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Wednesday, 03 June, 2009

The quest for the best

The selection workshop of the International Doctorate Program NanoBioTechnology brings applicants from all over the world to Munich.


Brendan from Canada, Ilka from Germany, Elisângela from Brasil

An overview of the history of Munich and a practical introduction into the traditions and customs of Bavaria as part of a dinner in the famous Hofbräuhaus this was the beginning of the two-days selection workshop of the International Doctorate Program NanoBioTechnology of the Ludwig-Maximilans University Munich. The invited candidates from every part of the world were chosen out of 274 applicants due to strict criteria. Now they had to fulfill the task of not only convincing their potential project leaders with their skills and talents but also the selection committee to gain one of the 12 scholarships.

The world-wide call for application for the ENB scholarships attracted an even wider interest than in the year before: in 2008 a bit over 100 applications reached the IDK, but now in 2009 almost 280 candidates submitted their applications via the new online tool within the deadline.
The applications mostly came from Asia and Africa: almost 40% of the applicants have their hometown in India, followed by Pakistan, Iran, Egypt, China, Nigeria and Ethiopia. The percentage of German applications that reached the IDK was lower than 1%.
The office team forwarded the most promising 10% of the candidates to the respective project leaders after the deadline on March 31st. Those 10% were the elite of the 280 applicants who roused interest with their letters of motivation, their letters of recommendation and, of course, with their excellent marks. The project leaders had to face the difficult task of choosing the best candidate for their project out of up to 8 forwarded excellent candidates. The chosen applicants received an invitation for the next round, the selection workshop.
This selection workshop took place at the LMU Munich, where 14 international and 18 German participants took part. Most of them, 3 all in all, came from the Ukraine, 2 were from Italy as well as 2 from China and 2 from India. Apart from that the IDK had also invited candidates from Canada, Brazil, Austria, Poland, and Armenia.
The 32 brilliant students presented the research results of their Master- or Diploma theses in one of the two poster sessions that lasted 3 hours each. In those sessions they had to answer the countless questions of the members of the selection committee. Apart from that they were given the chance to talk about their research with the other candidates and to talk to the current members of the IDK-NBT.

During the stay in Munich each participant had to successfully pass the interview with her/his respective project leader and she/he was also given a lab tour and could talk to the group members of the project leader. A week later the selection committee had to face the extremely difficult task of choosing the 12 best candidates for the ENB scholarships. After a long session the committee had made their decision of the lucky winners who were extremely happy about their scholarships.

We wish the new members a successful and happy time in the International Doctorate Program NanoBioTechnology.