Physics and Chemistry: Boost for the Promotion of Doctoral Students

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The University of Würzburg is proud to establish two new Research Training Groups in physics and chemistry. They deal with particle physics and photoluminescence.

Research Training Groups are research programmes funded by the German Research Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, DFG). They serve to provide structured training for doctoral students; the doctoral students work together on various aspects of an overarching topic.

Julius-Maximilians-U­niversität Würzburg (JMU) in Bavaria, Germany, is now able to launch two new Research Training Groups. The DFG approved the establishment of the groups after a competitive review process and announced its decision on 10 May 2024.

"Excellent, innovative and globally networked: JMU is our Lower Franconian talent factory!" said Bavaria’s Minister of Science Markus Blume. "Two new DFG Research Training Groups are a double seal of quality - congratulations to everyone involved and good luck to the two Research Training Groups and their international cooperation partners for their projects on elementary particle physics and new light-emitting materials!"

Particle Physics on the Basis of LHC Precision Measurements

The doctoral students in the new Research Training Group "Particle physics at colliders in the LHC precision era" will conduct research in the field of particle physics. The work will be based on the latest precision measurements at the Large Hadron Collider LHC, a particle accelerator at the CERN research centre in Geneva, and the corresponding precision calculations. New insights into the world of elementary particles and cosmology are expected, for example a possible unficication of the fundamental forces or the nature of dark matter.

Spokesperson for the centre is physics professor Werner Porod. As he explains, the Research Training Group aims to train a new generation of doctoral students who will focus on combining theory and experiment in order to answer the fundamental questions of particle physics. The doctoral students will be trained in new techniques and modern methods and will be involved in international collaborations.

A total of 20 positions for doctoral students are planned; the DFG will fund the centre for five years from January 2025 with around 6.3 million euros.

Photoluminescence in Supramolecular Environments

Photoluminescence is the property of molecules to emit light after absorbing energy. Such molecules are used in medical imaging, analytical chemistry or in light-emitting displays.

In recent years, it has been discovered that the matrix in which photoluminescent molecules are embedded can have a major influence on their properties. This potential is now to be explored in the international research training group "Photoluminescence in Supramolecular Matrices". The aim is to create customised supramolecular luminescent materials with improved properties through design, synthesis and structural and spectroscopic characterisation.

In the new research training group, JMU researchers are cooperating with the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research Thiruvananthapuram (IISER TVM). Professor Frank Würthner, Head of the Centre for Nanosystems Chemistry at JMU, and Professor Mahesh Hariharan from IISER TVM are the spokespersons for the research training group. The research training group, which will begin in October 2024, offers positions for a total of 32 doctoral students, who will also conduct research at the respective partner institution for six to twelve months during their doctorate. The funding amount for JMU is 7.4 million euros.