Biological Physics

The quintes­sential process­es of life can be un­der­stood only by the in­terplay of dif­ferent natural scienc­es. The Elite Gradu­ate Pro­gram Biologi­cal Physics con­nects the dis­ciplines of biol­ogy and physics, taking account of the rapidly increas­ing im­portance of inter­discipli­nary re­search. The modular struc­tured program supports gifted and commit­ted stu­dents in a per­sonal, intense teaching atmos­phere com­bined with intern­ships at national and interna­tional top-level research depart­ments.

The Elite Graduate Program at a glance

DegreeCertificate (additional study program)
Duration of studyAdditional study program in parallel to the regular studies and Ph.D.
Place of studyBayreuth
Admission requirementsBachelor degree in biology, biochemistry, or physics and the successful completion of the application procedure
Language of instructionEnglish
Application deadlineJuly 15th
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Begin of studiesWinter semester
HeadProf. Dr. Stephan Kümmel
CoordinatorDr. Ingo Schelter
Contact the coordinator
Further informationWebsite Biological Physics

Interdisciplinary expertise is key

Cell biology and mo­lecular biology investi­gate the elemen­tary pro­cesses of life while physics allows a quantita­tive de­scription of natural phenom­ena. The Elite Graduate Program Biologi­cal Phys­ics com­bines these two subjects, thereby creating the base for solv­ing cen­tral re­search ques­tions. Topics range from photo­synthetic light-harvest­ing pro­cesses, which can help to meet our ener­gy needs, up to the under­standing of intra­cellular transport phenom­ena and self-organiza­tion.

Parallel study for an optimal education

The program is based on the convic­tion that the com­plex chal­lenges that stu­dents face to­day in society and sci­ence are best met with an education that puts emphasis on deep knowledge in a special field and interdis­ciplinary breadth. There­fore, Bio­logical Physics is offered as a spe­cial pro­gram that starts in parallel to a regular MSc. Students of biolo­gy and physics do their lab- and re­search work together in an in­terdisci­plinary learning experi­ence. The modular structure allows great flexibility in ques­tions of which courses to choose and when.

The workload is tailored such that commit­ted stu­dents can complete both their regular studies and the Elite Graduate Program success­fully. Biologi­cal Phys­ics sup­ports its students in going for a stay abroad, e.g., to one of the pro­gram’s leading interna­tional partner insti­tutes.

Starting a Ph.D. as part of the program is not only possible but actively encouraged.

Portrait photo: Prof. Dr. Stephan Kümmel

Decisive questions of life are at the boundary between physics and biology. The Elite Graduate Program ‘Biological Physics’ offers students the opportunity to participate in interdisciplinary cutting-edge research.

Prof. Dr. Stephan Kümmel

Snippets of the program


Members of the Elite Graduate Program “Biological Physics” publish a study about embryogenesis.

Read the report

Zellbild vom Wurm „Caenorhabditis elegans“ im 4-Zellen Modell

International research in the Elite Network

Students of the program work on their research projects together with international partners, e.g., at the University of California, Irvine and the University of California, Merced

Read the report

A young man is standing behind a lectern speaking in front of a screen. His acknowledgement slide is seen in the background.

Snippets of the research

Organization of organelles

Konstantin Speckner works on the analysis of cellular self-organization processes of organelles within the framework of his doctoral dissertation.

The way of light

Rian Richter, Ingo Schelter and Johannes Förster look into the ”first-principles“ description of energy transfer processes in bacterial light-harvesting systems.

Mitochondrial inheritance

Till Klecker and Benedikt Westermann are lecturers in the Elite Graduate Program “Biological Physics”. They explore the function and biogenesis of cellular organelles with their students.