The Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) has decided to set up 32 new postgraduate research groups. Under this programme the DFG has been promoting - since 1990 - especially qualified doctoral candidates of all scientific disciplines, ranging from natural sciences and the humanities to biosciences and engineering sciences. The responsible grants committee selected 32 research groups from a total of 90 applications.
This is the first time that the DFG will establish a "virtual" postgraduate research group which will study, from the psychological angle, how knowledge is acquired and exchanged via the new media, especially the Internet. This research group will be based at different locations in various federal states: University teachers and doctoral candidates at the universities of Tbingen, Heidelberg, Freiburg, Saarbrcken and Greifswald will communicate via the Internet, using teaching events and discussion forums especially developed for this medium.
In Karlsruhe, a new natural science postgraduate research group will focus on natural disasters. Engineers, economists and computer scientists will cooperate in this interdisciplinary exercise. Doctoral candidates will acquire knowledge of earthquakes, floods and other disasters, learn methods used in mathematics and computer science, study the economic implications of natural disasters and develop solutions for coping with such events.
In a new bioscience postgraduate research group to be set up in Hamburg glucose molecules at cell surfaces, so-called glyco-conjugates, will be studied by chemists, biologists and medical scientists. This interdisciplinary project will focus on the synthesis, analysis, structure and function of such biochemically active substances.
A new engineering science group based in Chemnitz will investigate renewable energy sources. The main focus of the study programme will be on energy management and the utilisation of wind and solar energy.