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Structured Doctoral Program of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology and Heidelberg University

Doctoral Researcher at the HEiKA Graduate School on Functional Materials

Structured Doctoral Program of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology and Heidelberg University

The Cluster of Excellence 3D Matter Made to Order (3DMM2O) is a Research Cluster jointly carried by the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) and Heidelberg University.

The main task of the Cluster is to take 3D Additive Manufacturing to the next level by breaking current barriers of scale, precision and speed. The Cluster 3DMM2O aims at advancing 3D Additive Manufacturing from the macroscale to the micro-, nano-, and eventually to the molecular scale and at implementing the technology in three selected application areas.

Built upon the scientific expertise of 33 Principal Investigators from Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) and Heidelberg University, the Cluster 3DMM2O is characterised by a highly interdisciplinary research approach. Principal Investigators, Postdoctoral and Doctoral researchers in chemistry, physical chemistry, physics, biophysics, biology, biomechanics, mechanical engineering and electrical engineering work together in the Cluster.

Funding for the Cluster of Excellence by the German Excellence Strategy and the Carl-Zeiss-Foundation started in January 2019.

The HEiKA Graduate School on “Functional Materials” with its about 100 members is a central structural element of the Cluster. The graduate school offers a training program preparing the doctoral researchers not only for their research career and their work in the Cluster, but also in the areas of science communication and management. Individual mentoring committees ensure ideal supervision for the doctoral researchers.

Structured Doctoral Program of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology and Heidelberg University

Program Introduction

The HEiKA Graduate School offers a comprehensive PhD training framework, including:

  • PhD agreement with a layout of the planned thesis
  • Training program
  • Mentoring program
  • Supporting funds for research stays abroad
  • Annual research conference in rotating subfields of the Cluster
  • Annual retreat for young researchers

Training Program

Aside the scientific research, the HEiKA Graduate School offers a training program with a variety of modules preparing the doctoral researchers for a highly interdisciplinary research field.

The hands-on Scientific Modules help the doctoral researchers to tackle the technical challenges for their experimental or theoretical work in a highly interdisciplinary environment. They learn about expertise and infrastructure available within the Cluster.

The Management Modules, which are an integral part of the HEiKA Graduate School, let doctoral researchers gain management expertise. Being able to choose out of six units, participants learn new and applicable skills e.g., project management, human resource management and marketing.

Members of the HEiKA Graduate School on Functional Materials with a particular interest in management topics that goes beyond the mandatory module requirements have the opportunity to take part in the MBA Fundamentals Program.

Mentoring Program

In order to provide a clear and defined structure of supervision, every doctoral researcher in the HEiKA Graduate School have a Mentoring Committee, which they choose together with their supervisor to offer expert advice.

Structured Doctoral Program of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology and Heidelberg University


Applicants should have an outstanding Master’s degree in either the natural (or life) sciences or engineering, e.g. physics, (bio-)chemistry, materials science. Applicants should be able to demonstrate an interest in the research fields of the Cluster and identify a Principal Investigator and/or Research Thrust their research project is most closely related to.

How to apply

All applications for doctoral positions have to be processed through the application portal of the HEiKA Graduate School. Details on the application procedure can be found here.

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