Unique Training programme
RepState has brought together internationally renowned scientists from
Medical University Centres
High-Tech European Companies
famous Art Academy
We are creating a multidisciplinary European research laboratory
This consortium is implementing a unique training programme consisting of physical and online scientific workshops, rotations within academic and industrial partner laboratories (extensive secondments and short research visits), and training and projects in science communication, entrepreneurship and personal development.
The long-standing tight collaborations between the RepState academic partners and the complementarity with the small technology-driven companies and the Art Academy creates a multidisciplinary European research laboratory in which the new scientific concept of DNA Repair State Machines can be explored and studied in a focussed and truly collaborative endeavour.
Structure of the Training Programme
The RepState Training Programme consists of three major parts:
Training through Research
experimental work on individual research projects, research secondements
Each student is enrolled in a PhD programme of the postgradute school of his/her hosting university
A coherent Network-wide Workshop Programme
The workshop programme consists of 4 main topics that are active over the complete training period
Training through research
Research Project – All researchers have their Individual Research Project that defines the topic of their PhD thesis. A major part of the scientific training will be received through supervised experimental work on the individual project in the host laboratory as well as during secondments in partner laboratories. The research question will drive the required methodologies and skills for individual researchers. Projects are defined such that the main technology required for answering the research question is the expertise of the host laboratory (in vitro reconstituted DNA MMR repair at EMC, cryoEM at LUMC, crystallography, cryoEM and bulk protein interactions at NKI, fluorescence and cross-linking approaches at JLU, in vitro reconstituted nucleotide excision repair at UOB, mass spectrometry at UOL and UEF, single molecule approaches at CNRS and CUT). Longstanding collaborations between RepState members ensure efficient teamwork on related sub-questions by exchanging material or researchers across laboratories. Underlying the different expertise and approaches in the individual laboratories, are the general physical and chemical principles that determine the behaviour of specific DNA repair proteins during their respective actions on DNA, and RepState will specifically focus on these fundamental properties in the workshops provided through the Teaching Program.
Scientific Mobility – Secondments and research visits – Research secondments are a vital part of the modus operandi of RepState. Each researcher will spend two secondments (1-4 months each) in an academic or industrial laboratory. The purpose of this is to experience a different scientific or industrial environment for a productive period of time and to master additional techniques. In addition, each student will make short research visits (days up to weeks) to other laboratories to learn specific techniques and interact with different SMEs. These will be planned whenever the research project requires this or when the student is interested in learning more after having been exposed to a certain technique during a workshop.
The Research Proposal – Students will write a Research Proposal that will be evaluated by the Training Committee and the Supervisory Board. This will contain the scientific background
All researchers will be enrolled into local Graduate Schools:
- Erasmus MC Graduate school (EMC);
- Research School Oncology Amsterdam (NKI),
- Medical Genetics Centre South-West Netherlands (LUMC),
- Giessen graduate centre for the life science (JLU),
- Paris Sciences et Lettres (CNRS),
- Doctoral Programme in Science, Technology and Computing (UEF),
- Bioscience Graduate School (CUT),
- Bristol Doctoral College (UOB),
- Leeds Doctoral College (Faculty Graduate School Biological Sciences & Medicine & Health) (UOL).
These Graduate Schools provide excellent teaching programmes covering theory and laboratory practice in their respective scientific disciplines, basic courses in laboratory and radiation safety, research ethics, open science aspects, and training in transferable skills (scientific writing, presentation skills).
A coherent Network-wide Workshop Programme
Scientific Workshops – These workshops are organized into three Methodologies:
- ‘Hybrid Structural Biology’,
- ‘Single Molecule Techniques’ and
- ‘Biophysical approaches to molecular interactions and conformations’.
Each topic has one physical workshop planned together with the Annual Network Meetings, and two or three online workshops spread over multiple sessions in between. In this way, a coherent and comprehensive programme can be offered to the students, in which ample time is reserved for introductions, theory, preparation for practicals on own research samples, and data analysis as well as discussion time on how best to answer a specific research question. This strategy combines the best of both physical and online teaching approaches, and reduces unnecessary travel. Visiting scientists will be cover expert topics.
Workshops on transferable skills – The training programme contains an explicit branch on transferable skills for career and personal development, entrepreneurial skills and societal outreach. These workshops are complementary to the local programmes, and covered skills include oral presentation, project management, personal effectiveness, teamwork, career management and scientific ethics.
The industrial partners Fluidic Analytics and Delta Diagnostics are providing expert experience during workshops on entrepreneurship, intellectual property rights, patenting strategies, networking skills and career development. Students will learn about Open Science and data management.
Individual elements are programmed at opportune moments throughout the project period, with research integrity and organizational skills early and a Post-PhD preparation Career Event late in the project.