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Advanced Scientific Training

Reading and Understanding Scientific Literature (Journal Clubs): Interactive seminars during which MD and PhD students present and analyze articles from scientific journals of the lung field. This approach seeks to familiarize the students with retrieval, critical evaluation, and proper presentation of scientific literature. Attendance of at least 80% and active participation is required (attendance lists will be circulated).

Written Examination (after 3rd term): This examination consists of the analysis of a scientific article and its figures, as practiced during the journal clubs. For the successful completion of the Research School curriculum, students need to pass with >65%.


Scientific Writing & Reviewing Seminars

  • Abstract Writing & Reviewing: This course is intended to help MD and PhD students to strengthen their skills in writing, reviewing, and editing scientific abstracts for both conference abstract submission and manuscript abstracts (instructions will be given in the course).
  • Paper Writing & Reviewing: This training seminar covers how to both write and review a paper. Students will work with instructors to generally understand the reviewing process and create awareness of the criteria reviewers are looking for.
  • Grant Writing & Reviewing: Students have the opportunity to participate in a grant writing exercise in order to develop the skills needed to prepare professional, competitive, and successful grant proposals. They have to pick a topic of their choice - related to their PhD projects and in agreement with their PI, e.g. additional experiments or a side project - and write a structured, concise, and clear grant application (instructions will be given in the course). The proposals will be reviewed (written reviews) by their peers. Afterwards, the students have to present and "sell" their ideas in form of an elevator pitch.

Conferences: For their continued personal and professional development, students are strongly encouraged to attend national and international conferences, present their own work, increase their visibility, learn about new findings in the field or related fields, network and look for potential collaborators. Travel grants are offered by the HELENA office.

Lung Retreats: Topic-specific seminars and lectures are given by invited faculty and guest speakers, and all students present the progress of their research project. The retreat is organized both by the faculty and the students. In particular, the students are encouraged to suggest scientists for lectures and are involved in the invitation of the respective speaker. Further, the students act as sessions chairs, thus become familiar with introducing speakers and leading a scientific discussion at an early stage of their careers. At the retreat, students also have the opportunity presenting their results and receive constructive feedback from their fellow students, faculty, and invited speakers. The educational part of the retreat is extended by "Meet-the-Professor-Seminars", in which the students are introduced to scientists of international reputation, working in a wide range of research areas relating to (patho)physiologic mechanisms of lung disease. In this personal setting, the students have the opportunity to direct questions to "role-models" and learn about individual careers in academia, industry, and businesses, as well as personal and scientific visions of the respective scientists. Attendance of at least one retreat organized by the CPC Research School is required during the PhD period.

Training Schools: Training schools are offered at universities and institutions around the world and are a great opportunity to get intensive training on specific topics and techniques, listen to excellent talks about recent findings in the field, interact with world-leading experts, and bond with (international) peers during social activities. Travel grants are offered by the HELENA office.

Lab Exchanges: Students are encouraged to visit other laboratories, learn new techniques essential for their projects, gain new insights into related fields, and exchange ideas with international colleagues. Travel grants are offered by the HELENA office.