GRK PhD Thesis Award 2018

Every year the GRK PhD Thesis Award is granted for an outstanding PhD thesis among our members.

Former PhD students who completed their PhD thesis in the previous year and have managed to achieve a degree "with distinction" (summa cum laude) are candidates for the nomination.
The decision is taken by the steering committee of the graduate school.

The recipient of the Award 2018 is:
Dr. Franziska Hagelstein for her PhD thesis on
Exciting Nucleons in Compton Scattering and Hydrogen-Like Atoms
(supervised by: Vladimir Pasacalutsa/
Marc Vanderhaeghen)

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Mentoring Program

All our members choose a mentor who will act as a discussion partner during the whole duration of the PhD project. This mentor needs to be selected from another work group to guarantee a more objective position in the rare but mind-troubling situation of a personal or professional crisis.

The mentor should best be on the same career level as the member's supervisor in order to ensure an equivalent perspective when giving advice.

In our mentoring guideline we explain what mentoring is aiming at and how mentor and mentee can profit from this relationship even sometimes far beyond a PhD project.

Below you'll find an English and German version for download:





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Why study in Mainz?

w1Mainz is a lively city on the river Rhine which was founded more than 2000 years ago during the Roman Empire. It is situated near the UNESCO world cultural heritage „Upper Middle Rhine Valley“ and is one of the centers of the German wine economy and trade.

Science and technology are closely entwined with the town, just think of the invention of the movable-type printing press by Johannes Gutenberg over 500 years ago.


Oeffentlichkeitsarbeit_Uni_UMZ_Archiv_OeA_0384913With approximately 36,500 students in about 150 schools and clinics, the Johannes Gutenberg-University of Mainz is among the ten largest universities in Germany with 11 faculties of study and is considered one of the most prestigious universities in Germany, especially in the natural sciences and economics.

Students encounter a broad variety of cultural
activities as well as leisure and sports activities. Many cultural institutions offer students a discount or even free entry, for example at the State Theatre in Mainz. With its historic character and its cultural flair Mainz unites the quality of life in a medium-sized town on the Rhine with the multifacetted activities of a state capital.

The campus lies in a comfortable distance to the city center and is connected to it by a number of bus lines. There are several student dormitories on the campus or in close vicinity to it. The central position of Mainz offers excellent transport connections to reach any destination within Germany. Within 30 minutes you can reach Frankfurt airport, one of Europe's central traffic hubs.

Enjoy a film about the city of Mainz, studying at Mainz University and the Mainz University research showreel.

If you are curious why one of our fellows likes Mainz then have a look at this video.

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Graduate School "Symmetry Breaking in Fundamental Interactions"
(DFG-Research Training Group GRK 1581/2)

Postal address:
Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz
Saarstr. 21
55099 Mainz

Visitors' address:

Institut für Physik
Staudingerweg 7
R. 04-128
55128  Mainz

Ellen Angela Lugert
Tel: +49 6131 39-23 257

Steering Committee:
Prof. Dr. Volker Büscher
Prof. Dr. Werner Heil
Prof. Dr. Matthias Neubert
Prof. Dr. Stefan Weinzierl (Speaker)
Prof. Dr. Hartmut Wittig
Dipl-Phys. Matthias König (Student Rep.)
Vice President Research of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz
Representative of the Center for Quality Assurance and Development
Representative of the International Office
Representative of the Gender Affairs and Equal Opportunity Office

Copyright and all other rights concerning the website of Graduate School Symmetry Breaking are held by the Graduate School Symmetry Breaking. Use of the information contained on the website, including excerpts, is permitted for educational, scientific or private purposes, provided the source is quoted (unless otherwise expressly stated on the respective website). Use for commercial purposes is not permitted unless explicit permission has been granted by the Graduate School Symmetry Breaking.

Contents of the Website of the Graduate School Symmetry Breaking
The website of Graduate School Symmetry Breaking has been compiled with due diligence. However, the Graduate School Symmetry Breaking neither guarantees nor accepts liability for the information being up-to-date, complete or accurate.

