Structure of our Integrated Research and Training Group

PILOT includes an Integrated Research Training Group (IRTG) “CoPILOT”, which provides a structured doctoral training program in perinatal immunology. 

CoPILOT serves to integrate doctoral researchers in the natural sciences and medical doctoral (MD) candidates into the PILOT consortium. CoPILOT’s doctoral researchers conduct research and receive training to address the unique theoretical and methodological aspects of perinatal immune cell development. 

CoPILOT supports doctoral candidates in pursuing advanced training in a cutting-edge scientific environment, forming a new generation of scientific leaders in the area of perinatal immunology. At the same time, CoPILOT members embody PILOT’s “bottom-up” scientific network by interconnecting the geographically distributed PILOT groups.

The CoPILOT doctoral training program covers:

  • Unique theoretical and methodological aspects of perinatal immune cell development including complex genetic mouse models and -omics approaches
  • Bio-imaging applications under in vivo and in vitro conditions
  • Basic principle seminars
  • Advanced method courses
  • Lab rotations to PILOT partner groups
  • CoPILOT lecture series (hybrid format), annual retreats and summer schools
  • Transferable skills courses

Regular lectures, seminars and workshops are offered in a hybrid format; retreats, summer schools and lab rotations are organized on-site.

All CoPILOT doctoral researchers have a Thesis Advisory Committee to monitor their individual progress, supervise their scientific work, provide guidance on career planning and support a scientific network.

Since PILOT brings together scientists from several institutions across Germany, doctoral researchers will work on their research project at a specific location. Several PILOT subprojects span two sites and hence doctoral candidates in one subproject may work at different sites.

CoPILOT is coordinated and managed by Dr. Verena Kochan (