Helmholtz School for Data Science in Life, Earth and Energy


Drive your own research with Data Science, learn from leading Data Scientists and benefit from interdisciplinary exchange - all this is possible at HDS-LEE


The Helmholtz School for Data Science in Life, Earth and Energy (HDS-LEE) is an international graduate school offering an interdisciplinary environment for the education of the next generation of Data Scientists in close contact with domain-specific knowledge and research.

The HDS-LEE is part of the newly founded JARA Center for Simulation and Data Sciences, the German competence center for computer and data infrastructures, user support and methodological and disciplinary research in the fields of simulation, data analysis and high-performance computing technologies. JARA is a unique cooperation between the Helmholtz Research Center Jülich and RWTH Aachen University with strong international visibility.  


„HDS-LEE makes it possible to exchange ideas and information beyond our respective research fields. This gives us an insight into the other faculties and can also inspire a better understanding of the problems in our own areas or different ways of approaching them.“

Christian Gerloff

At the HDS-LEE, engineer Christian Gerloff explores the signals of the human brain - with Data Science.


The HDS-LEE structured doctoral program aims at excellent graduates of mathematics, computer science, natural sciences and engineering from all over the world. The doctoral researchers at HDS-LEE want to advance the development of Data Science methods as well as use state-of-the-art technologies of artificial intelligence and machine learning to solve challenging scientific problems.

In the structured program, doctoral researchers are trained in all essential areas of Information and Data Sciences as well as in communication and other key qualifications. The training components of the program are strengthened by individually tailored training measures at the Jülich Supercomputing Center (JSC).

Partners of HDS-LEE: the RWTH Aachen University, the University of Cologne, the Max Planck Institute for Iron Research, the German Aerospace Center and the Jülich Research Center



Research areas

  • Life Sciences
  • Earth Science
  • Energy Systems/Material Sciences

Selection of current doctoral projects



  • Supervision by an interdisciplinary Thesis Advisory Committee
  • Mandatory lecture “Data Science Methods and Applications”
  • Courses for scientific education, including training days at the Jülich Supercomputing Center (JSC) on topics such as parallel computing, machine learning and visualization
  • Transferable skill courses: Scientific Writing, Academic Presentation, Good Scientific Practice and Doing Science
  • Annual retreat
  • Participation in (international) conferences
  • Personal competence training and comprehensive support measures for networking and career development


Funding and duration of the program

The program extends over 3 years and offers full funding. The remuneration during the term corresponds to the tariff level E13 of the TVöD/TV-L.



Application and further information

A total of 24 doctoral positions are available, which are directly financed by HDS-LEE. In addition, interested Data Science PhD students can join the program as associated PhD students, preferably from the HDS-LEE locations Aachen, Cologne, Düsseldorf and Jülich. The program starts every three years, the next call phase starts in 2021. The program language is English.

Applicants must have adequate knowledge of computer science in general, as HDS-LEE does not offer training in computer science basics such as programming. English language skills are also required.


Are you interested in advancing your scientific research with Data Science methods? Then apply to the HDS-LEE!



Forschungszentrum Jülich, the German Aerospace Center, RWTH Aachen University, the Max Planck Institute for Iron Research  and the University of Cologne are involved in the graduate school.