Logo der Universität Hamburg und DESY


Doctoral candidates who attend Hamburg’s PIER Helmholtz Graduate School benefit from outstanding research in Particle and Astroparticle Physics, Nanoscience, Photon Science, Infection and Structural Biology, Accelerator Research and Theoretical Physics.

The “Partnership for Innovation, Education and Research” (PIER) stands for the strong partnership between Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron (DESY) and Universität Hamburg. The graduate school is jointly funded by DESY, Universität Hamburg and the Helmholtz Association.

Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron is one of the world’s leading accelerator centres. The research centre, which is a member of the Helmholtz Association, develops, builds and operates large-scale accelerator facilities and uses them to investigate the structure of matter. DESY’s combination of accelerator development, research with photons and particle physics is unique in Europe.
As the largest research and educational institution in northern Germany, Universität Hamburg combines a diverse curriculum with outstanding research. With its more than 40,000 students, it is Germany’s third-largest university. The outstanding research being conducted in biology, chemistry and physics as well as in medicine at the University Hospital in Eppendorf play a key role in enabling doctoral candidates to obtain a first-rate education within the PIER network.

International and interdisciplinary

The PIER Helmholtz Graduate School ensures that doctoral candidates receive an internationally recognized and optimally supervised education in their respective fields. The graduate school promotes research and networking within an interdisciplinary framework. Various interdisciplinary events in the PIER research fields provide participants with the basis for lively scientific discourse.

The graduate school offers their doctoral candidates a wide range of internationally focused support activities and attractive services. These offers include financing possibilities for conducting research abroad and discussions in small groups with renowned scientists from all over the world. Thanks to their roster of scientists from more than 40 countries, DESY and Universität Hamburg are extremely international.

Service-oriented and strongly supportive

Because good living conditions are also essential for obtaining a PhD, a wide range of services and support measures is offered to the doctoral candidates at the PIER Helmholtz Graduate School. The offers range from a buddy programme organised by and for doctoral candidates to assistance with obtaining a residence permit and finding accommodation. Other services include special language courses and organised leisure activities that enable students to jointly discover the beautiful and lively port city of Hamburg.

Focus on key skills and career planning

The qualification concept focuses on teaching students key skills that will prepare them for their subsequent careers in science, research, industry and business. In addition, the graduate school offers doctoral candidates numerous career development opportunities that range from individual career advice to job fairs.

The graduate school welcomes applications from highly motivated graduates two times a year in spring and autumn. Don’t delay — become part of the unique PIER network!

Jennifer Popp
Particle and Astroparticle Physics
Leonardo Ranasinghe
Linda Vanessa Thesing
Photon Science
Ángel Ferran Pousa
Event Calendar
21 Jan. 2021 to 25 Nov. 2021
Chaired by: Thomas Tschentscher (European XFEL) ; Changbum Kim (PAL-XFEL) et al.
Location: Zoom
29 Sep. 2021 to 17 Nov. 2021
Chaired by: Stefanie Tepass (PIER (PIER))
Location: link will follow
Room: online
06 Oct. 2021 to 22 Dec. 2021
25 Oct. 2021 to 26 Oct. 2021
Chaired by: Bernd Klein
Location: online
25 Oct. 2021 - 15:00
Speaker: Mathias Pierre (DESY)
26 Oct. 2021 - 09:00
Speaker: Tilman Plehn (Uni Heidelberg)
26 Oct. 2021 to 04 Nov. 2021
Chaired by: Manfred Lindner (Max-Planck-Institut für Kernphysik)
Location: MPIK
Room: main (Otto Hahn) lecture hall
26 Oct. 2021 - 13:15
Speaker: Clement Blanchet (EMBL Hamburg)
27 Oct. 2021 - 14:00
Chaired by: Theresa Schredelseker (PIER (Partnership for Innovation, Education and Research))
Location: link will follow
Room: online
28 Oct. 2021 to 29 Oct. 2021
Chaired by: Theresa Schredelseker (PIER (Partnership for Innovation, Education and Research))
Location: ONLINE
Room: link will follow
28 Oct. 2021 - 14:15
Speaker: Thomas Grimm (Utrecht)
28 Oct. 2021 - 15:00
Speaker: Hans Dembinski (TU Dortmund)
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