Summer School for Talented Doctoral Students from Japan and Germany

Press Release No. 199/2012
10 September 2012
University event run by HeKKSaGOn consortium from 17 to 26 September in Heidelberg

HeKKSaGOn, a consortium of six universities from Germany and Japan, is organising a joint summer school for doctoral students. The objective is to open up new avenues for scientific cooperation for young researchers. Eminent scholars from different disciplines are to describe the route they followed to cross disciplinary boundaries and how they were able to successfully set up transdisciplinary networks dealing with their research issues. 26 participants from Heidelberg, Kyoto, Karlsruhe, Sendai, Göttingen and Osaka are expected to attend the summer school, which is to take place at Heidelberg University from 17 to 26 September.

The universities involved in HeKKSaGOn share the conviction that important global problems can only be solved through interdisciplinary and international cooperation and through the open exchange of knowledge. The six universities involved in the consortium developed their international summer school scheme in order to allow researchers to develop this approach early in their academic career. Programmes of this kind are intended to encourage talented doctoral students from different subject areas to go down new roads in academic cooperation, extending beyond the bounds of their discipline. The scientific coordinators of the first summer school, sponsored by the Robert Bosch Foundation and a number of Japanese companies, are Prof. Dr. Motomu Tanaka from Heidelberg University’s Institute for Physical Chemistry and Prof. Dr. Thomas Holstein from its Centre for Organismal Studies.

In the context of this event entitled “Crossing Borders: Unravelling Principles of Life with Quantitative Tools” participants will meet distinguished researchers who have enabled scientific breakthroughs through successful transdisciplinary cooperation. The programme comprises lectures and workshops e.g. on the development of new materials patterned on nature and on the mathematical modelling of complex biological systems. Other focal themes are implementing new technological platforms for the life sciences along with synthetic biology projects concerned with the origins of life. In addition, it will explore the quantitative modelling of development processes and diseases. The doctoral students will present their own research projects in short talks and posters; the best poster presentations will receive awards. Visits to research institutions in Heidelberg and Karlsruhe will complete the programme.

September 2013 will see the third meeting of presidents and rectors of the universities involved in HeKKSaGOn which will take place in Göttingen. The German side consists of Heidelberg University, Göttingen University and the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology. Japanese member universities are Kyoto University, Osaka University and Tohoku University. The six partners founded the consortium in 2010 in Heidelberg. A joint statement was signed in March this year at a HeKKSaGOn meeting in Kyoto, with the objective of intensifying the international cooperation and setting out its main points.

For information on the summer school, see

Note to news desks:
The Japanese-German Summer School “Crossing Borders: Unravelling Principles of Life with Quantitative Tools“ starts on Monday (17 September) at 9.30 am with a welcome by Prof. Dr. Motomu Tanaka from the Institute for Physical Chemistry and Prof. Dr. Thomas Holstein from the Centre for Organismal Studies, both from Heidelberg University. The event will take place at the Heidelberg Center for American Studies (Hauptstraße 120). The press is warmly invited to attend and report.

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