BMBF Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung

Research-Campus MODAL


Graduate Research in Industrial Projects for Students F.A.Q.'s

Who should consider applying to G-RIPS?

G-RIPS is a program for students who are enrolled in or have just completed an graduate (masters) degree. Students with a strong background in mathematics, some programming experience, and an interest in seeing how mathematics is used in the real world are encouraged to apply. Competition is high for the limited slots available. International students are eligible to apply

What does G-RIPS have to offer a student at my level of preparation?

Most summer research experiences focus on an academic problem where students work closely with an academic mentor. G-RIPS is unique in that students apply their mathematics knowledge to a real-world industrial problem, with an emphasis on problem solving using whatever methods are appropriate. In this way, G-RIPS is a cross between an REU and an internship. Secondly, G-RIPS students work in international teams, with two students from the US and two from Europe. For many students, this is their first experience working in a team environment. In addition, G-RIPS provides students an opportunity to explore careers in mathematics, science and technology. They learn about the company that is sponsoring their project through interaction with their industrial mentor, and about the other industry sponsors through discussions with other G-RIPS students about their projects. Finally, G-RIPS students learn report writing and public presentation skills that will be invaluable to them as they continue with an academic or professional career in an industrial setting. These skills, combined with real-world research experience, give students an edge that makes them more competitive in today’s career marketplace.

What is it is like to participate in G-RIPS?

G-RIPS students live, work and socialize together over the summer, so they form close professional and personal relationships. Students have an office with a computer and meeting space at ZIB. ZIB provides technical support as well occasional guest lectures. A limited number of scholarships for housing close to the campus of Freie Universität are available. Students work hard, but they can also take surfing lessons at Wannsee, take weekend trips to national parks, and find other ways to enjoy their summer in Berlin.

What does the program emphasize?

The program emphasizes research, of course, but this is just part of it. You will experience group work, perhaps for the first time, and learn to navigate the team environment. In addition, there is a significant emphasis on the presentation of your research. You will write a formal final report for your “client” (the industry sponsor) as well as prepare and give midterm and final presentations of your work to an audience that includes students, faculty, industry professionals, and others. The last two weeks of the program are devoted to the final report and presentation, culminating in “Projects Day” and your site visit to your sponsor’s office, lab or facility.

What support do participants receive?

Scholarships for travel, housing and some food allowance are available on request.


Not exactly. It is a research experience, but the projects come from industry rather than academia, so it is essentially a cross between an REU and an internship. Furthermore, Forschungscampus MODAL is independent of the FU math department, so G-RIPS students do not have regular interaction with the math department. That said, MODAL arranges occasional lectures given by FU postdocs and faculty of math and related disciplines, and many of the academic mentors are FU math postdocs. There are no classes during G-RIPS; the focus is entirely on the research projects, and ultimately presenting the results.

What classes should a student have already completed to be adequately prepared for G-RIPS?

The backgrounds of successful applicants vary quite a bit. Most have taken some upper-division math and some computer programming classes. We will consider the courses you have completed to decide which project is right for you; since students work in teams, if you haven’t covered a subject that is relevant to your project, chances are one of the other students have. For more details please read the “Requirements” section in the project description.

I will graduate with my masters Degree this spring; am I eligible to participate in the G-RIPS program this summer?

Yes, we will accept applicants who are close to complete their degree in the current academic year.

I am a foreign student studying in Europe; am I eligible to participate?


I am not an European citizen and I attend a foreign university; am I eligible to participate?

Yes. You must be the equivalent of an graduate student enrolled in a masters or PhD degree program; if you are not sure if you qualify, please email us your resume in advance of the application due date.

How should I tell my references to submit their letters?

Reference letters need to be send directly to us by the referee or by you. Please send any references or supporting documents to this email address: Acceptable formats are PDF, Word document, or JPG image.

Is it necessary to submit transcripts with my application?

A transcript or academic record (listing your classes and grades) from your undergraduate institution is required, but it can be unofficial. The same submission procedure as mentioned above can be used for transcripts. If you can’t print out your own unofficial transcripts, and if your school will not give them directly to you, they can be mailed to our address on the front page or send by email. Transcripts are the only documents that can be mailed to us; everything else needs to be send electronically.


Projects are selected to have a major mathematical component and to be something that will pose an interesting challenge to talented graduate students. Recent projects have included how to do a physics-based animation of a lava lamp, how to stitch together two images, how to analyze cancer data using microarrays, statistical data assimilation methods for weather data, and modeling particle transport phenomena in reactors. This is just a sampling of the types of projects assigned to G-RIPS teams. New industrial sponsors join the G-RIPS Program each year and the same projects are never repeated.

Please click here for the G-RIPS-BERLIN 2018 project descriptions.



Eligible applicants include master and PhD students from the areas of mathematics, computer or  natural sciences who are currently enrolled at an European university. Due to the large number of applications we typically receive, we do not accept applications from previous RIPS or G-RIPS students.

A resume, a letter of recommendation, and an academic record or transcript (unofficial) will be requested along with the completed application form. See here for more details.

More Questions?

Please read the F.A.Q.’s, which can be found here or write us an email.

Contact Us

Forschungscampus Modal
Email: grips[*at*]