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Bayreuth Graduate School of Mathematical and Natural Sciences (BayNAT)

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Experimental Geosciences

The doctoral programme "Experimental Geosciences" introduces itself

The Earth's interior is simply not accessible for direct observation. Equally, the early history of Earth and the solar system can only be explored by indirect methods. Besides the classical observational approaches of geochemistry and geophysics, experimental investigations have become increasingly important in recent decades. Processes that take place deep in the Earth's core or mantle can be studied in the laboratory in high-pressure experiments, as can processes in interplanetary space, on the Earth's surface or on other planets. Experiments thus make a decisive contribution to modern geoscientific research. Many of the experimental methods employed in geosciences can also be used in neighbouring areas such as materials research, inorganic chemistry and solid-state physics. Besides an interest in geosciences, the doctoral programme also requires that its candidates have a good knowledge of physics and chemistry. At the same time, it provides training that equips them not only for independent research but also for work in areas of industry that are normally closed to geoscientists with a classical education. Doctoral students in the "Experimental Geosciences" doctoral programme work at the Bavarian Research Institute of Experimental Geochemistry and Geophysics (BGI). The BGI is the leading European research institute for experimental geosciences and one of the three most important research institutes in this field worldwide. The overwhelming majority of the Institute's staff come from abroad, and the operating language is English. The international atmosphere and the numerous visitors from abroad allow doctoral candidates to establish contacts during their doctoral studies that are useful for their further professional development.

Interdisciplinary education

The main focus of the training is to provide an introduction to independent research. Students are not only supervised by one doctoral supervisor alone, but by a whole group of scientists. The training includes high-pressure experiments with various apparatuses, diffraction experiments, spectroscopic methods, instrumental chemical analysis and electron microscopy. This is supplemented by lectures and training in specific methods and soft skills. Periods of research abroad can often be seamlessly integrated into the training programme. Doctoral students are expected to present their results at international conferences.

Occupational fields

Due to their broad education, graduates of the doctoral programme have good career opportunities not only in classical geoscientific fields, but also in industry, in materials research, material development, quality control and instrumental analytics.


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