Group Picture in Israel 2013

PhD Program

The SignGene program builds on exceptional network of distinguished scientists from Berlin in Germany and Haifa and Jerusalem in Israel.

We offer a unique 3-year doctoral training program in the fields of cell signaling, gene regulation, and quantitative biology. Our research approaches range from basic molecular and cellular biology, proteomics and transcriptomics, to structural biology, biophysics, and bioengineering.

Scientific training

The core of your education is an exciting thesis research project in the laboratory of one of our outstanding faculty members at top research institutions in Germany and Israel. Depending on the affiliation of your main thesis supervisor, your home institute will be in Berlin, Haifa, or Jerusalem. Each thesis project is designed as a bilateral collaboration between your main supervisor and a co-mentor abroad, allowing you to draw from the scientific expertise of two laboratories. At the same time, you will gain experience in carrying out international scientific collaborations and acquire intercultural skills.

Upon admission to SignGene, you will enroll as a doctoral student at your home institute (MDC and Charité students enroll at HU or FU Berlin), which will be the degree awarding organization (Dr. rer. nat. in Germany, PhD in Israel). Following the training guidelines of your home institute, you will participate in local courses, which will account for the majority of your scientific training recognized by SignGene.

On top of this, SignGene offers a number of training and networking opportunities within our unique German-Israeli scientific community:

  • Dual mentoring, supported by regular thesis committee meetings
  • Fully supported prolonged exchange stays to research and study in the partner laboratory abroad (6 months cumulative during your PhD)
  • Annual scientific symposia and annual thematic schools/workshops with external speakers, these events alternate between Germany and Israel
  • Proteomics Course by Gunnar Dittmar: This is an annual specialized methods course locally organized at the Technion and the MDC
  • Annual PhD retreats for scientific exchange with your peers in an informal setting
  • Every student receives travel grants to support attendance of international methods courses and scientific conferences

Personal development

To complement the scientific training, SingGene offers a comprehensive transferable skills program to help you build your own career as an independent scientist. Organized by the Helmholtz Association and conducted by trainers from the Imperial College London, UK, these courses are tailored to the needs of students at distinct stages during their graduate work.

1st year - Research skills development

This course covers topics such as working in a team of international scientists, networking and communication skills, personal effectiveness and time management.

2nd year - Presentation and communication skills

During this course, you will learn how to communicate your science effectively: How to write an abstract or scientific paper, how to present complex scientific topics to an audience in a poster or talk.

3rd year - Career and leadership

This course prepares you for advancing your career to the next level. Topics such as career planning and development, and your personal style of leadership are covered.


Dr. Hanna Singer
Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine
Robert-Rössle-Str 10
13125 Berlin

Phone: +49 30 9406 4205
Fax: +49 30 9406 2170