EURIdoc: Trinational PhD Programme in Immunology
EURIdoc, the Eucor Upper Rhine Immunology doctoral programme, is an international, interdisciplinary and cross-sectoral PhD programme supported by the European Commission. The 4-year PhD positions are at the Universities of Basel, Freiburg and Strasbourg as well as at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT).
EURIdoc has been created by the immunologists of Basel, Freiburg and Strasbourg, who have been actively collaborating since 2017 as the Upper Rhine Immunology Group (URI-group). The programme is supported by Eucor – The European Campus, an association of the upper Rhine universities. The EURIdoc programme has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement number 101034170. EURIdoc has a duration of 5 years and a total volume of 6.8 million Euros. Thus, through Eucor, EURIdoc has been selected to receive funding from the Marie Sklodowska Curie “Cofund” action of the EU research framework program “Horizon 2020”. EURIdoc has a duration of 5 years and a total volume of 6.8 million Euros
From basic science to application
The scientific direction of EURIdoc is based on the main topics in immunology that characterise its research in Freiburg, Strasbourg, Basel and Karlsruhe.
Freiburg Centre for Chronic Immunodeficiency (CCI) basic research is combined with the treatment of patients with congenital immunodeficiencies. Another focus are the signalling mechanisms that determine the behaviour of immune cells, supported by two excellence clusters (Biological Signaling Studies BIOSS and Centre of Integrated Biological Signaling CIBSS).
In the excellence University of Strasbourg, well integrated into the national research structures CNRS and INSERM, basic and translational immunology has made remarkable progress. Among the research topics are haematopoiesis and the mechanisms that influence immune homeostasis in primary and secondary lymphoid organs.
At the University of Basel, immunology is a main research topic in the science and the medical faculties. Research excellences are found in the areas of T cells, defense against infections and immune-based tumor therapy. Basel is also known for its pharmaceutical companies that conduct research in immunology-related areas.
Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) works on biotechnological and applied aspects of biosciences and therefore provides a practical view.
This cooperative context allows the study of immunology from different angles, enabling a thorough understanding of the fundamentals of immunity towards clinical applications:
- Haematopoiesis and Development
- Innate and adaptive effector functions
- Immune-related diseases
The first topic examines how the cells of the immune system are formed, with a focus on the niches from which immune cells and their progenitors operate. The second topic examines the functioning of the immune system in its defense against pathogens and tumors, with attention to antigen recognition and signal transduction. In the third topic, findings from basic research are used to identify new options for treating diseases such as tumors or viral infections in translational approaches.
Interdisciplinary and intersectoral training
The doctoral candidates benefit from the interdisciplinary structure of the program. Every doctoral candidate has a supervisor from their own university as well as a co-supervisor from another participating university. The different thematic specialization of the supervisors thus complements each other. In addition, doctoral candidates have access to technical platforms and training from all institutions. EURIdoc also involves industry through mentorships, seminars and research stays. The spectrum of industrial partner ranges from large pharmaceutical companies to SMEs and start-ups located in all three countries.
The new doctoral program also responds to the beyond-borders and networking expectations of young researchers. The 28 PhD students integrate a dynamic community of over 50 immunologists from basic and applied research from the three different countries. Integrated are the industrial partners and their research scientists. EURIdoc provides numerous occasions for networking and encourages international and networking experience beyond the upper Rhine Valley.
Historically and culturally-rich cities
The cities of Freiburg, Karlsruhe, Strasbourg and Basel are located along the historically-rich upper Rhine valley boarded by the Black Forest on the German side and the Vosges on the French side. They offer plenty of cultural activities, culinary experiences and outdoor discoveries. There are excellent public transportation facilities, the regional airports are Mulhouse-Basel, Strasbourg, Baden-Baden, and trains link the cities to the airports of Frankfurt, Paris and Zürich.