The close cooperation between DESY and the University of Hamburg has a long history. In 2011, this cooperation was intensified through the creation of a strategic partnership – the Partnership for Innovation, Education and Research PIER. PIER aims to support young scientists, initiate joint research projects and simplify academic appointment procedures, in order to make Hamburg an even more attractive location for research.

PIER focuses on four ground-breaking areas of research: particle and astroparticle physics, nanosciences, photon science, and infection and structural biology. A central office coordinates the activities. It helps scientists to implement new ideas in research projects without bureaucratic obstacles. Tools such as the PIER ideas fund and workshops help to promote a dialogue with business and society.

PIER promotes young talents

Special emphasis is placed on the training of up-and-coming young scientists. In particular, the PIER Helmholtz Graduate School supports young researchers who are writing doctoral theses in these four research fields. A network of top researchers provides the doctoral students with support. With the help of the Helmholtz Association, PIER promotes regular stays at research institutions abroad and helps the doctoral students to build up networks with potential employers in industry and science.

PhD representatives at DESY

Associated with the PIER graduate programme is DoIt, an initiative formed by the doctoral students at DESY. In 2006, they joined together to help newcomers orient themselves and create an active alumni network. DoIt regularly invites former DESY doctoral students to report on their current activities and thus give its members crucial support as they choose their future professions.