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Joint program| MSc/PhD program IMPRS MarMic (Master of Science in Marine Microbiology )

Master (ISCED 2011 level 7)


Duration 8 semesters
Entry level Bachelor
Cost 380 € per semester

The In­ter­na­tio­nal Max Planck Re­se­arch School of Ma­ri­ne Mi­cro­bio­lo­gy is an M.Sc. / Ph.D. gra­dua­te pro­gram for high­ly qua­li­fied and mo­ti­va­ted na­tio­nal and in­ter­na­tio­nal stu­dents.

What is MarMic?

The International Max Planck Research School of Marine Microbiology (MarMic) is an M.Sc. / Ph.D. graduate program for highly qualified and motivated national and international students. MarMic is a joint program of the Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology (MPI-MM), the University of Bremen (UniB), the Alfred Wegener Institute - Helmholtz Center for Polar and Marine Research (AWI), and the Jacobs University Bremen (JUB). MarMic teaches students to take an interdisciplinary approach to the understanding of marine prokaryotic and eukaryotic microbiology, offering training in physiology, ecology, evolution, molecular biology, bioinformatics, and other related subjects.

Why study marine microbiology?

Marine microorganisms are essential to the maintenance of our biosphere, yet we have only fragmentary understanding of the diversity and function of the microbial life in our oceans. The study of marine microbiology involves research of fundamental issues such as the evolution of life, the functioning of marine food webs, global climate change, the fate of pollutants, and the biodiversity of the ocean.


Why choose MarMic?

The MarMic concept is unique: we are educating a new generation of marine scientists, and providing them with the tools to better understand microbial life and the matter in which it affects our biosphere. MarMic students are trained to think globally and to choose from both holistic and reductionistic research approaches. The breadth of theoretical and practical experiences at MarMic enables students to address questions ranging from biogeochemistry to genomic analysis, from single-cell interactions to behavior in mixed communities. These abilities make MarMic students attractive scientists for international research teams, institutes, universities, and industry.

Ph.D. Program

In years 2-4, students work on their Ph. D. thesis in a research group of the MPI-MM, the University of Bremen, the AWI, or the JUB. Students have the option of working in a foreign laboratory for up to 6 months. Students from abroad are encouraged to cooperate with an institute from their home country.
In addition to an immediate research advisor that works closely with the student on their Ph. D. project, a thesis committee is appointed consisting of 2-3 MarMic faculty members, and if suitable, an external international scientist. Laboratory work is accompanied by seminars, scientific graduate courses, soft skills training, workshops, and participation in international conferences.

Structural components
Industry partners
Internship/Workplace experience
International component
Laboratory training
Practical/Field work

Application procedure

The M.Sc. program starts in October each year. The beginning of the Ph.D. program is flexible.

Selection and Admission

Applications are evaluated by the admissions committee based on the letter of motivation, academic qualifications, and recommendation letters. Promising candidates will be notified by the end of April and invited for interviews in Bremen during May (travel expenses will be covered by the program).

In some countries (e.g. P.R. China, India), interviews will be organized with local partner institutions in the presence of a senior faculty member of the MarMic Program.

Decisions about admission will be made by June 30th, 2020.


Who can apply?

The program is intended for students holding a first degree (B.Sc. or equivalent) in microbiology, biochemistry, marine biology, oceanography, chemistry, molecular biology, geology, biogeochemistry, bioinformatics or related fields. Since knowledge in basic microbiology and biochemistry is a prerequisite for a successful completion of the program, students lacking training in these fields are urged to use the time between application and arrival in Bremen to gain knowledge in these fields by looking at courses available in the internet.

Applications will be considered even if the degree is not conferred until summer / fall of the year of application. The program is open for both domestic and foreign students. Students from universities that do not offer B.Sc. degrees may also qualify if their training is equivalent (e.g. German students with a Vordiplom and one additional year of advanced courses).
Exceptionally qualified students can begin research for their Ph. D. thesis immediately, provided they have a M.Sc. or a Diplom / Staatsexamen.

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