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What is this Summer School?

The critical genomics Summer School is a pilot project for personal genome analysis. During the two-week summer school from 26 August to 8 September 2024, we want to enable participants to sequence their own genome (or have it sequenced) and analyse it using bioinformatics tools. We want to learn together how genome analysis works in practice and at the same time question why and for what purpose we should use this technology. We are purely student-organised and in the same vein our summer school will be very participatory and focused on peer-learning. We ourselves are not experts in this field and we want to acknowledge and appreciate that every participant already brings a lot of knowledge and experience with them, no matter what academic field they come from. We have been organizing this summer school over a year in advance and, but only you, the participants, will make it come to life. We look forward to your applications!

Application phase is open

Please fill out the following 3 documents for a complete application

- signed consent to the organisation of the Summer School [pdf]

- filled out form for participants [pdf]

- signed (and hopefully read) data privacy policy [pdf]

(We are very sorry that the documents are as of now only available in German, we are working on translating them!)
Please send these Documents until the 01.06.2024 (anywhere on earth) to our e-mail adress:


During the Summer School, each participant will give a short presentation. To aid you with the preparation, you will be assigned a tutor from the team in the run-up to the Summer School. By default these presentations will cover topics from the critical genomics lecture series, so it is an advantage if you have attended the lecture series. You are also welcome to suggest your own topic, please discuss it with your tutor.

Procedure of the Summer School

The analysis starts with the extraction and sequencing of your genome. As a participant, we offer you the opportunity to have your own genome sequenced as part of the Summer School. If you do not want to have your genome sequenced, participation is still possible, then you will work with a "data donation" from people who have made their genome data publicly available to science. We will carry out DNA extraction and sequencing in cooperation with the pathobiochemistry laboratory at Goethe University The data will then be processed using bioinformatic methods (assembly) so that they are available in a format that is suitable for bioinformatic analyses. There are certain analyses that we rule out from the outset as part of the Summer School. These include the search for cancer genes and cancer-causing mutations. We do not feel able to deal with the emotional reaction and tumour anxiety that such an analysis result can trigger. For this purpose, we will mask the genome data before analysing it. The genome that we will give you at the end (genome-take-home) will not be masked. During the Summer School, we will work together on tasks to analyse our genomes, discuss the results and reflect critically on them. This includes you as a participant keeping a research diary in which you document your work steps and record your findings and reflections The current plan is for all participants to work in tandems, consisting of one participant from computer science/bioinformatics and one participant from another field of study. At the end of the summer school, we will give you your own genome file (genome take-home) and delete all of our records thereof.


We plan to publish extracts from these group discussions and the research diary in a documentation booklet (reader). This will only be done with the explicit consent of the participants who made the statement in question or wrote the text from the research diary. All contributions will be pseudonymised in a publication in the reader.

Data protection and privacy

As genome data is very person-specific and requires special protection in accordance with Article 9 of the EU GDPR, we work with particularly high data protection requirements at the Summer School. This includes pseudonymising and encrypting participants' genome data and ensuring that participants only work with their own genome in the bioinformatic analysis. Apart from the pathobiochemistry laboratory at Goethe University there is no other party that comes into contact with or processes this data. If you have any further questions please contact us, if requested we can provide you with our complete data privacy policy.

Exclusion of liability

We expressly(!) give no guarantee for the results of genome sequencing and their scientific accuracy. The sequencing we offer is not a medical service and does not constitute a medical diagnosis. If the analysis reveals potential findings of a medical nature, you as a participant give us your consent to inform you about them. If you as a participant come to learn of something that worries you, we can put you in touch with doctors who can contextualize the results. This is not a traditional university course, but an extra-curricular programme. Participation is voluntary and there are no credit points for participation.


Over the course of the Summer School, you will work in tandems to carry out bioinformatic analyses and discuss the results in discussion and reflection sessions. By taking part, you agree to maintain confidentiality about the personal data and findings that become available during this process. This also expressly refers to information that you learn about other people in the group.

Code of Conduct

We want to create an inclusive and respectful space in which we can work together and have a good time. For us, this means that we do not tolerate racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic, anti-Semitic and classist statements and behaviour. We reserve the right to exclude people who express themselves in this way from the event.

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