International Helmholtz Research School for Diabetes

Application Status

The ADI offers two types of graduate studentship opportunities:

1) ADI Graduate Studentship Award - $12,000/y for 1 year

2) HRD Graduate Studentship (International Helmholtz Research School for Diabetes) - $30,000/y for 2 years 

Both competitions are open and accepting applications.

APPLICATION DUE: Monday, May 2, 2022, by 11:59 pm

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) to enhance your regular graduate program with international networking and professional development.

Participating in the HRD is a 3 year commitment with 2 years of stipend funding provided by ADI at $30,000 per year. 

The HRD Graduate Studentship is a joint effort of the Alberta Diabetes Institute and the Helmholtz Munich. Interested ADI Members and their trainees are encouraged to visit the HRD "Participating HDC Institutes" to identify/contact potential collaborative research partners. 

If you require further information contact Dr. Vince Rogers at

About the Helmholtz International School for Diabetes Opportunity

  • 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 their first year of a PhD program or an MSc/PhD program before September 30, 2022, in which case their PhD candidacy exam must be completed within 24 months
  • The primary supervisor for the student must be an ADI Member
  • The start date of the studentship will normally be early September to coincide with the start of the academic school year, but other start dates can be considered
  • 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)
  • 3 year participation is required in the HRD, 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)

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
Scientific Training
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
Technical Training Graduate students can receive training on scientific techniques and procedures to complement their skillset Up to 30
Translational Training
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
International Training
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

Identify Scientists / Research Interests

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 "Participating HDC Institutes".

  • 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
  • Proceed to request the application form
Application Request & Deadline

APPLICATION DUE: Monday, May 2, 2022, by 11:59 pm

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
  • Participating in the HRD is a 3 year commitment with 2 years of stipend funding provided by ADI at $30,000 per year