DESY and Universität Hamburg

HELIOS is embedded in a unique and internationally renowned research environment on the Science Campus in Hamburg-Bahrenfeld, which is continued to being developed through concerted efforts and strong commitments by the Deutsches Elektronen Synchrotron (DESY), by the Universität Hamburg (UHH) and the City of Hamburg. In particular, the City of Hamburg has just recently launched the visionary project of the “Science City Bahrenfeld”, with the aim to massively expand the existing campus with major investments over the next two decades. This will turn the area in Bahrenfeld into a worldwide hub for science and innovation. The two key players on the campus, DESY and UHH, have a long- standing cooperation and established the strategic partnership PIER in order to further strengthen scientific activities on the campus. Several of the participating researchers of HELIOS are jointly appointed, within the framework of PIER, to both, UHH and DESY.

The UHH is Northern Germany’s largest institution of higher education and one of Germany’s largest universities. It combines a rich spectrum of academic training programs with excellent research with strong focus themes of Photon Science, Nanoscience, Particle and Astro-particle Physics; Climate, Earth, Environment; Structure and Function of Biomolecules; Neurosciences; Multilingualism; and Historic Manuscripts. Within the national Excellence Strategy of the Federal and States Governments UHH was recently awarded funding for four clusters of excellence. Two of them have their scientific base on the campus: the Advanced Imaging of Matter (AIM) with focus on photon and nano science and the Quantum Universe (QU) which connects particle physics, cosmology, astrophysics and mathematics. The availability of modern light sources, from laboratory-based ultrashort-pulsed lasers to large-scale facilities at DESY such as most brilliant x-ray synchrotron radiation source PETRA III and the free-electron laser FLASH, makes the science campus a worldwide unique place for photon science, nanoscience, and structural biology.

Furthermore, the Hamburg area also has the European XFEL facility, which is the only one of its kind in the world and it opens up completely new research opportunities for scientists and industrial users. As the main shareholder, DESY is playing a major part in the operation of the facility.

Research institutes on the science campus that are closely connected to the research areas addressed by the proposed school include the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science (CFEL), the Center for Hybrid Nanostructures (CHyN) and the Hamburg Center for Ultrafast Imaging (CUI) as well as the two new excellence clusters AIM and QU. In addition, the campus hosts the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD), the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) and the new Centre for Structural Systems Biology (CSSB). The theory groups of UHH and DESY have founded the Wolfgang Pauli Center for Theoretical Physics (WPC) to foster interdisciplinary activities in theoretical physics. Moreover, the interdisciplinary PhD education on the campus profits enormously from the PIER Helmholtz Graduate School (PHGS) which is a graduate education program by DESY in cooperation with the UHH.

The science campus offers also excellent welcome structures and services in a highly international, interdisciplinary and intercultural setting that promotes diversity and equality. The International Office of DESY has outstanding expertise in supporting international scientists and PhD students on their arrival and with their settlement in Hamburg. They offer advice on issues such as visas, housing, public authorities, insurances and healthcare system which are also available for the HELIOS students. These services are complemented by the MIN Faculty of the UHH which is offering weekly consultation for international PhD students on the science campus.