Research fellowships of usually 9 to 12 months, but, if appropriate, also somewhat shorter, are competitively awarded and fund select students and graduate students in the form of a tax-free 1500€ per month stipend. Students are chosen based upon their academic potential, prior research experience , social and language skills in personal interviews, unless funding is provided in the context of an already existing, productive collaboration. If selected, the students propose research groups of particular interest to them. Application to potential host laboratories is then either directly, or with support from the HAL-OX program organizer. Initially interested host laboratories conduct interviews via skype or directly on-site.
The duration of the financial support enables HAL-OX research fellows to pursue their own defined research questions, rather than just shadowing an ongoing project. Student research progress is monitored through either by written reports or oral presentations and/or host laboratory feedback. We are pleased to report, that, so far, the experience on both ends of the research network has been flawlessly positive.
For continuously MLU-employed scientific staff, complementary travel fellowships of 1,000 € per month to cover additional cost of living and travel are available. Justified higher costs can also be reimbursed.
Collaboration: Dr. Heidi Olzscha, Medizinische Fakultät der Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg, Institut für Physiologische Chemie, Proteinopathien (Research objectives: Posttranslational modifications (PTMs)) and Prof. Kim Midwood, University of Oxford, Kennedy Institute of Rheumatology, Midwood Group - Matrix Immunology
Project title: Characterisation of an integrin binding site within the FBG domaine of tenascin-C
Funding period: 01 April 2020 - 30 September 2020
Project title: Identification and characterisation of the chromatin-binding profile of different MLL fusion proteins
Funding period: 14 October 2019 - 31 March 2021
"After my 6th semester of studying medicine in Halle I went to Oxford to work on my MD. Up to that point I had no research experience and, at 21, was quite a bit younger than most PhD students in the UK. Nevertheless, I was welcomed with open arms and immediately considered and treated as part of the team, which was both challenging and incredibly motivating. Despite pandemic circumstances, I have learned an enormous amount about epigenetics and leukaemia, but also about Oxford and the UK, and about everyday life in science and research. I am truly grateful and proud to have been part of the HAL-OX programme."
Host laboratory: Dr. Heidi Olzscha, Medizinische Fakultät der Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg, Institut für Physiologische Chemie, Proteinopathien
Project title: Acetylation in protein folding and misfolding
Funding period: 24 June 2019 - 20 September 2019
Project title: Gene Expression Dynamics of Testis Development during Human Puberty
Funding period: 01 March 2019 - 30 September 2020
"The 1.5 years of my HAL-OX program I spent in the lab of Prof. Anne Goriely. The group uses a human genetic approach that relies on the latest developments of Next Generation Sequencing technology to study the intimate relationship that exists between the occurrence of new mutations and the regulation of cell fate choices in the male germline. My research project thereby focused on the spatio-temporal gene expression of somatic testicular cells (called “niche”), to gain deeper insight into the events that lead to testicular reformation during puberty (Guo et al., 2020 Cell Stem Cell).
The lab is located in the Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine, an institute accommodating around 50 different scientific groups with major focus on research topics around haematology, oncology and immunology. The institute is technically well equipped, enabling a flexible and state-of the-art research structure. In weekly symposiums internal and external researchers present their latest findings and build powerful research networks. The cosy canteen invites to exchange with 500 scientists from all over the world or to relax over tea and coffee.
The HAL-OX program supports not only scientific development, but also provides an extensive personal journey accompanied by unique impressions and countless joyful moments."
Host laboratory: Dr. Eva Kantelhardt, Medizinische Fakultät der Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg, Institut für Medizinische Epidemiologie, Biometrie und Informatik, Global Health
Project title: Breast Cancer Epidemiology in Sub-Saharan Africa
Funding period: 23 April 2018 - 30 June 2018
Project title: Expansion Stimulated Emission Depletion Microscopy (ExSTED) of the peroxisomal translocon / STED-nanoscopy of natural killer cells under the influence of hyperleptinemia
Funding period: 26 March 2018 - 26 December 2018
"As a PhD student of biochemistry, employed at the Martin Luther University, Institute for Anatomy, the HAL-OX program gave me the opportunity to work in the research group of Christian Eggeling at the Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine. It was inspiring to experience the free and easy interdisciplinary collaboration between physicists and molecular biologists that is necessary to extract quantitiative information from cells. Seeing the depth of detail superresolution microscopy can show in a biological system was rather jaw-dropping. Some questions that followed from this project have led to a further cooperation between the Kielstein group and the Eggeling group.
For the chance, granted to me by the HAL-OX program and the cordial welcome by the host group, to learn so much I am truly grateful: seeing an idea mature from a wild sketch, jotted down during a tea break, to a reliable dataset with adequate controls was quite something."
Project title: Translational studies on the impact of the tumor microenvironment on ATR inhibition in different cancer cell lines
Funding period: 01 September 2017 - 28 February 2018
"I'm a Radiation Oncologist by training, working at the Dept. of Radiation Oncology of the University Hospital Halle (UKH) where I am actively involved in translational research in radiation biology and clinical Radiation Oncology. I had the opportunity to spend six months at the laboratory of Prof. Ester Hammond at the Oxford Institute for Radiation Oncology. It was a great experience to work with an excellent international research team in an exceptional research environment which was scientifically very stimulating and enriching for me. I'm both grateful and proud having been given the chance to be part of the "HAL-OX" scholarship program which gives young and aspiring academics and researchers of the Medical Faculty of the MLU the extraordinary chance to do research at the world-renowed University of Oxford, United Kingdom."