RTG 2737 – STRESSistance


The idea of STRESSistance is to exploit modern and ground-breaking research projects as the training ground for the graduate students. We offer an attractive, tailored training program for our PhD students, that will qualify them for leading positions in academia, research institutes and industry. The main element is the research performed in the individual groups (“learning-on-the-job”). In addition, all students will present their results in lab meetings, in assemblies of the whole RTG, and in PhD-only meetings that are self-organized by the trainees. Our training program consists of a number of different elements which are outlined below.

Welcome & warm up

Each cohort of PhD students (i.e. every three years) will start with a Welcome & warm-up meeting at which our PIs introduce their research areas as well as rules for good scientific practice (GSP) and lab result documentation followed by short half-a-day lab rotations.

Our first welcome & warm session started in January 2022 with an introduction event, a GSP seminar and a closing with Pizza-lunch after the lab-rotation week in February 2022.

Methods workshops & Soft Skill courses

Our PhD students will participate in Methods workshops (e.g. statistics, microscopy, imaging), and a variety of soft skill courses (e.g. scientific writing, self and time management, rhetoric courses). Most of these are specifically offered for RTG students but some are also from the general ‘TU Nachwuchsring’ initiative at TUK.

At least two methods workshops or soft skill courses per year are mandatory and we will start with a statistics workshop in winter term 2022/2023.

Trainee-only meetings

Every year our PhD students will plan and organize a meeting by  themselves. They might invite guests (e.g. PhD students from other RTGs, external scientists or mentors from industry) and integrate workshops on scientific topics or/and complementray skills. This team-building instrument will encourage our students to take over responsibility for their own program.

The first Trainee-only meeting is envisaged for the beginning of 2023.

(International) Symposia

Once per year, all STRESSistance members, PIs and PhD students as well as invited scientists meet outside the university location for several days. Here, our students have the opportunity to report on the progress of their projects and to discuss latest results with the whole team. These meetings can also be organized as network meetings with other theme-related RTG’s.

Our first RTG meeting is scheduled October 4-6, 2022 in Freinheim.

‘Theory & Practice’ and Guest seminars

These biweekly seminar series build the core of the STRESSistance training programme and will provide background to scientific, technical and career-related aspects. They will be given by the PIs of the RTG, guest scientists and by external teachers. Also, alumni will be invited regularly as speakers.

During our first seminar series from February 2022 to July 2022 our PIs are providing deeper insights into their current research projects.

Supervision and Career development

An important aspect of our training concept is to support our PhD students in their development as independent researchers and to guide them towards their next career stage. Thus, each PhD student will be advised by a Thesis Advisor Committee (TAC) consisting of two internal PIs and one external supervisor, as well as a mentor from industry or academia. Regular TAC meetings will ensure optimal support.