The Integrated Research Training Group
The Integrated Research Training Group (IRTG) is an essential part of the Collaborative Research Centre (CRC) 1052. The task of the graduate program is to ensure the interdisciplinary qualification of all doctoral students employed with the CRC and of all its associated members.
The goals of the IRTG are:
  • To give a profound overview of current research in the field of obesity
  • To get the doctoral students acquainted to methods and techniques applied in the CRC subprojects
  • To teach the students practical and so called transferable skills in order to equip them for a successful career.

The qualification program of the IRTG comprises four pillars conveying various competences:

  • Obesity Science
  • Lab Rotations
  • School of Obesity Mechanisms
  • Skilling.


Obesity Science  

This module is considered the top priority of the program. The most important part of this module is research work in the doctoral student’s own project. Furthermore, “Obesity Science” includes regular CRC retreats, the annual summer school of the IRTG and talks by visiting scientists. The students are also encouraged to present their results on national and international conferences. All members of the IRTG are expected to have at least one peer-reviewed publication as a first author before they submit their thesis.

Networking is a central part of promoting young scientists to be independent. Therefore, we support our doctoral students to establish their own scientific network, e.g. on conferences or in exchange with our partner universities, the Vanderbilt University in Nashville, USA and the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada. The collaboration with Nashville and Edmonton will be supported by research periods at these partner universities for our doctoral students. We also intend to invite graduate students from these universities for a research stay in Leipzig. Additionally, we will invite scientists to give guest lectures.

Lab Rotations  

We offer every member of the graduate program the opportunity to visit one or two other subprojects of the CRC to learn and apply new techniques. Each lab rotation should last two weeks. This instrument helps to net the CRC projects and to enable the doctoral students to start building their own scientific network.

School of Obesity Mechanisms


 This part of the qualification program comprises of bloc seminars providing the doctoral students with comprehensive knowledge on obesity research. The modules will consist of lectures and lab courses to systematically familiarize students with methods and techniques applied in the CRC.

Five modules will be offered per year alternating every second year. Attending five of the scientific modules (each module assigned to 2 graded credit points) gives the doctoral students the opportunity to replace the viva voce (Rigorosum) with ten graded credit points.

We expect our doctoral students to attend at least three modules in order to be awarded a certificate of the IRTG.


To start and to develop a successful career, students will need support and training of transferable skills that complement their scientific expertise. We will hereby take advantage of well-developed existing programs at the University of Leipzig, e.g. Research Academy Leipzig and Kompetenzschule “Employability and Leadership Skills for Young Saxon Researchers”. In addition, we will offer supplemental courses on subjects not yet covered.

In order to give the IRTG members an overview of potential occupational fields and career paths we will invite experts. In fireside discussions they will provide information about their own career and occupational field.

PhD Regulations of the Involved Faculties

 The members of the graduate program will receive their PhD from one of the involved faculties. Below you can find the PhD regulations of the faculties.

Faculty of Life Sciences 

Faculty of Chemistry and Mineralogy 

Faculty of Medicine 

MD/PhD program of the University of Leipzig 

Supervisory Concept

Each student is assigned to two tutors who are principal investigators of the CRC. The first tutor is the doctoral advisor and principal investigator (PI) of the employing subproject. The second tutor will also be a PI of the CRC and ideally have a distinct scientific background. The tutors are responsible for structuring the project and the curriculum, an annual of the progress made by the students in completing their project, and of the qualification for and the preparation of the defence of the PhD or MD thesis.

Besides the valuable coaching from experienced researchers, students shall establish their own independent network. To promote early networking and mutual support in addition to the structured supervision, two students with distinct educational and scientific background will be assigned as tandems to mentor each other.