Spokesman's statement

The Helmholtz Graduate School for Polar and Marine Research (POLMAR) of the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI) in Bremerhaven exploits the need and the opportunity for interdisciplinary, cutting-edge teaching and research in polar and marine research. POLMAR offers a structured postgraduate programme with an exciting mix of up-to-date disciplinary and interdisciplinary courses, special guest lectures and a Ph.D. students' seminar. In addition, POLMAR provides transferable skills courses, competitive travel grants for collaborative research with international partners, and much more. A personal supervision team ("PhD committee") will tailor a PhD programme to the individual needs of the doctoral students, monitor progress and assist with the help of the POLMAR team, where needed.

The AWI offers a state of the art scientific environment for the POLMAR postgraduate students. The AWI coordinates German Polar research and provides both, the necessary equipment and the essential logistic back up for polar expeditions. The institute's research mission is to improve our understanding of ocean-ice-atmosphere interactions, the animal and plant kingdoms of the Arctic and Antarctic, and their respective roles and responses to climate change. The high latitudes not only play a major role in the Earth's climate system, but are also especially sensitive to anthropogenic perturbations. Global warming plays a major role in ice-cap and glacier dynamics and ongoing ocean acidification will first affect cold, high latitude oceans. Hence, global change is a central focus of the research effort at AWI.

In close cooperation with our nearby partner institutions (University of Bremen, University of Oldenburg, Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology, and Jacobs University) POLMAR intends to qualify a new generation of internationally competitive young scientists in the field of marine and polar research with a focus on high latitude marine ecosystems and polar climate change. The doctoral students will be prepared for taking over leading positions in research, management and policy, technology development, or consulting and education. Hence, POLMAR aims to improve the qualification of the participating Ph.D. students and provide an optimal research environment towards their doctoral degree.

It is my conviction that POLMAR will considerably improve our graduate’s professional chances in European and overseas employment markets and my sincere hope that POLMAR will become the focal point for AWI faculty and postgraduate students' interaction in polar and marine research.

Jelle Bijma
POLMAR spokesman