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Molecular Scale Biophysics

Learn state of the art techniques for studying the structure and function of biological molecules

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CIVIS focus area
Open to
  • Master's
  • PhD
Field of studies
  • Natural Sciences and Mathematics
  • Blended Intensive Programmes (BIP)
Course dates
6 February 2023 - 16 June 2023

The objective of this course is to provide the student with the ability to choose appropriate methods to obtain data on structure-function relationships for a system of study. The courses will present different methods their strong and weak points and domains of applicability. Students will have a chance to practice data analysis and presentation as well as an opportunity to integrate data from multiple sources.

Our hope is that students who complete the course will be armed to propose and instigate different experimental approaches in the context of their current and future projects.

This course is organized in synergy with the MOBRI European research infrastructure.

Main topics addressed

  • Obtaining information using multiple biophysical methods
  • Biophysical data analysis and presentation
  • Theoretical foundations of several biophysical methods
  • Data integration and interpretation

Learning outcomes

  • Knowledge of multiple molecular scale biophysical techniques
  • Understanding of MOSBRI research infrastructure
  • Practical experience of several biophysical techniques
  • Competence in data-analysis and data-synthesis from molecular biophysics
  • Inductive reasoning
Dates: 6 February 2023 - 16 June 2023 Total workload: 160 hours
Format: Blended ECTS: 6*
Location: Marseille, France Language: English (B2) 

*Recognition of ECTS depends on your home university.

Physical mobility 

The physical part of the program in Marseille will introduce students to practical aspects of molecular scale biophysics. Students will participate in a series of practicals and demonstrations using different state of the art instruments, applied to a current research topic. The methods presented will include calorimetry, electron-microscopy, epr spectroscopy and absorption/fluorescence spectroscopy amongst others. Students will analyze and integrate the different results in order to develop the molecular view of the studied system. The practical part will be complemented with various lectures, presentations and discussions.

Virtual part

In the virtual part of the program students will be presented with a series of molecular biophysics techniques, concentrating on the information that is available from these approaches, as well as aspects of data analysis and presentation.

This part of the program will contain a series of on-line lectures and tutorials that can either be followed live or watched later. Complemented by on-line interaction with the teaching staff.

Methods studies will include epr spectroscopy, calorimetry, UV visible and infrared spectroscopy, time resolved methods amongst others.


This course is open to students at CIVIS member universities enrolled in Master's programme in biochemistry or related subject or studying for a thesis in biochemistry related subject.

Application process

Send your application by filling in the online application form by 30 November 2022 with the following documents:

  • Motivation letter
  • CV
  • Research project outlines

Applications will be evaluated according to the student's:

  • Academic record
  • Course pertinence for students professional project
  • Language skills


  • Homework assignments
  • Practical evaluation and write-up

Blended Intensive Programme

This CIVIS course is a Blended Intensive Programme (BIP): a new format of Erasmus+ mobility which combines online teaching with a short trip to another campus to learn alongside students and professors across Europe. Click here to learn more about CIVIS BIPs.

GDPR Consent

The CIVIS alliance and its member universities will treat the information you provide with respect. Please refer to our privacy policy for more information on our privacy practices. By applying to this course you agree that we may process your information in accordance with these terms.

The course is organized by Prof James Sturgis, professor of Biochemistry at Aix-Marseille Université. Professor Sturgis has a long experience of using multiple biophysical methods for studying membrane proteins. In the course there will be multiple other professors from different universities including: Prof Devred (Aix-Marseille Université), Prof Grimaldi (Aix-Marseille Université), Prof Cutruzzola (Sapienza Università di Roma), Prof GIardina (Sapienza Università di Roma); Prof Raussens (Université libre de Bruxelles).