The “Jena School for Microbial Communication (JSMC)” at the Friedrich Schiller University of Jena is not only an Excellence Graduate School, but also a lively network of scientists from a broad variety of natural and life sciences institutes and an umbrella organization for three Research Training Groups in Jena. The JSMC was first awarded funding within the German Excellence Initiative in 2007. In June 2012 the Excellence Status of the JSMC was confirmed and funding for an additional five years was granted to the Graduate School. Since 2019, the JSMC is funded by the Carl Zeiss Foundation. Today, JSMC hosts a total of about 150 doctoral researchers. Their research projects are situated at the numerous institutes that make up the JSMC network, including institutes and clinics at the Friedrich Schiller University Jena as well as non-university research institutions.