Links to External Websites
The website of Graduate School Symmetry Breaking can contain links to external third-party websites. These links to third-party sites do not imply approval of their contents Graduate School Symmetry Breaking has no influence on the current or future contents of these sites. We therefore accept no liability for the accessibility or contents of such websites and no liability for damages that may arise as a result of the use of such content.
Links to external websites are displayed in italics.

Data protection
Every time a user accesses a website hosted by Graduate School Symmetry Breaking and every time a file is requested, data connected to these processes are stored in a log. These data do not contain personal information; we are unable to trace which user accessed what information. Personal user profiles therefore cannot be created. The data that is saved will be used for statistical purposes only. This information will not be disclosed to third parties. Further information on data protection can be found here.

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Contact Us

The GRK coordination office is your one-point-stop for all members and applicants. You can address questions before applying or while being a member to the coordinator, if you do not find the information on the other pages.

GRK Symmetrybreaking in Fundamental Interactions

Opening Hours GRK coordination Office: MON - THU   10 AM - 1 PM
Postal Address:
Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz
Staudingerweg 7
Room 04-128
D-55128 Mainz
Phone:  +49 6131 39 23 257
Fax:       +49 6131 39 24 611


How to find us in the Rhine-Main region

How to find us on the JGU campus (map)





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Who we are

The GRK Symmetry Breaking (a so-called "DFG Research Training Group") is funded by the German Research Foundation DFG since being established in October 2009 and is the only such entity at the institutes of physics and nuclear physics at the JGU Mainz. We are in our second phase since April 2014 and have a total funding of more than 4 million Euros for the duration of 54 months.

Coordination Office

The coordination office welcomes new fellows when starting their PhD in Mainz, especially when they come from abroad. For foreign fellows there will be a thorough support when looking for an apartment, getting a visa and residence permit done, admission at our department and enrolment at the university.

The coordinator is supervised by the director and reports to the steering committee and prepares the meeting of the selection committee.

 GRK Coordination Office 

Postal Address:
Johannes Gutenberg-University Mainz
Institute of Physics - GRK Symmetry Breaking
Staudingerweg 7,
55128 Mainz, Germany
Tel.: +49-6131-39-23 257
Fax: +49-6131-39-24 611

Open Office/Service Hours:

Monday - Friday:                                                            09:00 AM - 03:00 PM 



 Dipl.-Volkswirtin Ellen Angela Lugert

Room: 04-128
Phone: +49 6131 39-23 257


Research Assistant

Foto Hyun-Keun Lee
Hyun-Keun Lee, B.Sc.




Student Representative

Stefan Alte, M.Sc.
+49-6131-39-22 405
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Graduate School "Symmetry Breaking"

DFG Research Training Group 1581

One of the key ideas in modern physics is the realization that symmetries are of fundamental importance for our understanding of the laws of nature and the structure of matter. The hallmark of the Graduate School Symmetry breaking in fundamental interactions is the application of a range of complementary theoretical and experimental methods for pursuing a common research goal. Research activities range from experiments at high-energy particle colliders to precision measurements using ion traps or ultra-cold neutrons. Three main areas form the basis for the Graduate School: "The origin of mass and the structure of matter", "The Standard Model and beyond", and "Breaking of fundamental symmetries". Precision measurements are the key to understanding of the role of symmetries in nature. The participating scientists are internationally renowned experts and have access to unique local facilities at Mainz, which play a special role for the training of graduate students. These include the electron accelerator MAMI-C, the research reactor TRIGA, and high-performance computing clusters. The principal investigators also contribute significantly to research activities at national and international laboratories, such as CERN, Fermilab, GSI, and ILL.

Please note that the GRK has expired and will not provide funding for new PhD applicants. We recommend to visit the page of the Mainz Physics Academy, the center for young researchers within the Excellence Cluster PRISMA+, where new positions will be advertised.

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