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The International Max Planck Research School of Marine Microbiology (MarMic) was established in 2002 as a joint MSc/PhD program of the MPI-MM with the University of Bremen (UniB), the Jacobs University (JUB), and the Alfred-Wegener-Institute of Polar and Marine Research (AWI). The Department of Molecular Ecology took the lead in the establishment of this school. Currently, both the Spokesperson, Rudolf Amann, and the Coordinator, Christiane Glöckner, are members of this department. Further support comes from Jens Harder (Dept. of Microbiology) and from Karl-Heinz Blotevogel (UniB coordinator of, especially enrollment and MSc program). The JUB and the AWI contribute to MarMic with stipends for students and teaching in the MSc and PhD program.
In 2002 and 2003, two classes of 9 students each were accepted directly into the 3-year PhD program. Each student is coached by a thesis committee of 3-4 faculty members, of which one can be a professor from the student's home university. MarMic students receive training in regular workshops on special research issues and soft skills such as communication or presentation. In 2003, the first MSc class, also consisting of nine students, was selected. The training concept for these students is based on an intensive training year of lectures and practical courses in biogeochemistry, marine chemistry, planktology, marine eukaryotic biology, molecular ecology, microbial phyisology, microbial metabolism, microbial genetics and bioinformatics. The students also do three lab rotations of seven-weeks each. A part of the practical courses takes place at field stations. After one written and two oral exams in August/September, the majority of the students is expected to proceed to the PhD program. In the first 6 months of the program, the students begin with preliminary research for their PhD thesis and develop a thesis proposal. This proposal is submitted and defended as a Master's Thesis.