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6.8 million euros go to doctoral programme for immunology

The trinational Eucor – The European Campus consortium is expanding its offerings for international doctoral candidates with “EURIdoc”

6.8 million euros go to doctoral programme for immunology

An immune cell, photographed through an electron microscope. Image: CNRS (C. Mueller & M. Decossas)

 The European Commission has selected the new doctoral programme for immunology, a project to be established by Eucor – The European Campus. Within the "Eucor Upper Rhine Immunology doctoral programme" (EURIdoc), 28 researchers will complete their doctorates in the Upper Rhine region. Participating partners of the interdisciplinary programme include the Universities of Basel, Freiburg, Strasbourg, the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology and the Medical Center – University of Freiburg. The project will run five years and will be funded with a total volume of 6.8 million euros. In addition to 3 million euros from the European Union, the participating partners will co-finance the project.

The core topics of EURIdoc are haematopoiesis and development of the immune system, innate and adaptive immunity as well as immune-related diseases. The project also focuses on the most urgent immunological problem of our time, Covid-19, and plans to develop new therapies for SARS-CoV-2, among other things. Collaboration beyond the university sector with four clinics and ten industrial partners is an important basis for this work. The doctoral candidates will be given the opportunity to spend research periods in leading pharmaceutical companies as well as in medium-sized companies.

“I am very pleased about our scientists’ success, which confirms how strongly we are positioned in the trinational Upper Rhine region in the life sciences,” says Prof. Dr. Andrea Schenker-Wicki, Rector at the University of Basel and President of Eucor – The European Campus. “As a network, we are strengthening our strategic research focus on Personalised Health with this project.” The joint doctoral programme builds on a long-standing collaboration among immunologists in the Upper Rhine region.

EURIdoc receives funding from the EU research framework programme “Horizon 2020” in the Marie Skłodowska Curie "COFUND" funding line to promote the mobility of scientists. This is the second time that the European Commission has approved an application submitted by the European Grouping for Territorial Cooperation (EGTC) Eucor – The European Campus in the research programme “Horizon 2020.” In 2015, the five universities on the Upper Rhine founded the first EGTC supported only by universities.


Statements from the scientific leaders

Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Schamel, University of Freiburg:

“As the Upper Rhine Immunology (URI) group, we have been networking since 2017. We organize annual clinical workshops and scientific meetings. In addition to a Seed Money project aiming at cross-border connection among master’s programmes, EURIdoc now forms another building block of collaboration and education in immunology in the Upper Rhine region.”

Seed Money is a dedicated funding instrument of Eucor – The European Campus to financially support cross-border projects.

Prof. Dr. Christopher Mueller, CNRS / University of Strasbourg:

“Within the framework of EURIdoc, we would like to further research the fundamentals of immunology with young scientists from all over the world, but also work on applications. In the long term, these may lead to new drugs, vaccines or therapies, for example for cancer, viral or autoimmune diseases.”

Prof. Dr. Gennaro De Libero, University of Basel:

“Doctoral candidates will benefit from industry involvement in the form of mentorships, research visits and training. Industry leaders will also contribute to the course programme with, for example, seminars on intellectual property or entrepreneurship.”


Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Schamel
Institute of Biology III / Signaling Research Centers BIOSS and CIBSS / Centre for Chronic Immunodeficiency (CCI)
University of Freiburg
Tel.: +49 (0)761/203-67511


Prof. Dr. Christopher G. Mueller
Immunology, Immunopathology and Therapeutic Chemistry - CNRS UPR 3572
Institute of Molecular and Cellular Biology (IBMC)
University of Strasbourg
Tel.: +33 (0)3 88 41 70 27


Prof. Dr. Gennaro De Libero
Department of Biomedicine
University of Basel
Tel.: +41 (0)61 265 23 65


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