Max Planck Gesellschaft
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Motivation and Scientific Scope

What are global biogeochemical cycles?

Biogeochemistry is the study of how the elements essential to life are distributed among the components of the Earth system - atmosphere, biosphere, lithosphere, land and oceans. The study of these global biogeochemical cycles takes on particular importance in the face of ongoing global environmental change and the recognition that they are linked to past and current climate change. Understanding and predicting the response of the Earth system requires a broad base of scientific knowledge and the skills to evaluate the importance of processes at a range of spatial and temporal scales.

Common scientific understanding

Breadth will be fostered among doctoral researchers through a common curriculum that emphasizes four general themes:

  1. Integrated understanding through “core” lecture courses on the basics of the field of global biogeochemical cycles: Doctoral researchers of various disciplines will learn the common “biogeochemical language” that bridges their background with other disciplines and a selection of courses that emphasize skills commonly needed in Earth system science research, such as data analysis, isotope methods, geographic methods and numerical modeling.
  2. Conducting individual research through development of a thesis project with a committee of IMPRS members and selected outside researchers: Doctoral researchers will develop their research topic together with the IMPRS Faculty Members. For a selection of current and past topics see our open PhD projects.
  3. Personal skills courses and strong mentoring program: Writing publications, presenting results and managing groups are key skills for internationally visible top scientists. Regular presentation of results at conferences and to external mentors will improve the training and mentoring.
  4. Training in collaborative research through short-term research visits at foreign top research groups: Exchange visits at top institutions and additional training at other IMPRS or universities give the opportunity to specialize and further qualify in a field of interest. This will give unique contacts to top experts in the field and increase visibility of their research projects.

This science and education package will deliver after three years excellent young researchers, competitive for the outstanding research institutions and prestigious grants in biogeochemical science.

Read more on the Curriculum and Teaching Modules...

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