Helmholtz International School

Opportunity Overview

Would you like the opportunity to participate in an international graduate school while you pursue your PhD under the supervision of an ADI Member? The ADI invites you to join the International Helmholtz Research School for Diabetes (HRD) which offers the chance to enhance your regular graduate program with international networking and professional development. The HRD is a joint effort of the ADI and the Helmholtz Center in Munich (HZM). Interested PIs and their trainees are encouraged to visit the HZM website and identify/contact potential collaborative research partners.

If you have any questions contact Vince Rogers at 780.492.0799 or email at vince.rogers@ualberta.ca

New for 2020 the ADI Graduate Studentship Award application is combined with the HRD Award application (Helmholtz Research School for Diabetes). Eligibility requirements and instructions are indicated on the form for both opportunities.

Application deadline: Monday, June 15, 2020, before 11:59 pm (2359 h)


Application Form

About the Helmholtz International School for Diabetes Opportunity

  • Eligibility for applying to the HRD
    • There is limited enrollment in the HRD (up to 5 students per year from ADI)
    • Students are eligible to enroll in the HRD if they are entering the first year of a PhD program or an MSc/ PhD program before September 30, 2020, in which case their PhD candidacy exam must be completed within 24 months
    • The primary supervisor for the student must be an ADI Member
  • Program Expectations
    • Attend a one-day discussion group on current topics in diabetes research
    • Conduct research in a partnering lab in Germany (flexible duration, 2-6 months, can be over several visits)
    • Three year participation in the International School, during which time the student must accumulate 260 hours of self-directed, complementary training aimed at enhancing scientific, translational and international experience (approximately 8 hours per month). This is an individualized curriculum with examples of participation provided in the Training Categories below
    • Annual presentation at a joint research symposium (alternating between Edmonton and Munich)

    Complementary Training Categories

    • Graduate students in the HRD will establish an individual curriculum by choosing elements of scientific, translational and international training categories, entailing a total workload of 260 hours during the 3 year program (approximately 1 day a month)
    • A total of 80-90 hours must be accumulated in each of the three categories, with examples given below
    • Travel and accommodation costs, where applicable will be covered by the HRD


    Element Description Hours Credited
    Seminars, Journal Clubs, Guest Lectures A number of weekly scientific seminars and journal clubs are offered at both ADI and HZM. ADI students must attend at least 75% of ADI’s Research in Progress seminars 30
    Retreats Annual retreats (2d) are offered at both ADI (A-BC Islet Workshop) and HZM (Diabetes Center Retreat) where students present their latest results and discuss key future questions with invited guests. Attendance at one retreat during their program is mandatory 20
    Scientific Methods Course ADI students are encouraged to take this 4-day course at HZM during their exchange, which includes an introduction to statistics and the principles of reproducible research (i.e., Good Scientific Practices) 30
    Technology Training Graduate students can receive intensive training on specific topics and techniques, have first-hand interaction for question and advice and develop their skills in latest technologies Up to 30


    Element Description Hours Credited
    Translational Medicine Courses - MED602, 604, 606, 608 (audited) U of A courses that teach the processes and issues related to bringing a molecular discovery to clinical research and into clinical practice (student would audit one of these) 40
    Translational Research Workshop An overview of tech development including IP management, preclinical research planning budgeting/financing, Good Practices, clinical research approvals 20
    Introduction to Clinical Research and Practice All HRD students must spend at least 1 day in ADI’s Clinical Research Unit where they will learn the basics of setting up and conducting a clinical research trial. Additionally students will gain exposure to clinical practice by joining clinicians on rounds or at a Primary Care Networks (PCN) 15
    Company Visits Every year at least 4 company visits are planned in Germany, consisting of a 2 hour preparatory workshop and a full day excursion to participating companies (Roche Pharmaceuticals, Eurofins, Nuvisan, Agilent, Analytics Company)
    Up to 20


    Element Description Hours Credited
    International Conferences Annual attendance at an international diabetes conference where the student presents a poster or oral presentation. Consideration should be given to attending the annual Helmholtz-Nature Medicine Diabetes Conference 40
    DZD Diabetes Research School Three places are reserved for HRD students to attend this annual symposium (3d) in Germany that offers a focus on translational research, lectures by internationally renowned scientists and discussion on topics in diabetes. Participants will also present and discuss their own scientific results on posters. Additional DZD educational elements are also open to HRD students 40
  • Application Procedure

    Interested students and their supervisors should explore the participating institutes and research units to identify scientists and their research interests, a list of these can be found at HRD.

    • Students or their supervisor can contact HRD scientists directly to determine if the student’s research topic is one of interest and whether the scientist could: (i) serve as an external expert on the thesis advisory committee, and (ii) host the ADI student (flexible duration, 2-6 months, can be over several months) during their program to do collaborative research
    • If the Munich-based scientist wishes to collaborate and you have all other requirements in place you are eligible to apply, please upload and complete the application form
    • Application deadline: Monday, June 15, 2020, before 11:59 pm (2359 h)
  • Funding Details
    • Costs associated with complementary training such as workshops, audited courses, seminars, etc. are covered by the International Helmholtz Research School for Diabetes (HRD)
    • Costs of airfare and lodging while in Munich (example for the 6 month exchange and to attend joint symposiums) are covered by the HRD
    • A limited number of graduate stipends of $30,000 are available with the possibility of extension
  • International Helmholtz Research School for Diabetes