About JSMC

The “Jena School for Microbial Communication (JSMC)” at the Friedrich Schiller University of Jena is not only an Excellence Graduate School, but also a lively network of scientists from a broad variety of natural & life sciences institutes and an umbrella organization for three Research Training Groups in Jena. The JSMC was first awarded funding within the German Excellence Initiative in 2007. In June 2012 the Excellence Status of the JSMC was confirmed and funding for an additional five years was granted to the Graduate School. 

Today, JSMC hosts a total of about 150 doctoral researchers. Their research projects are situated at the numerous institutes that make up the JSMC network, including institutes and clinics at the Friedrich Schiller University Jena as well as non-university research institutions.


Multi- and interdisciplinary PhD training for academia and industry

A broad choice of courses is offered within the JSMC PhD training program. This includes courses on experimental and analytical methods, many of which are organized by the JSMC faculty members. These courses ensure easy access to the state-of-the-art research facilities at the JSMC member institutes. Furthermore, courses in "transferrable skills" (e.g. scientific writing; presentation/networking skills…) are offered to the JSMC doctoral researchers in collaboration with the Jena Graduate Academy (GA) and other partners.

The aim of the JSMC training concept is to provide young researchers with a sound basis for a career in either academia or industry. Therefore, twelve local industry partners further contribute to the JSMC PhD training program with workshops, seminars and internships.


The spirit of JSMC: Networking and proactive participation

With their research projects situated at the interfaces between research disciplines, and their facilitated access to all member institutes, the JSMC doctoral researchers contribute significantly to strengthening the JSMC network. Exchange between all scientists at JSMC is promoted through numerous joint scientific events.  

In the past years, the JSMC doctoral researchers have established a highly active doctoral researcher community in Jena. Many scientific and social events at JSMC are organized by the doctoral researchers themselves. It is part of the JSMC spirit that the doctoral researchers actively participate in designing their training program and in promoting the future development of the Graduate School. An outstanding example of a JSMC doctoral researcher initiative is the “International Conference on Microbial Communication (MiCom)”, which is organized annually by the doctoral researchers and attracts young researchers from all arond the world.



June 23rd, 2017: First JSMC/ILRS Alumni Meeting

The graduate schools Jena School for Microbial Communication (JSMC) and International Leibniz Research School (ILRS) organized their first joint alumni meeting

In a relaxed and familiar setting, seventeen JSMC and ILRS alumni talked about the exciting time after receiving the PhD degree. They not only offered personal insights, but also had many practical advices for the current doctoral researchers. “If you want something, you need to speak out and stand up for your request”, explained Christian Hummert who is now Professor for Digital Forensics at the Hochschule Mittweida. Sebastian Müller shared his experiences as postdoc at the University of Cambridge, UK. Juggling family needs and career interests was a major topic in the presentation of Sarahi Garcia, who is keeping the balls in the air as a postdoc in Sweden. Juliane Fischer added some valuable hints for applications and interviews in industry in her talk.

The coordinators and speakers of the programmes, Axel Brakhage and Peter Zipfel were delighted to see their former mentees again. They proudly presented the excellent developments during the last decade. JSMC speaker Axel Brakhage emphasized the importance of having an extensive network to facilitate contacts between academia and industry.

Here are some impressions:

February 4th, 2014: Inauguration Party of our new JSMC building

We celebrated the official inauguration of our newly renovated JSMC building at Neugasse 23 on the 4th of February, 2014. We are very happy to have this completely renewed building at our disposal now, including several fully equipped labs, partially already utilized by the JSMC junior research group led by Ákos Kovács, a lecture hall, two seminar rooms, a kitchen, the JSMC and FungiNet management offices, as well as our state-of-the-art confocal laser scanning microscope. The building, formerly known as the ‚Hellfeldsches Haus’, has a long and rich history as one of the oldest buildings of the FSU, having been connceted to the likes of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Johann Wolfgang Döbereiner and Ernst Abbe. We were delighted that the chancellor Dr. Bartholmé, the rector Prof. Dr. Dicke, the dean of the faculty for pharmacy and biology Prof. Dr. Hellwig and other official representatives of the FSU have been able to join us that day for celebrating the opening of our new central JSMC hub and access point, and we look forward to direct our common efforts from there in the future. Below you find some impressions from the inauguration party:  

June 15, 2012: JSMC Excellence Status confirmed!

On June 15, 2012, the Joint Commission of the German Research Foundation and the German Council of Science and Humanities announced the projects that will be funded in the 2nd pase of the German Excellence Initiative. The renewal proposal of the JSMC was successful in the highly competitive Excellence Initiative selection process. The Graduate School JSMC was awarded substantial funding for five more years. 

 ...and a few impressions of JSMC members celebrating: