The Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) is establishing new Research Training Groups to further support junior researchers. One of them will be established at TU Bergakademie Freiberg.

From 2022 to 2027, a total of 24 doctoral candidates in 2 cohorts will study functionalised refractory materials as well as composite materials made of ceramic and steel in the Research Training Group GR 2802 "Refractory Recycling", thus contributing to raw material, energy and climate efficiency in future steel and aluminium industries.

"The Research Training Group offers a unique opportunity to develop innovative materials in an interdisciplinary manner together with the new doctoral candidates. In the research and training programme, junior researchers receive structured and individual support,” explains the spokesperson for the Research Training Group, Prof. Christos Aneziris.

For this purpose, the Freiberg scientists will process and functionalize refractory recyclates in order to generate novel high-temperature materials with environmentally friendly binders that are reused in the steel industry (recycling). On the other hand, they are investigating how new metalloceramic composites are developed from refractory recyclates and used as electrode material for electrolysis processes, which can contribute to the decarbonisation of aluminium production (upcycling). An international industry advisory board advises the junior researchers on the upscaling of research results as well as on the assessment of the climate efficiency of the materials over the entire life cycle. Currently, in one year up to 28 million tonnes of used refractory materials are produced worldwide.

Prof. Jörg Matschullat, the University’s Vice-Rector for Research and Transfer congratulates: "The funding decision not only strengthens junior scientists at TU Bergakademie Freiberg, but also long-term interdisciplinary cooperation. From the microstructure of the materials to the application in more efficient technologies, eight professorships and numerous cooperation and network partners are involved. The Research Training Group thus promotes basic research in close interaction with the industry, both nationally and internationally.”

Opportunities for doctoral candidates

As part of the new Research Training Group, doctoral candidates are responsible for their own research project and, additionally, participate in a specially developed qualification programme. This includes individual qualification and further training courses, workshops, international summer schools, industrial internships and research stays abroad. In addition to professional qualification, the university also promotes the personal, social and methodological competences of the doctoral candidates. "Through cooperation, feedback and personal responsibility, we create new impulses and ensure the exchange of experiences, ideas and research perspectives. At the same time, in the new Research Training Group we are particularly committed to equal opportunities and the reconciliation of scientific career and family,” says Prof. Christos Aneziris.

The DFG is funding the new Research Training Group at TU Bergakademie Freiberg with around 9 million euros in the first funding period from 2022 to 2027. Over the next five years, a total of 24 doctoral candidates will be funded by the DFG Research Training Group GR 2802.

  • Job vacancies for doctoral candidates within the framework of the Research Training Group are expected to be published in mid-May 2022.