Potsdam. Until July 15, young IT researchers from across the globe can apply for admission to the new Research School due to be opened by the Hasso Plattner Institute (www.hpi-web.de) on October 1. Equipped with fellowships worth between 1,400 and 1,800 euros a month, the nine successful pre/post-doc candidates will devote the next three years to research on Service-Oriented Systems Engineering. As Research School fellows, they will be supervised by six HPI professors.

"Service-oriented computing is the implementation of an idea that has been emerging along with recent developments in the World Wide Web" is how Professor Christoph Meinel, Scientific Director of HPI, explains the new Research School´s orientation. Put more simply: what were previously closely integrated, complex software applications are being replaced by loosely coupled, interrelated service programs that exchange data in a standardized form. The advantage for the business sector is that business processes no longer rely on in-house software but are controlled by an external process model. When business processes are changed or when new services are added, there is no need to reprogram existing applications. Their loose coupling enables them to be reconfigured using existing tools - enhancing flexibility and reducing costs.

Service-Oriented Systems Engineering is, Meinel emphasizes, a research topic that involves and integrates the work of all HPI chairs. The new crosscutting structure is designed to ensure close and fruitful interdisciplinary cooperation between the different research groups at HPI. "The idea is that each of the Research Schools should focus on a highly topical research issue from the area of IT Systems Engineering that offers particular potential in terms of both academic research and industrial application." (Meinel) Regular events such lectures, seminars, winter schools and workshops will be provided for the Research School fellows. The international fellowships are available to "highly motivated and gifted computer scientists and IT engineers who are keen to tackle all the open questions surrounding this important new research topic and to do pioneering work in this area". The stipends of 1400 (PhD students) and 1800 euros (postdocs) are not subject do tax deductions.