The International Graduate School in BioNanoTechnology (IGS BioNanoTech) offers the possibility to obtain a truly international graduate education in the fundamental and applied aspects of nanoscience with a biological emphasis. The original partners in the graduate school are the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Vienna (BOKU) and the Austrian Institue of Technology (AIT) on the Austrian side and the Nanyang Technical University (NTU) on the Singaporean side. Affiliated with the school are already A*STAR in Singapore and Linköping University in Sweden. Recently also the Medical University of Vienna and the University of Vienna pledged to enter a joint PhD student program with the NTU sponsored by the City of Vienna, which is expected to affiliate with the framework of the IGS Bio-Nano-Tech. With a second round of call for PhD projects at the NTU during the Spring of 2012 it is expected that the PhD program reaches 20-25 active students before the end of 2012. It is our vision that the IGS Bio-Nano-Tech will last for 9-12 years with a total of 3 generations of graduate students.
Each graduate student in the school takes part in a research project that is led by one Principal Investigator (PI) from the BOKU and one PI from the NTU, with any number of additional partners on each side. We additionally aim to team students within the school with students within the same project coming from the foreign side. A typical PhD research project will be 3 years of which at least third will be spent at the foreign partner institution. In this way the student is guaranteed a significant learning experience in the academic expertise of both (or more) partners as well as the cultural, social and historical background of working in the foreign country. Thus, the IGS Bio-Nano-Tech is a paradigm change in the way a PhD is not only a preparation to work in the multi-disciplinary, complex area of nano science, but also to do so in a truly multi-disciplinary project organization which reflects the international research environment of a globalized world. The selection and training of students in the IGS Bio-Nano-Tech will thus prepare these students well not only for a successful international scientific career, but also to act and be competitive in an internationalized world which is seeing ever closer ties between European and Asian economies.