The DAAD Research Internships in Science and Engineering program (RISE) is a summer internship program for undergraduate students from the United States, Canada, UK, Greece, Italy, Portugal, and Spain. It offers unique opportunities for bachelor students to work with PhD students in Germany who serve as their mentors in a period of 2 or 3 months. In the last two years, the university participated in this exchange program and two PhD students, Yu Zhang and Dilaware Khan of Prof. Dr. Edda Tobiasch, got two students from UCSD and UCSC in 2011 and two students from Harvard University and University of Ottawa in 2012. They finished their internship in the Lab of Molecular Genetics and Stem Cell Biology on the Rheinbach campus.
This year, two departments (Natural Sciences and Computer Science) were successful in acquiring interns via the RISE program. Yu Zhang, the new PhD student Constanze Kaebisch from the Stem Cell Group in FB05 and Sven Seele from the Institute of Visual Computing in Sankt Augustin got RISE students. 20 undergraduate candidates applied for Yu Zhang’s project. They are from some excellent universities such as Harvard University, Columbia University in US, McGill University in Canada, and Imperial College London in UK. Constanze received 21 applications, among them 17 came from highly motivated females studying at known universities as for example University of Pittsburgh (US), University of British Columbia in Canada and University College London (UK). Sven Seele’s project attracted 12 applicants from prestigious universities like Stanford University, the University of Pittsburgh and the University of Michigan. After a tight selection, Kelly Liu, Jillian K. Gorski, and Xinyi Chen were selected to be the RISE scholars this year.
Kelly from New York is a third year student studying Biomedical Engineering at Columbia University. Jillian, originally coming from Madison (Wisconsin, USA) is a third year Bioengineering student at the University of Pittsburgh. Xinyi was born in Yangzhou, China and was a second year student at Dickinson College (Carlisle, Pennsilvania), but will be transferring to the Georgia Institute of Technology for their Computer Engineering program after his internship. During the summer, Kelly will be working with Yu Zhang on the project of “The p53 functional role in human mesenchymal stem cell differentiation”, and Jillian will be working on Constanze’s PhD sub-project on the altered P2 receptor expression pattern during osteogenic differentiation of bone derived mesenchymal stem cells. Xinyi will help Sven in his PhD project about traffic simulation with cognitive software agents. They will work together for 12 weeks from the beginning of June to the end of August.
If German students are interested in a comparable initiative, the DAAD Rise worldwide program offers funding for undergraduate German students to serve as research assistants. For more information please contact the International Office.
This year’s RISE students and their supervisors. From left to right: Xinyi Chen, Sven Seele, Constanze Kaebisch, Jillian Gorski, Yu Zhang, and Kelly Liu. Photo: H-BRS