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Organisation and framework of the EC2/BIG-NSE


The BIG-NSE is hosted by the TU Berlin and has been a part of the organisational structure of the UniCat Cluster until the end of 2018.
Since January 2019 on, the BIG-NSE has become an integral part of the "Einstein Centre for Catalysis" (EC2) financed by the Berlin Einstein Foundation.
The new Center (EC2/BIG-NSE) is still hosted at TUB.
Its bound to the follow-up cluster of UniCat, called UniSysCat, remains very strong.
The Members of the Executive Board of EC2/BIG-NSE are all part of UniSysCat. All PhD students of the Center/School further perform most of their PhD in the research labs of a UniSysCat project group leaders.
The latest are further strongly involved in the programme of the Center/School.

Until the end of 2018 the BIG-NSE remained under the direction of its Administration Board.
On January 11, 2019, a new Executive Board for EC2/BIG-NSE has been nominated by the members of the UniSysCat Board. The Managing Director of EC2/BIG-NSE remains the same as for BIG-NSE.

EC2/BIG-NSE is an international doctoral programme, therefore the working language is English.

From January 2019 on, PhD students accepted by the BIG-NSE/EC2 will have a primary supervisor (from one of the universities of UniSysCat) and one or two further supervisors (who should be a member of one of the following Berlin networks*: see table below). This individual advisory committee bears the task to advise, guides, and support the PhD candidate in all aspects related to the thesis and the student's professional and scientific career. However, legally the doctorate is issued by one of the participating UniSysCat universities, and the student have to fulfill the requirements of the corresponding by-laws.

Berlin networks associated with UniSysCat, from which further supervisors might belong to (including further networks and initiatives not yet listed in the table requires the approval of the Executive Board of EC2).

Consortium/Graduate SchoolHost institutionDiscipline
CoE Math+ / Berlin Mathematical School (BMS)TU, FU, and HU BerlinMathematics
CoE Neurocure (Cluster of Excellence) / Einstein Center for Neurosciences (ECN)Charité BerlinMedicine
CRC1078 “Protonation dynamics in protein function” and its IRTG FU BerlinBiophysics
Berlin International Graduate School in Model and Simulation based Research (BiMoS)TU BerlinData science, simulation and modelling
IMPRS "Functional Interfaces in Physics and Chemistry"Fritz-Haber-Institut der Max-Planck-GesellschaftPhysical chemistry
RTG “Bioactive Peptides – Innovative Aspects of Synthesis and Biosynthesis”TU BerlinChemistry/Biology
School of Analytical Sciences Adlershof (SALSA)TU BerlinChemistry/Biology

Abbreviations: CoE, Cluster of Excellence;  CRC – collaborative research center; IMPRS, International Max Planck Research School; IRTG – integrated research training group; RTG, research training group


The PhD program is designed as a three-year research course, including completion of graduate course work, qualifying examinations and the research project. The thesis should be submitted within this period of time and be accompanied by publications in high-ranking scientific journals in the respective field. To ensure a proper time management, each project will be flanked by intensive supervision, milestones, annual reports and an accompanying curriculum. Should more than three years be necessary until PhD defense, the main supervisor has to provide a proper funding for the student until she/he gets finished. 

The successful participation in the school is documented by a certificate.