MEME - Erasmus Mundus Master Programme in Evolutionary Biology

The Erasmus Mundus Master Programme in Evolutionary Biology (MEME) is a two-year research oriented master programme for talented and motivated students who are interested in understanding evolution in all its facets. This multidisciplinary programme will address the driving forces of evolution at all levels of organismal organisation (from cells and individuals to populations and ecosystems), and it will allow students to study all kinds of organisms (microorganisms, plants, animals) in a diversity of habitats (marine as well as terrestrial) with a variety of approaches (lab, field, theory). The focus is not only on how evolution shaped life on our planet in the past, but also on how understanding the principles underlying evolution can provide new insights and help to cope with present-day challenges in a variety of fields, including ecology, epidemiology, physiology, immunology, genetics/genomics, bioinformatics, economics and the social sciences.

To realize this ambitious goal, four European universities (University of Groningen, Netherlands; Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich, Germany; Uppsala University, Sweden; University of Montpellier II, France) have joined forces with Harvard University (USA) as an associated partner. MEME offers students the opportunity to compose an individual study programme in evolutionary biology by combining elements from the complementary programmes that are already established at
the participating universities. Students spend at least a semester at several partner universities, and they will be awarded double degrees for this. In the first year, the emphasis is on scientific, methodological and academic skills courses (taught in English), while the second year mainly consists of individually supervised research training. After a joint summer school, students start their first semester at either Groningen or Uppsala, then move to Munich or Montpellier for their second semester. Research projects can be conducted at any partner university, including Harvard.

MEME students get a personal mentor, they are offered challenging multidisciplinary courses at the frontline of scientific research, they closely interact with leading researchers and can make use of modern, state-of-the-art techniques and facilities, and they are embedded in a high-quality international network. Accordingly, MEME will provide its students with an optimal preparation for a subsequent PhD study or for other career options in the broad variety of fields where evolutionary
thinking is an asset.

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