifold technical and socio-economic obstacles. The challenge of solar thermal technology and the overall objective of the proposed initial training network is to supply heat in larger solar heating systems for applications like industrial processes, to feed-in into district heating networks, or sorption drying and cooling. The obstacles will be approached with an innovative inter-disciplinary consortium, including 13 PhD students. Six universities and five private sector participants from six different European countries will provide research and training in cooperation with four associated partners from the private sector. The SHINE project will cover detailed new experimental material-, component- and system studies, system integration analysis and numerical optimization, as well as chemical investigations on storage materials. A close cooperation with industry will ensure fast exploitation of the results. With the SHINE network, the critical mass of PhD students will be gathered on a European level to offer a specialized and structured PhD course programme of large solar heating systems. After the end of SHINE, the key course modules will be offered as a standard curriculum of European PhD education in solar thermal in the long term. The SHINE students will face excellent job perspectives, they will have a sound background in energy economics and complementary skills, regarded as important skills to reach a break through of solar thermal technology.

ITN switchBoard - In the eye of the observer: Visual processing at the heart of the retina

switchBoard is an In Innovative Training Network (ITN) funded by the European Commission's Horizon 2020 programme under the Marie Curie Actions. The duration of the project is 48 months, starting on November 01, 2015. [more...]

The switchBoard consortium brings together eleven beneficiaries from eight different countries, combining the expertise of seven academic partners with excellent research and teaching records, one non-profit research organisation, and three fully integrated private sector partners. This European Training Network (ETN) is supported by six Partner Organisations as well as a management team experienced in multi-site training activities and counselled by a scientifically accomplished advisory board.

Taken together, the switchBoard training network provides an international, interdisciplinary platform to educate young scientists at the interface of neurobiology, information processing and neurotechnology.