Helmholtz Einstein International Berlin Research School in Data Science

Looking into the vastness of the universe or predicting earthquakes – Data Science at HEIBRiDS has a broad horizon


The Helmholtz Einstein International Berlin Research School in Data Science (HEIBRiDS) utilizes a unique research environment that enables research into the core methods, algorithms and processes of digitization from different perspectives and transports knowledge between different disciplines.

HEIBRiDS brings together six Helmholtz centers and four university partners from the Einstein Center Digital Future (ECDF), which focuses on core digitization technologies, from digital health to digital industry and the digital humanities. The participating Helmholtz centers have first-class expertise in the fields of molecular medicine, astrophysics, polar and marine research, aerospace, materials science and geosciences.

Photo: ECDF/PR/Felix Noak

„HEIBRiDS enables us to look at the even bigger picture and truly think outside the box. That’s why I try to look at my topic from a data sciences perspective at every stage, too, and use methods that maybe haven’t been used by anyone else before.“

Gregor Pfalz

Gregor Pfalz is a doctoral student at the HEIBRiDS. He analyzes data from the sediments of Arctic lakes to make climate predictions.

Photo: ECDF/PR/Felix Noak
The first cohort of current HEIBRiDS doctoral researchers 2020. Photo: ECDF/PR/Felix Noak


In a structured and interdisciplinary doctoral program, young scientists will receive training in Data Science applications in a wide range of scientific fields.

The goal of HEIBRiDS is to train a new generation of researchers who are both qualified Data Scientists and understand the requirements and challenges of those disciplines in which Data Science has become indispensable.


Research areas

The participants of the HEIBRiDS program are working in very different research areas, reaching from Earth & EnvironmentAstronomySpace & Planetary Research to GeosciencesMaterials & Energy and Molecular Medicine.

Topics of the current doctoral projects

Partner of HEIBRiDS: Alfred Wegener Institute, German Electron Synchrotron, German Aerospace Center, German Research Center for Geosciences, Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin für Materialien und Energie, Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine and the Einstein Center Digital Future in Berlin with Technical University, Charité University Medicine, Free University and Humboldt University



  • Supervision: tandem supervision by a university and a Helmholtz partner; biannual meetings with both supervisors; annual meeting with the interdisciplinary Thesis Advisory Committee
  • Courses for the scientific and transferable skills training: Individually designed curriculum according to the respective research profile. Access for all HEIBRiDS doctoral candidates to courses from an extensive range of courses offered by the Berlin University Alliance and the Helmholtz partners, as well as courses specially organized for the doctoral candidates in the program
  • Mandatory participation in the PhD Seminars and the Data Science Lectures, held twice a month 
  • HEIBRiDS Retreat: Presentation of one's own research project and feedback from the program PIs at the annual HEIBRiDS Retreat
  • Participation in (international) conferences



Funding and duration of the program

The program will run for four years and offers full funding. The remuneration during the term corresponds to the tariff level E13 of the TVöD or the TV-L (depending on the institution where the employment takes place).


Application and further information

A total of 25 doctoral positions are available, all of which have already been filled. The HEIBRiDS location is Berlin, but depending on the disciplinary connections, there are different locations for doctoral students in the Berlin area. Program language is English.



The following Helmholtz centers and partner universities are involved in HEIBRiDS:

Alfred-Wegener-Institut Helmholtz-Zentrum für Polar- und Meeresforschung (AWI), Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron (DESY), Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR), Helmholtz-Zentrum Potsdam Deutsches GeoForschungsZentrum (GFZ), Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin für Materialien und Energie (HZB), Max-Delbrück-Centrum für Molekulare Medizin (MDC) und das Einstein Center Digital Future mit Technischer Universität Berlin, Charité-Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Freier Universität Berlin, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin