Programs

The MSSO Cologne-Bonn provides a structured training program in translational oncology under excellent research conditions for junior researchers at different stages of their career, ranging from doctoral students to postdocs to group leaders. Our interdisciplinary program "Molecular Cancer- and Immuno-Genomics” prepares a new generation of outstanding cancer scientists for the development of targeted therapeutic treatments for cancer patients in the clinical arena. Within the MSSO, the partner sites Cologne and Bonn provide an excellent research environment and a cutting-edge training program. The expertise of the partners in the fields of cancer immunology and the study of tumor genomics at an interface between basic and clinical research in translational oncology is highly attractive.

Within our School of Oncology, young scientists can take part in a cross-disciplinary training program in translational cancer research within an international environment. Guided by dedicated and supportive research group leaders, our students conduct top-notch research, gaining scientific independence over time. Curiosity, creativity and diversity are key to our program philosophy. New facilities with state-of-the-art technologies provide an excellent infrastructure for training and research.

Medical students have the opportunity to join ongoing research projects during a clinical leave of 12 months. Physician and medical scientists learn to link scientific and clinical tasks through close collaboration and extensive exchange. At the same time, they learn to efficiently transfer research results into the clinic. The comprehensive MSSO program is flanked by a unique and flexible curriculum and accompanied by seminars and courses in related topics, workshops, lecture series, as well as career development opportunities. The MSSO also provides funding for four excellent junior research groups. These junior PIs lead independent teams and develop unique translational research projects in the fields of computational cancer genomics, cancer immunology and drug development.

MD Research Stipends

The MSSO Research Stipend secures research time required for excellent doctoral work whilst pursuing a Dr. med. degree. The guaranteed clinical leave of 12 months ensures that exceptionally qualified MD students can devote their time towards a translational research project. The program is tailored to provide our fellows with a wide range of research and training opportunities available within the Faculties of Medicine and the Faculties of Mathematics and Natural Sciences of the Universities of Cologne and Bonn.

As a selected MSSO MD student, you will conduct part of your MD thesis work in one of our research groups and chose a hosting laboratory or a hosting study group. Lectures, seminars and courses will be part of the laboratory rotation and students are encouraged to actively contribute to our diverse range of research programs.

In addition, students will receive extensive mentoring not only by their respective PI, but also by a Project Advisory Committee (PAC), which consists of two members of our MSSO consortium representing basic science research and clinical research. PAC meetings take place every 6 months, during the laboratory rotation. In these meetings, scientific and strategic advice is provided and the progress of the project is evaluated.

Eligibility

MD students enrolled at the Universities of Cologne or Bonn, who are registered for a Dr. med. degree.

Candidates must have passed the Physikum with a grade of 2.0 or better.

Funding details

The fellows will receive a monthly stipend of 1.000,-€.

10 scholarships p.a. for translational oncology projects in our laboratories in Cologne and Bonn will be awarded.

Postgraduates

The Postgraduate Program is the center piece of the MSSO Cologne-Bonn. This program is aimed at physicians and postgraduate natural scientists and is designed to provide juniors from both faculties with relevant and timely training to promote their career in the field of translational cancer research.

The interdisciplinary program combines the focus areas of our partner sites, namely computational cancer- and immuno-genomics, as well as genotype-stratified drug development. MSSO postgraduates devote time to an extended period of intensive, independent research, as well as a focused training program, consisting of lectures, practical courses and workshops in related topics. Overcoming boundaries between disciplines, in order to achieve our goal of improved cancer therapy, is the hallmark of the MSSO postgraduate program.

Participants are enrolled in a 2.5-year program consisting of an experimental research project in "Molecular Cancer- and Immuno-Genomics" and an accompanying modular curriculum to fit our fellows’ educational background and specific research interests. Courses include cancer biology, cancer genetics and immunology, bioinformatics, computational genomics and programming, molecular diagnostics, molecular cancer therapy, model systems, clinical trial design and imaging technologies. The program is supplemented with guest seminars, workshops, soft skills training, mentoring throughout the training program and progress reports. After completion of the postgraduate program and successful defense of the doctoral thesis, the degree of Dr. nat. med. (equivalent to the German Dr. rer. nat. or an international PhD) is jointly conferred by the Faculties of Medicine and of Mathematics and Natural Sciences at both sites (IPMM Colognemedical faculty in Bonn). With pioneering scientific research and a demanding curriculum, our program is tailored for those who aim high, are willing to take risks, and enjoy a rapid pace.

Eligibility:

Candidates must hold a doctoral degree in an appropriate subject, with at least “magna cum laude“ (Dr. med., Dr. rer. nat., PhD or equivalent).

We expect an outstanding publication record.

Funding details:

Canditates will be employed under a limited-time contract of 2.5 years with a salary based on on TV-L / TV-Ä.

10 postdoc researchers or clinician scientists (f/m/d) in the fields of cancer genomics, computational biology, tumor immunology and structure-based drug design located in our laboratories in Cologne and Bonn.

Junior Research Groups

Setting up an independent research group constitutes one of the most important steps in a scientist’s career. The MSSO offers young scientists a creative and inspiring work environment within the field of translational cancer research. The advancement program for individual junior group leaders offers a 750.000,-€ start-up package for the rapid setting-up of an autonomous research team. Advanced training in specific areas to actively consolidate the new group include, for example, courses in team management, further instruction on obtaining funding, mentoring from more experienced scientists and regular and intensive interactions and discussions with other junior group leaders and senior PIs. The program is characterized by a collegial environment, a unique infrastructure and provides dedicated mentoring, thus supporting pioneering minds to succeed in translational cancer research.

Eligibility:

Candidates must hold a PhD and/or MD degree with international academic experience.

A strong record of creative, innovative research, a high potential for establishing a rigorous and substantial independent research program is mandatory.

An excellent scientific track record and a strong publication record in the fields of cancer genomics, computational biology, tumour immunology and structure-based drug design.

Interest in working in an interdisciplinary team and to establish fruitful collaborations at the interface of different research institutes and research groups.

Excellent interpersonal and leadership skills.

A proven record in applying for third-party research funds is an asset.

Funding details:

Junior Group Leader (f/m/d) in the fields of cancer genomics, computational biology, tumour immunology and structure-based drug design will be employed under a limited-time contract of 4 years with a salary based on on TV-L / TV-Ä.

Opportunity to qualify for a W2 tenure-track program in Cologne and Bonn.

The junior group will be awarded €500,000 by the MSSO, as well as €250,000 by the medical faculty of the partner sites.